Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

Pioneer Axe was an old-time US manufacturing company. This documentary film about their manufacturing process was made just prior to the the business closing. I’m a sucker for these kind of films.

This is one of a series of ads done for RACV Pet Insurance in Australia. It’s the kind of work you’d be proud of doing.

Naomi Wu demonstrates a bin that heat seals its bags. At first I thought it was frivolous; but then thinking about the kind of summer we had last year I can understand the appeal.

Water Margin Podcast: Outlaws of the Marsh – my favourite general interest podcast to fill the gap after Cocaine and Rhinestones

I ended up working out of Somerset House for some of this week and shot this Thameside time lapse video.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Sky, Unilever and McDonald’s slash UK ad spend as Brexit approaches | The Drum – not terribly surprising. Though there is an argument for a counter-cyclical strategy, which is how Proctor and Gamble built their brand in the US during the great depression via sponsored radio plays and serials which gave us the ‘soap opera’

China’s lunar new year spending growth slowest since 2005 | Financial TimesThat was an increase of 8.5 per cent from last year, a sharp drop from 2018’s year-on-year growth of 10.2 per cent and the slowest rate of growth since such data were first tracked, in 2005. (paywall)

Opinion | China’s Online Censorship Stifles Trade, Too – The New York Times – I only agree to a point on this, China’s services, in particular Baidu who went to head-to-head with Google won out in China. Amazon China is still way behind JD.com and Alibaba. That doesn’t mean that these services shouldn’t be blocked in international expansion as part of the trade dispute, but also don’t discount US hubris so lightly

Oprah Time AngloArabia by David Wearing

I got sent a copy of AngloArabia and was interested in having a read of it. I grew up at a time when the Gulf states influence grew through OPEC. I started my work life with a brief time in the oil and gas industry. Since then I have moved on through a number of iterations in my career.

Currently reading

The Gulf states sit in a peculiar part of British history that isn’t generally understood. Wearing goes through the history of the the area from the Trucial states attached to the British rule of India. And brings up to date regarding the UK’s role in the modern Middle East.

The modern relationship between the Gulf states and the United Kingdom blurs the hierarchy between client states and their former colonial master.

Lots of western countries have seen sovereign funds invest with a view to gaining influence. The UK is unique in terms of the Gulf States are bailing the country out. Without the support of Middle East money, the country would be overwhelmed by its current account deficit.

The implication is that the UK government literally can’t afford for any of the Middle East monarchies to fall in an Arab Spring style revolution.

The author David Wearing is a left of centre leaning journalist with wonkish credentials. As with any author, you need to ask yourself about his agenda. He has managed to write a relatively accessible book.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Roland Files Trademarks For 303 & 808 Designs In Germany – Magnetic Magazine – interesting reading, in particular patenting designs so long after they were manufactured

Why Jeff Bezos Went to Medium With His Message | NYTimes – evidence that blogging isn’t dead and social media isn’t everything

Huawei Threatens Lawsuit Against Czech Republic After Security Warning | NYTimes.com – interesting that Huawei is trying to cow the government with legal force. Huawei’s interpretation of Chinese law seems to be different to legal experts

An Honest Take on the Hits and Misses of SIHH 2019 | SJX WatchesBaume et Mercier’s abandoning of the silicon hairsprings that made their debut in the Baumatic of 2018. The elimination of the silicon hairspring has lowered the retail price of the watch by about €250, but that’s notable for the reason behind the retreat. According to several insiders, Baume & Mercier, and by extension its parent Richemont, was kindly asked to stop using silicon hairsprings because the intellectual property for them belongs to a consortium led by Swiss micro-engineering institute CSEM, which is in turn backed by Rolex, the Swatch Group and Patek Philippe

Are Influencers Over? | The Daily | Gartner L2 – interesting read and contrasting approaches between Unilever and Diesel.

5 Asian Trends for 2019 – TrendWatchingAfter decades of economic growth, rising numbers of Asians are no longer primarily focused on pursuing material wealth. On the contrary, the pressures of progress are catching up: overwork, mental health issues, apathy, and more. In 2019, many Asians comfortable with their economic status


Meet the ‘godfather’ of China’s smartphone industry | SCMP – the founder of BBK which backs Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, RealMe etc

Cheatsheet: Snapchat is no longer adding more users (but it isn’t losing them, either) – Digiday – bots are loyal?

WSJ City | As US and Germany draw up trade barriers, Germany fights back – makes sense

WSJ City | Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts leaving company – makes sense. Apple’s move into true luxury pricing has shown to be a fallacy if one looks at consumer reaction to iPhone sales and laptop pricing. A number of people I know downgraded in the range rather than follow through on MacBook Pro purchases. Also the retail presence has felt like straightening deck chairs rather than moving forwards

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

I had to start with this short film ‘One Small Step’ I saw that’s right up there with Pixar in terms of its storytelling and craft.

I’ve been listening to this mix by Greg Wilson which contains his favourite edits and reworks from 2018

Cixin Liu’s short story The Wandering Earth has been adapted into a film that’s been released in China over the spring festival. The trailer looks immense but I don’t know if Liu’s work has been done justice through the film adaptation.