Ingreedy are a start-up with a novel product idea: selling glass jars filled with just the right ingredients to make tasty baked goods at home.
The central idea is smart: outsourcing production to the customer adds value, making for an interactive post-purchase experience where there would otherwise be none, while the nice packaging helps too.
Ingreedy co-founder Samuel Cox classes himself as a maker of things and has done all sorts of cool things. His interests “wrap around inventing new and diverse approaches to the way we use, play and explore creative & interactive technology” – although in this instance, the technology is cake.
But rather than being an inert jar of cereals, I think Ingreedy Jars represent the culture of Makerdom: those increasingly vocal hobbyists who are using the web to share their tips, tricks, hacks and designs.
Etsy is a good example of the kind of commerce that the web has enabled for the crafts market, while Instructables provides ‘recipes’ for people make useful stuff themselves. Rules of production are shifting further with costs of 3D printers coming down, and the likes of Makerbot taking on a high-street presence. I think Ingreedy takes elements from each of these, and makes them accessible through their choice of medium.
Ingreedy Jars are available in four different mixtures: Rocky Road; Brownies; Chocolate Chip Shortbread and Oaty Raisin Cookies, costing £12.00 each. Orders placed in November will ship in time for Xmas.
At work, where social features & discovery apps help me find new stuff
On my mobile, where offline playlists provide the backdrop to my travel
And since I no longer play physical CDs, nor use iTunes or other media player (barring web apps such as SoundCloud, Hype Machine, Mixcloud etc.) Spotify has become the main hub and jumping-off point for whatever type of music I’m after.
Spotify leaves it to its users to build, subscribe to and share playlists, their primary organisational schema, however they see fit. But with millions of tracks and carte blanche to curate a personal library of preferences comes a unique challenge: how should one filter, organise and archive their preferences with access to the worlds biggest music collection?
There is no self-populating iTunes-esque ‘smart playlist’ feature, no editorialised ‘recommended playlists’ feature, and until recently there was no way to search playlists without third-party involvement. Users have to come up with their own organisational approach, and I use my patented Star System™. Here’s how it works:
Play whatever music you want
Star the tracks you particularly love
These self-populate a ‘Starred Tracks’ playlist
Set this playlist to ‘Available Offline’ and they’ll download automatically
Carry on jamming, removing stars from any tracks if they get boring
After a period of time, move all starred tracks into playlist of their own
Release this playlist to the public to critical acclaim!
Repeat steps 1-7 with a blank slate
So without further ado, here are my Star Mix Playlists for your listening pleasure, along with some tasting notes.
Had to share this stunning track, discovered via a recent Future Disco show. It’s the sort of music that just lets the mind unfold, encouraging some really powerful comments and imagery to spill out onto the pages of YouTube:
this track changed my life, this is like reborn feeling.
Im shaking and flying all the time.
I can cry and laugh at the same time.
I wonna listen to this song on the moment I die.
You spin my inner universe….thank you forever
i dont know what to do now it has finished
160 quid on discogs to buy. sounds good to me. i wont be playing it tho, il be framing it and putting it up on the wall and buying the mp3 to play. 300 copies in the whole world of this beauty. one of the finest tracks i will ever hear.
omg at :45 i knew i was in for a ride but DAMN
it’s 6am, and the sun is just starting to peak it’s head. the engine is purring on my white ferrarri 355 cabrio. the wind blowing through my hair, relaxed and loose from a night of dancing. i inhale on my last muratti cigarette. as the smoke fills my lungs my brain sharpens and i remember the name of the girl sitting next to me. it’s a fifteen minute drive back to the villa but i wish it could last forever. pure bliss. pachanga, boys. pachanga.
I was trying to make an awesome comment but it’s impossible. Nothing can describe the beauty of this track.
Cattaneo played this song at the end of moonpark last April 14th, and sudenly, without warning, some of my friends and myself looked at eachother, stop dancing and started hugging eachother, some of us even couldn’t help crying, it was a moment I’ll always remember, time stopped, we were there, we were happy, life had a meaning.
Thanks Pachanga boys. Thanks.
Question: How do you share that great idea of yours while keeping your intellectual property secure? Answer: You use a non-disclosure agreement.
But NDAs are way too formal for the modern entrepreneur, who is more likely to meet a potential partner or investor at a conference, in a coffee shop, or over a beer than arrange to meet at the lawyers.
In an informal situation, the most common business exchange is probably handing someone your business card. I’ve been thinking about this, so in the spirit of sharing ideas, here’s what I’ve come up with:
What if your business card could unlock new conversations?
