Posts Tagged ‘flipbooks’

Fictiv Aims to Change Prototyping and Development

It’s fun living in the future, especially if you’re an inventor. Kickstarter already gives even garage shop level innovators access to funding they could never see before without a design team and a business manager. For those who could afford a 3D printer, iterative prototypes and parts were easy to produce with a few tweaks to the CAD design.

Those who couldn’t afford that expensive equipment were out of luck, until now. Fictiv, a San Francisco-based company has introduced a new model of 3D part sourcing. It maintains contact with a stable of thoroughly vetted 3D print shops to know when they have downtime from their regular production schedule. Capitalizing on this “free money” opportunity, they negotiate the lowest possible production price. Clients in need of 3D models get these lower prices at the quality level that only professional sources can produce.

The arrangement reduces pricing, but also reduces turnaround time since the company can access vendors with different capacities and in different locations. Fictiv then has agents pick up, hand-inspect and ship the parts for same-day courier delivery.

Customers can design using their own CAD program, or Fictiv’s proprietary interface, and order their models in one of eight standard materials:

  • PLA hardened starch
  • ABS or ABS-like plastics
  • Verowhite
  • Transparent plastics
  • Nylon
  • Rubber-like materials
  • Visiclaear polycarbonite simulation

Fictiv was born in the middle of 2013 when three engineers were sitting around complaining about how hard it was to get hardware prototypes during the development stages. After the complaining wound down, those three engineers started developing a solution. Fictiv is the solution they found, and thus far it has been a successful one.

Fictiv Team.jpg

If Fictiv’s experiment in 3D print delivery proves successful, it has potential to offer another revolution for inventors. Access to funds has already been democratized, made available to anybody with a good enough idea. A similar democratization of access to iterative prototyping could be in the near future.

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Warby Parker and 826 National Celebrate Reading and Creativity with Eyewear

Supergroups are fun. When Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk and Captain America got together to be Avengers, we loved watching them blow up bad guys. When members of Nirvana and Soundgarden formed Temple of the Dog, we loved the sound.

The supergroup of Warby Parker and 826 National have launched something we can also love.

Warby Parker designs glasses: eyeglass and sunglasses that saves costs through indie sourcing and gives a pair of glasses to somebody in a developing nation for every pair they sell. They provide an alternative model to the corrective lens market, which they say artificially inflates prices with an insider style network of providers and designers.

826 is a nationwide organization that celebrates expository and creative writing in school-aged children. They support this celebration through teaching, tutoring and publishing efforts for students and teachers.826 has chapters in New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Chicago, California, Washington and Washington D.C., with plans to expand in the coming year.


Together, they have launched Kidd. The Kidd eyeglasses come in regular and sunglasses model, with a horn rimmed look reminiscent of Grouch Marx. Customers can buy prescription sunglasses or regular, in single-vision and bifocal options.

To support the Kidd project, Warby Parker has sponsored a print run of two books: Super Awesome Stickman Dude and 826 NYC Review, written by 826 members and sold on both coasts.

The glasses start at $95 for single-vision lenses and are available at the WarbyParker online store. Proceeds from the glasses and the books go directly to 826 to help them fund their literacy and creativity efforts.

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Storefont Co-Founders Discuss Retail Pop-Ups, Building Better Brand Relationships Offline [PSFK CONFERENCE SF]

We are excited to have the co-founders of Storefront, Erik Eliason and Tristan Pollock, speak at the PSFK Retail Event in San Francisco on October 30th. Storefront is a platform to connect brands with real estate for temporary pop-up shops. At the conference, Erik and Tristan will share their thoughts on the resurgence of physical spaces for both online and offline brands and expanding retail experiences beyond traditional brick and mortar locations.

In just two years, Storefront has grown to offer over 1,000 pop-up retail spaces for a number of different kinds of brands. How have these temporary spaces changed the ways brands and retailers operate?

Pop-up shops are one form of temporary retail, which has realistically been around since the bazaars of the Middle East. Since the term ‘pop up’ has gained prominence it has brought the spotlight back on cities and how short-term, temporal events and stores add to the everchanging urban landscape. It’s an exciting time for retail, as well as for any growing business looking to create unique experiences in the cities where their customers are.

We now see brands opening up 2-week stores every month in a different city (Indochino), or examples like Kanye West opening up shop in a storefront while he goes on tour. Anything is possible now, and it’s easier than ever to do.

What challenges were retailers facing that inspired you to create Storefront?

Storefront was inspired by the creative people and businesses that are around us everyday. With major retailers like Target and Best Buy in Minnesota, we had the idea for Storefront after seeing an increasing amount of empty storefronts in our hometown. At that time, we also saw friends and family starting online businesses, but they faced a host of challenges when they transitioned into physical stores. 1 in 10 stores were sitting vacant across the United States, and we wanted to fill them with amazing experiences.

The hope is that Storefront can “disrupt” the retail real estate market in much the same way that Airbnb and other so-called sharing-economy start-ups have disrupted older industries. That was when we decided to start an online startup that connects store owners and landlords with retail spaces they wish to rent out for short terms with artists, brands and boutiques in need of temporary quarters.

Why is it important for brands to create these temporary offline experiences?

From fashion to technology, digital brands use Storefront to tell a story around their products. They build stronger relationships offline, and allow for a tactile customer experience. They also now have the flexibility to fluidly move around a city, or go from city to city, without signing a long-term, five or ten year lease.

As more brands adopt these pop-up experiences, what are your recommendations for best practices for creating offline retail experiences?

First know your customer, know your brand, and build what that looks like in the real world.

Second, make every day in your storefront engaging. Combatant Gentlemen opened up a three-day shop in LA and hosted whiskey tasting one night, and a cigar rolling class the next.

Lastly, do things you can’t do online. SK-II opened a month-long store and used their skin scanner to tell you the age of your skin and the product you could use to repair it. A laptop can’t do that.

Can you share your predictions for how the retail industry will evolve over the next five years?

Retail will be more tactile, temporary, and tech-savvy. We will see smart foot traffic monitoring, improved checkout systems, location-based engagement with beacons.

We will also see retailers test store concepts more, and more independent stores open. Long-term leases will still be used, but become less common. Consumers will desire on-demand retail where the stores pop up in their neighborhoods. Storefront will be helping businesses grow smarter in the physical world.

Thank you Tristan and Erik!

To hear more from Tristan and Erik as well as our line up of industry experts and highlights from the PSFK’s 2015 Future of Retail report, join us October 30th from 8:30 – 12:30 for our Future of Retail event at PCH’s Innovation Hub in San Francisco. Tickets are available online.


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Artists Reconstruct the Berlin Wall with Lights

New and old Berliners, together with the entire world, will take to the streets on November 9, the global 25th Anniversary celebration of the Fall of the Wall in 1989.

The city, its citizens and friends will participate in the joyous events that commemorate the Peaceful Revolution. Among the key projects are the web portal Fall of the Wall 25 where everyone is welcome to post their memories, opinions and thoughts about the world-changing event.

Another project is a concept called Lichtgrenze by artists Christopher and Marc Bauder. It is a a row of 8,000 white luminous balloons, 15-kilometre Border of Light, that will mark the former course of the Wall and divide the inner city of Berlin from Bornholmer Strasse to Mauerpark and the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse to the Reichstag, past the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie to the East Side Gallery. - Tuija Seipell.


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