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MTV desperately wants to reach millennials, but the VMAs are proof they’re doing it wrong

Originally posted on Quartz:

Despite myself, I wanted to watch the MTV Video Music Awards this year. I wanted to see Nicki, Taylor (and squad), and maybe Beyoncé, and relish the painfully awkward moments that live awards shows so reliably deliver. I understand MTV is trying to reach those pesky, cord-cutting millennials with a recent rebranding that integrates elements of internet ubiquity such as emojis, rainbows, and Miley Cyrus into a lo-fi, neon pastiche. You know, the stuff kids like.

I’m a little old for this—I was born in 1981, incidentally the same year as MTV—which, by some measures, makes me one year senior to the oldest millennials. (I write this with the side-eye of a high school sophomore observing incoming freshmen.)

I was willing to tolerate Miley and her tongue in order to enjoy the rest of this year’s show—maybe she’s this generation’s Max Headroom?—and figured it would be no problem…

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Buying organic veggies at the supermarket is a waste of money

Originally posted on Quartz:

It has happened to all of us. You’re standing in the produce aisle, just trying to buy some zucchini, when you face the inevitable choice: Organic or regular?

It’s a loaded question that can mean many different things, sometimes all at once: Healthy or pesticide-drenched? Tasty or bland? Fancy or basic? Clean or dirty? Good or bad?

But here’s the most important question for many customers: Is it worth the extra money?

The answer: Probably not.

Higher price doesn’t really mean higher quality

It’ll come as no surprise to most shoppers that organic produce is typically more expensive than the other options. In March, a Consumer Reports analysis found that, on average, the prices on organic foods were 47% higher than on their conventional counterparts. USDA numbers bear out this difference too. The wholesale price of a 25-pound sack of organic carrots in San Francisco in 2013, for example, was more than three times the price…

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Mobile Gaming Live-Streaming Service Mobcrush Has Raised Around $10M

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

We’ve heard from sources that Mobcrush, a live-streaming service centered around mobile games much in the same way Twitch is known for streaming popular eSports desktop games, has raised around $10 million in new financing, though the number could have gone beyond that.

Mobcrush’s bet is that mobile game streaming will be as big — if not bigger — than some of the competitive game-streaming services that already exist. The gorilla in the room, of course, is Twitch — which Amazon bought for nearly $1 billion last year and has tens of millions (if not hundreds) of monthly viewers. Mobcrush raised $4.9 million in a round that round was formally announced in May, and in July Mobcrush came out of beta.

To be sure, mobile games are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Some of the most popular games on the App Store are strategy games like Clash of Clans. And while these…

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Why I hate calling my business a startup

Originally posted on Quartz:

The first time I called my food truck business a startup was in a brief that I sent to one of the better B-schools in Delhi to get some students to do a project with us.

It made sense. Our business was a new and exciting concept with great potential for scale, and my partner and I were professionals who were pursuing our dream. Our “startup” was a little over a year old and by then, it had iterated several times and started to look somewhat like what it does now.

The idea was simple: We would serve the familiar south Indian cuisine at the doorstep of the customer. On weekends, we would drive into gated communities, taking and serving orders. On weekdays, we would be in driveways of companies and office complexes or colleges. We were right there, super convenient and very compelling.

A Dosa Inc truck in action. A Dosa Inc truck in action.

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Terms And Conditions Are The Biggest Lie Of Our Industry

Originally posted on TechCrunch:



You agree that you never read TERMS & CONDITIONS. Aren’t we right?

  1. Apple is notoriously wordy — you’re not going to read 20,000 words before using the iTunes Store.
  2. Facebook breaks down its TERMS & CONDITIONS in multiple pages — we stopped after copying and pasting them in a single 15,000-word document.

There is no incentive to make these documents shorter as you don’t want your users to pay too much attention to your TERMS & CONDITIONS. And there are new challenges today that make these TERMS & CONDITIONS even more obsolete (see…

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What is wrong with being ordinary?

Originally posted on The Window On The Street:

There are many annoying things about advertising.

How loud and in your face it can be,

Chemist Warehouse small (Because billboards don’t have wheels)

The way you are sold a product through an (often highly polished and unrealistic) image of a coveted lifestyle,

stupid car ad 2

And the way women’s heads are periodically removed from their bodies:

headless body messes with minds swanston st giant headless lady

But one theme in advertising that has been bothering me lately is this: That to be ordinary – to be anything remotely like anyone else – is unacceptable.

seen not herd toyota ad

coke ad 3

oscar de la renta extraordinary Picture4

Advertising is something I try not to pay too much attention to, mainly because when I look at most ads the standards they imply through photos such as those above strike me as unfair and unrealistic. Like a strange pseudo-reality, or a fictional narrative in which one has to suspend one’s disbelief to get very far, ads frustrate me from how removed they often are from everyday life.

And yet…

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The science is clearer than ever: Long work hours increase your risk of stroke and heart disease

Originally posted on Quartz:

In 1888, Rudyard Kipling famously wrote that too much work can “kill a man just as effectively as too much assorted vice or too much drink.” Working conditions have changed a lot since then, but a new analysis of more than 500,000 modern lives upholds the aphorism.

The meta-analysis published in The Lancet shows that those working 55 hours a week had a 33% greater risk of stroke and 13% increased risk of cardiovascular diseases in comparison to those working for 40 hours a week. This kind of analysis overcomes the limitations of past smaller studies, such as narrow demographics and weaker links, offering up a firmer, overarching conclusion.

One cause of stroke and heart diseases is the increased amounts of stress from extended work hours. Turning to alcohol as a stress reliever makes matters worse. So does the fact that overworked people have fewer hours available for exercise.

Sadly, the chances of your employer paying heed to…

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