Companies such as Tesla are all the rage nowadays, expounding ‘clean energy’ as their electric cars buzz around an increasing number of cities and towns. Owners feel happy as they shun gasoline and rely more on electric energy that they see as cleaner for the environment and offer a lower carbon footprint. Companies such as Tesla, while technically an auto manufacturer, is also categorized by many on both Wall Street and Main Street, as a technology company. This begs the question: Are other ‘clean’ industries also considered ‘tech’ companies?
Well, now the ‘clean’ movement has moved on to tackle something potentially more important than the auto industry, namely food. A Bay Area, yes that bay, “food-technology startup” named Memphis Meats has developed what it calls the first true ‘clean food’ company. In sum, it emits a lower carbon footprint than other [similar] ‘meat’ food producers. Agtech is the new tech, and companies such as Memphis Meats are front and center.
Technically, Memphis Meat produces meat per se, chicken, as well as duck, pork, and beef. And produce chicken it does. You see, rather than raise say a chicken from a chick, feed it, watch it grow, excrete, eat again, grow again, and to slaughter it goes, Memphis Meats actually produces meat, from meat.
They grow chicken from cell-reproducing chicken cells. Yup, chicken without the fuss. No need to deal with all the day-to-day of a $200 billion dollar a year industry busy raising meat. Now, just grow it in a big vat in the Bay Area and eventually Texas and Kansas, too, I would assume.
Sure, currently it’s an expensive proposition, a pound of chicken costs about $9,000 to produce. But that’s half of last year’s cost, and they’re still tweaking things to create greater efficiencies, just like any other technology start-up.
You can bread it, fry it, broil it, bake it – and it tastes like, well, ‘chicken.’
Here in the W5 office, everyone has their own particular coffee brand that they reach to throughout the day, especially during the late afternoon post-lunch haze. Whether squirreled away in their desks or sitting among the assorted stash in our kitchen, W5ers’ preferences run the gamut on coffee blends, flavors, and strengths.
With the recent release of the “strongest coffee in the world,” courtesy of Black Insomnia (each 12oz cup has a minimum of 702mg of caffeine, compared to 95mg in a regular cup), I was interested to see the following infographic about coffee’s true effectiveness in the workplace. According to market research conducted by the National Coffee Association, out-of-home coffee consumption has reached a high of 47 percent in 2017. Read below to see how to make the most of your own workplace coffee consumption…
This monthly blog post highlights one W5er with a fun questionnaire that will provide a snapshot of who we are as a company and as individuals. Today we meet Brynne, a Practice Consultant on the qualitative team.
Today’s lingua franca of “social knowledge” is so steeped in the promise of technology and the digital world that sometimes one wonders what happened to the foundational idioms of thought itself. I mean, does social media define “social” itself? Thought, and the ideas of who and how we behave as people, was discussed and put to pen and prose long before the era of the silicon chip made its debut by Robert Noyce fifty-odd years back.
Since the beginning of modern man, we have, as a people, wondered “what does it all mean?” Such a discipline is more commonly referred to as philosophy. Remember that class in college? Important talk, kids slumped over their chairs, ardent professor growling big thoughts to earnest yet slumped over kids, i.e., “what does it all mean?” Maybe not. However, it’s a lot less esoteric an activity – thinking – than you may think, and can have just as important an effect on today’s world as all the time you spend sharing things in your social (sic) space.
I recently came upon Nicolas Berggruen and his recent foray into establishing the Berggruen Institute. It appears that Berggruen is a billionaire was an active conscience, meaning he’s trying to do something devoid of profit, solely for good to better the world, right now; not just “pledging” what he’ll do later on, like many other enlightened yet prudent billionaires choose to do.
Berggruen’s main thesis is that some of the solutions required for today’s world can be found in age-old thinking, nee philosophical discourse. He posits that “we’re still shaped by ideas and the people that created them thousands of years past.” Therefore, he recommends we might want to spend a bit of time studying, discussing, and seeking solutions based on the works of traditions laid down by the likes of Socrates, Zoroaster, and Buddha. These masters of thought, he believes, may provide the key to current world problems that these philosophers could never have even imagined ever existing. In other words, the basic principles of ‘thought,’ and the algorithms of problem-solving these great minds lay out, are capable of unlocking all types of problems. Problems are simply problems, regardless of their nature or context. Furthermore, these solutions may be even more powerful than ideas concocted today, for they were developed in a much less cluttered world, devoid of the dynamic complexity of modern life. New ideas live half-lives, for they derive from diluted thought; the powerful stuff is undiluted, of simple structure.
In order to create a place to apply these solutions to problems Berggruen is currently creating a “secular monastery” where a few dozen thinkers at a time will reside on a few hundred acres of prime land in the hills of Los Angeles. There they will think, devise, and put forth solution sets to some of today’s complexities.
So, while many companies and governments, long lauded for innovation and visionary thinking, keep developing more sophisticated approaches to tackle ever-increasingly complex problems, it’s a breath of fresh air to see someone focusing their attention on what appear to be insurmountable issues such as the role of government, democracy, and the issues surrounding immigration, based on the foundational groundings of who we are as a civil society. We can only hope people are civil enough to listen to what Berggruen and his thinkers say.
