If you build it

December 5, 2018

Listen: Living by 700 Bliss

Please listen to this truly dark and dignified piece of music from the Philly’ Moor Mother & DJ Haram. Recording together as Spa 700, they recently dropped a 15-minute EP, a capsule of catharsis where they funnel their rage toward racial injustice into tiny, meticulously crafted space. This track, one of five, sets a scene of muted electronics that eventually build into Middle Eastern drums and strings, under the words, “you know how many wars we fought? you know how many miles we walked? Since the start, color line, bloodline keep us all apart, re-learn everything grandma taught.” It’s pretty spooky, and if you listen to the whole thing it might even spook the ghosts right out of you. At least, that’s the plan.

Airbnb building houses now

Everyone please go read the NYT profile on Guy Raz, the host of the “How I Built This” podcast and billionaire aficionado (that is, he loves billionaires– as far as we can tell from his employment at NPR, he isn’t one himself). And then with the tenor of his voice in mind, channel an interview question: “So, Joe Gebbia, founder of Airbnb, you’ve completely disrupted the real estate market in ten short years. I gotta know: what’s next?” Surveying their more recent features like superhosting, Airbnb’s luxury arm, and “experiences,” it’s clear they’re not trying to stagnate, but the next chapter in the company’s life is a big leap: building real estate. Airbnb says they’re planning to lead the way in envisioning how people will share and inhabit space in the future, and that includes (terrifyingly) blazing trails in manufacturing, smart-home tech, and meeting “changing owner or occupant needs over time.” What that means in practice is that they’ll experiment with building all kinds of shared homes, big and small, under a new project name, “Backyard.” They’re right that the nature of home is changing, and they’ve driven a decent chunk of the sharing economy already, so they may really be poised for success here. And, WeWork could use a competitor.

On sharing space

Ikea is coming to Manhattan! They’ve been losing money over the past few years as more people move to cities and refuse to manually haul build-it-yourself furniture from whatever far-out suburb can accommodate a big-box format. So instead the store is finally bending to our will and setting up showrooms in the middle of the city that will specialize in furnishing small apartment spaces, fulfilling orders by shipment only. Shipping will still cost what it does now– $60 at the bare minimum– but at least no one’s boxed dresser will topple over on the subway.

For those still on OG Airbnb

A nice side table, perfectly coherent with the homogeneous Airbnb aesthetic– $64 and ships free from Need Supply. Got you beat, Ikea.

There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home… (just repeat it and maybe you won’t have to move to a dorm.)



PS Thanks everyone for signing up for Inbox Awesome / Work Awesome. Catalina and Jon, see you there!