On the understanding that a signed non-disclosure agreement allows for a far smoother flow of communication in the exchange of business ideas, my business card design offers the ability to turn a casual conversation into a pitch scenario, but without the formality.
Take a look at this mockup I created for MOO Cards, who sadly weren’t interested in the exclusive ownership rights!
My design is a perforated piece of card designed to be ripped in half:
One half lists the usual business card details
One half has space for a signature against the statement: “I hereby agree to treat your idea as confidential in a bond of trust” (or whatever)
Each party keeps one half of the card in this interactive business exchange. Not legally airtight, of course, but still an innovative means of quickly forming trust with a potential partner.
So then, anyone out there want to help turn this design into a reality?
Airborne, a potentially disruptive start-up in the music sector, hopes to “cure the music industry of its sickness” with their upcoming launch.
Their cloud-based music sharing platform places fans and artists in direct symbiosis. It’s an interesting model, so take a look:
Beyond all the virus metaphors (they even go so far as to call songs ‘strains’) the core idea is quite simple:
Cut out traditional distributors
Enable artists to monetise via a system of micropayments
Give fans distribution rights instead, and empower them to share as much as possible, thus helping to secure further micropayments
It’s a model that I think could work particularly well for electronic music, whose artists tend to release one track or remix at a time, as opposed to a band who might release one album a year. Airborne will work best when artists can trickle content to their audience to keep them subscribed.
Looking on SoundCloud, my current favourite producer/DJ has 3,934 followers, which would net $3,934 per month on Airborne. Give those early adopting, high-class listeners some viral functionality and the impetus to share with friends and that figure could easily grow to $10,000/month – a healthy supplement to any unsigned musician, I’m sure you’ll agree.
In this post I’ll introduce you to my new pet project: an experiment in Twitter automation. The Strategy Bot (pictured) is ‘programmed’ to select & retweet key digital media resources, case studies or news items that provoke a higher understanding of the formation of good digital strategy.
Some context… I will typically have the odd side project on the go at any one time. Recent examples have included:
Recategorising all my RSS feeds for mobile, web & iPad
Linking up Instapaper / ReaditLater / Pinboard & Twitter
Testing Facebook ads to see if I can drive Twitter followers
Playing with XFBML, the new Follow button and Google +1
Sketching people’s Twitter avatars with my new stylus
All of the above would be worthy of a blog post, and that might happen for a couple of them, but there’s been one project I’ve been thinking about for a while that I reckon just needs to be shared, because, dear reader, I need your help!
I’ve been interested in getting the most out of Twitter for a while, and I’ve been certain there is some utility among the network’s parasites: the lowly twitterbot. I’d love to perform an autopsy on one to see how they really work, as there are some excellent cases of these automata being actually quite useful or cool. For example:
Spotibot – @replies suggested music based on your requests
Easy Joke – RT’s with “that’s what she said” on certain phrases
There are loads more listed on the Twitter Fan Wiki, and of course there are millions of spambots that behave in similar ways. But I wanted to make something that would be primarily useful to me, and that others might enjoy too.
The idea arose from the need to detect, share and archive truly excellent links, without cluttering my personal Twitter feed. Did you know you can automatically add Twitter links to Pinboard for archiving? It’s a bloody useful way to passively log the stuff that’s held your attention. And did you know you can create a self-hosted archive of all your tweets? I use Tweetnest to this end, where I’ve been logging my personal tweets here. Try searching for something!
Mr. Strategy Bot is just another way to add useful stuff to my own personal content library. But throughout the course of his life, I’d like him to be useful to everyone. Or at least, everyone that works in digital media (you gotta have a niche). So how should I automate him to this end?
In my attempts to pin down what makes these robots work, I found a number of approaches, typically making use of Twitterfeed (a pretty blunt RSS syndication tool) or the Twitter API (way over my head). I needed something that would let me ‘scrape’ the top links from a list of Twitter users, and automatically RT the top five links.
I have totally failed in my attempts, even after a whole evening spent in the depths of Yahoo! Pipes. For now, I’ve had to settle on the manual way. Yep, I’m manually RT’ing the links until I find a better solution, five a day, with a bit of prose each time to help round out his character.
I will continue to research means of automating his behaviour, as I think the idea of one’s own personal virtual pet social robot is a really powerful idea. Wouldn’t you agree?
[box]Please leave a comment if you can help create virtual life! Let’s give this guy his own A.I. existence out in the digital ether.[/box]
In the meantime, you should follow him on Twitter here.
He’s programmed to follow back!