Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.
Quentin Hardy, The New York Times:
What happens after a tech company is left for dead but the people left behind refuse to give up the fight? At Kodak the answer is to dig deep into a legacy of innovation in the photography business and see if its remaining talent in optics and chemistry can be turned into new money in other industries.
“People ask me why I’m still here,” [Terry Taber, overseer of Kodak R&D] said. “It’s because I see the possibilities.”
Reading this article made me realize I’d almost completely forgotten about Kodak, which is strange considering how huge they still were when I was a kid. At any rate, the company is certainly getting up to some interesting things these days despite being a shadow of its former self.
Natasha Lampard, writing for The Pastry Box Project, reflects on the oldest business in the world vs the (unfortunately) widely-accepted modern practice of developing an “exit strategy” for one’s company:
This onsen has stayed small. They know what they do. They do what they know. Their focus on service is relentless; their team of employees is family; stronger than family possibly, for it is unified, united in its mission to protect, to nurture, to tend to, to keep alive.
They have successfully achieved a delicate balance of continuation, innovation and dedication. 52 generations. 1,300+ years. […]
Would Fujiwara Mahito, founder of the onsen, and surely by this definition an entrepreneur, have considered the exit strategy as his end goal back in 705AD?
Much to think about in this piece.
Product designer Greg Koenig makes a thoroughly detailed guess as to how the Apple Watch is manufactured, based on what we know from Apple’s Craftsmanship videos, along with their patents and the watch’s product specs.
Apple could very easily have forgone forging to create stainless steel cases, just like everyone else. Hardening gold alloy with cold working could have been eliminated, putting them on par with the rest of the industry. Nobody will see or feel the inside pocket for the microphone on the Sport, yet it has been laser finished to perfection.
I see these videos and I see a process that could only have been created by a team looking to execute on a level far beyond what was necessary or what will be noticed. This isn’t a supply chain, it is a ritual Apple is performing to bring themselves up to the standards necessary to compete against companies with centuries of experience.
Metallurgy, bead blasting, and anodizing, oh my.
Here’s how Krauss described his first experience:
I felt like the abyss below me would swallow me whole. It was completely different than walking a line over the ground. After a ton of tries, and some violent whippers, I was able to stand up and take a step. It was mortifying. My whole body kept screaming at me to get down, to stay low, to not even think about standing up. The brain is a hard thing to shut off when fight-or-flight kicks in.
This sort of thing is absolutely bonkers to me.
A week ago (on March 20th, 2015) a total solar eclipse was visible in the area between Iceland, Scottland and the Faröe Islands up to the North Pole.
A group of astronomy enthusiasts rented a plane and flew through the eclipse’s shadow at 35,000 feet, resulting in the awesome video above. Keep an eye on the huge shadow sweeping over the clouds from the right.
Dax-Devlon Ross of The Morning News has been completely disillusioned about extreme urbanism (told mostly through the lens of his life in New York City):
And in fact, the city will sometimes tease us. The train you desperately need will arrive on time. There will be parking on the block, an open table at a new restaurant. Your favorite artist will be playing in the park, for free. In that moment, you will believe that things could not be any better than they are. You will feel the soothing satisfaction of having made the right choice in life. You will forget the infinite frustrations and heartaches you endure. You will rationalize your overpriced micro-dwelling as a social good. You will believe the life the city offers has been created to suit your unique and discriminating needs and tastes. And you will be wrong.
As someone who has long thought about moving to a big city (not NYC though) and leaving all this urban sprawl and car culture behind, I’m fascinated by this take from the other side of the fence — that is, someone who has already experienced city life and is sick of it.
I do wonder though if Mr. Ross might be happier in a different city, one that lives up to the ideals of great public spaces and thoughtful bike lane infrastructure and everything else you’d want in urbanized life. People always point to NYC as the epitome of city life, but I’ve never thought that was necessarily true.
Self-promotion alert: A couple years ago I wrote a little beginner’s guide to urban design, pointing to some books and other resources that will help you gain a grasp on these ideas if you’ve never been exposed to them before.
The folks at Typewolf have put together this nice resource that is both a typographical style guide and a cheat sheet of computer keyboard shortcuts for various symbols. Personally, I prefer setting up certain characters as TextExpander snippets. If all else fails, there’s always CopyPasteCharacter.
Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.