A Chinese podcast called “How to Make Your Voice More Attractive” has 218,000 paying subscribers. Overall, the market in Chinese self-help subscription podcasts was worth $7.3 billion in 2017, compared with just $314 million for all advertising-funded podcasts in the US. [Jennifer Pak]
When he took over the bookshop chain Waterstones, James Daunt gave individual store managers control over which books to stock and how to display them. Over seven years, returns dropped from 20–25% to just 4%. [Robbie Millen / Benedict Evans]
Vanilla pods now cost $500/kg, roughly the same as silver. Madagascan farmers have briefly become vanillionaires, causing chaos in areas where the nearest bank might be a day’s walk away. [Annah Zhu]
A Spanish bakery will install a ‘thermal breadbox’ on the side of your house (for free!) and deliver warm bread every day [Pablo Alarcon]
This was interesting to read about losing a week’s worth of photos from a memory card failure. I have had my own woes with memory cards and USB drives failing without backups being done. The costs are quite prohibitive for restoring hardware failures as indicated in the piece. The main lessons are getting many cards (reading negative reviews to judge failure rate), backup often and use a camera with dual card slots.
Some negative customer reviews are frivolous because they are rooted in user error, or because they concern themselves with delivery rather than the product’s quality or performance. However, negative reviews are generally more significant than positive reviews.
If you think that one shouldn’t focus on the negative while the vast majority of reviews are positive, consider that on Amazon, the average rating for a product is 4.4 (out of 5) as found here by analyzing 7 million reviews. Even a product with an average 4.0 rating (4-star) is below average. The large majority of products are rated above 4.0, so the difference between a great product and a subpar product is less than 1 (star) on average. On the other hand, we’ve just seen that the number of 1-star reviews for different cards varies by a factor of four.
Loved this video and saw it come up again on my YouTube feed. Posted it before on Twitter but wanted to put it here on my blog. Really nice shots of some parts of Achill even if other parts of the island were missed.