Friday Five: 10/27-10/30

Happy Halloween! Here’s a roundup of industry news for the week.

Microsoft Jumps Into the Growing Market for Wearable Fitness Technology – New York Times

Microsoft released their first fitness wearable just as the trend is evolving. The Microsoft Band comes with a coinciding health web service that uses data to assist owners in their fitness goals. The new smart watch is affordable and comes with features included in only the most expensive bands – the Microsoft Band is selling for $199, compared to Apple’s Apple Watch, which will sell for $349.  Hopefully, Microsoft’s foray into wearables will position the company as a relevant and innovative leader in technology.


Walker Sands Named 28th Fastest Growing Inner-City Business in the Country

We are thrilled to announce that Walker Sands has earned a top spot on the ICIC’s 2014 “Inner City 100,” list. Winners were announced at the Inner City 100 Awards last week in Boston.



Friday Five: 10/20-10/24

Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of industry news for the week.

As Apple Pay Arrives, Witnessing the Next Steps in Money. Maybe. - The New York Times

Apple revolutionized commerce with the release of Apple Pay. While other tech and telecom giants like Google, AT&T and Verizon have tried to transform the wallet, commerce experts predict that Apple will be the trendsetter for mainstream digital wallets. Apple Pay has reportedly double charged some customers, but the timing of the release and the security-centered technology creates a unique advantage for the digital wallet. Are you a fan of Apple Pay?


Will Taking the Moral High Ground Make Ello the New Facebook?

In the wake of controversy over Facebook’s real-name policy emerged the noble, altruistic social network, Ello. The artists and designers who created Ello rode in like hipster- knights in shining armor and declared their valiant manifesto; that those wanting to maintain their identities of choice and who don’t want their social activity to be bought and sold for the almighty advertising dollar need look no further.

Ello’s invite-only platform became impossible to infiltrate overnight. It felt like a party at a hip Brooklyn art gallery where the guest list is kept secret. Motivated by equal parts FOMO and a mildly narcissistic desire to stay ahead of the latest trends, I began a frenzied search for an invite. Not-so-ironically, my bicycle-riding, beanie-wearing, graphic designer friend gave me the in. But after 10 minutes of wide-eyed perusal of the stark site, I was at a loss for what to do next. And to be honest, I haven’t been back.

Herein lays the dilemma: Ello just doesn’t give users a better alternative to what they already have. And while the moral high ground that Ello stands on is admirable, I have little confidence that Ello’s call to action will result in revolutionizing the ad-clogged social networks that we live on today.

Ello homepage

From first glance, the minimalist layout is beautiful, a welcome respite from the constant information that bombards us every day.


Should the NFL Abandon Pink?

For the past five seasons, NFL players have donned pink cleats, gloves, hats and towels in October to raise awareness for breast cancer. The league has been panned before for a perceived lack of transparency about how sales of pink merchandise fund breast cancer. This time around, however, the league announced that they would be dialing back on pink, perhaps as a result of backlash against its donation strategy in which a small fraction of the money from pink branded NFL products go to charity.

NFL Pink 1