Last week, W5 attended the first The Quirk’s Event held in Orange County, California. As regular attendees of the previous two conferences held in Brooklyn, we were excited to see what the Golden State had in store for us! With two days of insightful sessions, networking events with familiar and new faces, and fun exploring the exhibitor hall (shout out to the Butt Sketch guy), W5 came away from the conference enlightened with new market research insights and trends to help our clients grow.
One session that I attended, “Lights! Camera! Action! Video Storytelling for Insights in the Data Overflow Age,” piqued my interest due to the evolving methods of showcasing research insights in meaningful ways. W5’s strategy practice is always looking for ways to make insights “sticky,” and this session provided great takeaways on humanizing those insights through video storytelling.
As someone with amateur experience behind the video camera, it was refreshing to hear tips on creating compelling stories through video without being a professional videographer. The most important part of showing research data through video is making sure to tell a cohesive story. Storytelling is a powerful tool that can transform potentially tedious data into a takeaway that will appeal to everyone – from strategists to the C-suite.
It’s easy to show data tables and respondent quotes in a standard presentation, but seeing consumers’ faces as they talk through an issue with a product, walk you through their homes and daily lives, or self-record their reactions to various concepts helps bring research to life. We will definitely use these takeaways to ensure we are highlighting a compelling story through our video deliverables.
We can’t wait to see what is in store for the upcoming The Quirk’s Event in Brooklyn in just a few short weeks and look forward to learning more about the upcoming trends in market research reporting!
Are you in the market for a new phone, but a headphone jack and fire safety are non-negotiable?
Google is here to help with its release of the Pixel. The phone, seamlessly integrated with Google search, claims to gain intelligence the more it is used. It also boasts the sharpest cell phone camera, a direct link to Google photos, and the ability to gain a seven hour battery life from a 15 minute charge. A less touted – but equally important feature – is that the Pixel comes in two sizes, a nod to those pining for the days of smaller phones.
This release comes on the heels of two new, competing iPhone and Galaxy models. While the former has been blasted for removing the headphone jack, the latter had problems of its own, with production ending because of a tendency for the unit to catch on fire.
Apple may have received a boost from Samsung’s failure, but is there a vacuum left by Samsung for those who prefer non-Apple products? The Pixel comes at the perfect time to sidle into that role, and can potentially dominate that market. Or, as Forbes warned, might the Pixel go the way of Google Glasses, and disappear in infamy?
One of the challenges of new technology, especially those fueled by AI, is the morality of choices that must be considered. While self-driving cars are creating more buzz and attention, the question of how they should behave in regard to their passengers and other drivers/pedestrians is becoming increasingly pressing. So with that, I give you an experiment from MIT that puts you in control: The Moral Machine. Now you can face the same dilemmas that the designers and ultimately legislators will face when considering self-driving cars and other autonomous technology.
Go through the scenarios and at the end it scores you based on your preferences and behaviors from the selections you’ve made. Are you making your selections based on age, societal role, gender, adherence to the law, etc.? Are you saving more dogs and cats? None of the choices are easy.
Part of today’s presidential election parlance calls for a “wall” to be built, for sundry reasons, between the U.S. and Mexico. While it makes intuitive sense to deter illegal immigration to the U.S., more Mexicans are choosing to leave the U.S. than arrive; the emphasis on choosing and not deportation. This is not a recent phenomenon; it’s been going on for years. According to the Pew Research Center we have seen a net loss of 140,000 Mexicans in the U.S. from 2009-2014. The same data sources state the overall flow of Mexicans (i.e., the number coming to the U.S. versus the number leaving) is the smallest since the 1990s.
There may be a myriad of reasons for this, but the fact remains coming to the U.S. nowadays is not as appealing as leaving.
I thought about this a bit beyond the rhetoric and hype in today’s popular press, and fell back on my researcher reflexes of examining this macro-trend first from a demographic perspective. Digging further, I discovered that overall growth of Latinos in the U.S. as a whole is slowing down. Another study by Pew shows between 2007 and 2014 the U.S. Hispanic population is currently crawling along at 2.8%, down from a rate of 5.8% in the 1990s and 4.4% in the 2000s. A trend persists.
My conclusion is we’re seeing a maturation of not only Mexicans (who represent about two out of three U.S. Hispanics), but, overall, all Latinos to the U.S. A slowdown in fertility rates of Hispanics is occurring as they, as a cohort, continue to ‘mainstream’ into the population and build economic prosperity. Hence, while the 2.1% growth of Hispanics in the U.S. reported last week by USA Today is still greater than 0.75% overall U.S. growth (which includes 17% Hispanics who constitute the total U.S. population 2014 Census), a strong case can be made the salad days of boom Hispanic growth may be behind us.
As a research strategist, what does this mean if the Hispanic fertility rate has fallen as the share of Latino immigrants has declined? Well, I think it may call for more sophisticated marketing approaches moving forward rather than employing a simplistic “Hispanic” strategy. There may be specific considerations when addressing Latino by various states, i.e., only two of the largest fifteen Hispanic-populated states, South Florida and D.C. and adjacent suburbs, have more immigrants than U.S.-born Latinos, and perhaps more prone to a less-acculturated messaging strategy. States in the Northeast, on the other hand, have Hispanic populations who are, for the most part, well-acculturated and can absorb subtly tailored advertising messages, with less need to hit them over the head with their ethnicity.
It’s a big country, well represented by an even bigger world within. I trust our Hispanic brothers and sisters don’t close the door on their way out. Until then, perhaps we should consider the pluralism their dynamic cultures represent.