Grenadier car project + other news

5 minutes estimated reading time


Ineos Projekt Grenadier: an old-school 4×4 off-roader for 2020 by CAR Magazine – interesting that they think there is a gap here. Chemical conglomerate Ineos, have the money to pull the Grenadier off.

Grenadier market?

The larger question is around whether there is a market for the Grenadier? While we think of Land Cruisers as luxury vehicles, you can still get a barebones one in markets like Australia, the Middle East and Africa. Mercedes still does a bare bones G-Wagen.

Grenadier costs

A mass production assembly line for the Grenadier including tooling would cost about £100 million or so, based on previous refits I have seen done at the Vauxhall car plant in Ellesmere Port.

That wouldn’t include an engine foundry. I would expect Grenadier to raid the parts bins of other manufacturers for things like engines. They will buy off the shelf transmissions from the likes of ZF or Magna PT, if they can’t raid a parts bin. The problem with raiding parts bins is that you are using products that are designed to be digitally integrated together now. Would companies like VDO be able to provide you with analogue instruments? Most modern cars aren’t unreliable because of cabin electronics, the problems are usually the underlying mechanics and control systems. Those electronics are put there to get the vehicles to ‘limbo’ under the tightening environmental standards and Grenadier will be no exception.

Overall development of the Grenadier may cost multiples of the price of the production line, including type approval across markets.


Publicis and WPP are takeover targets and Accenture ‘looks a credible buyer’, bank says – interesting hypothesis

T-Mobile and Sprint are in active talks about a merger | CNBC – Son-san and Legere could be an interesting and complementary mix

Consumer behaviour

Under The Surface: The Why of Chinese Consumer Behaviour | Holmes Report  – with a billion people and a fast-growing economy, those feelings of uncertainty are even more profound and widespread.   The true meaning of technology for Chinese users? The ability to feel in control in an era of anxiety.

Douglas Todd: Men do well in science and tech, but lag elsewhere | Montreal Gazette – the real reason more males complete STEM degrees, says Tabarrok, of George Mason University, is that, to put it too bluntly, “the only men who are good enough to get into university are men who are good at STEM. Women are good enough to go into non-STEM and STEM fields.”

The findings of Card, of the University of California, Berkeley, and Payne, of McMaster University, are consistent with wider concerns about the under-representation of men in higher education and in many sectors of the labour market, says Tabarrok.

“If we accept the results (of Card and Payne), the gender-industry gap is focused on the wrong thing. The real gender gap is that men are having trouble competing everywhere except in STEM,” says Tabarrok – the big question is the why? It also makes one wonder if the narrative of privilege has gone into reverse for some reason?


Sustainable development: China’s path out of poverty can never be repeated at scale by a country again — Quartz – interesting read. It puts the internet into perspective, shipping containers had more impact in China’s economic rise


Idle Words | Anatomy of a moral panic – worthwhile reading as it illustrates the current poor state of news reporting


Blade Runner 2049_: Inside the Dark Future of a Sequel 35 Years in the Making | WIRED – “Blade Runner changed the way the world looks and how we look at the world,” William Gibson says. It was one of the things which inspired me to move to Hong Kong


Really interesting hologram imagery created using the persistence of vision effect

Here’s another example of it from a Chinese company in Shenzhen thanks to Naomi Wu for the video. According to Naomi this is a Rainbo device.


​Facebook: news a pagamento entro il 2017, anche in Italia – Rai News – Facebook to trial paywalled content

China’s Booming Live Streaming Market Has Reached Its Zenith – Huajiao. Long answer: emoji-like “gifts” from the viewers that can later be cashed in for money. Chinese viewers are less enamored by mindlessly goofy check out my six pack vids (*cough* Logan Paul), and more interested in watching the mundanities of their favorite influencer’s everyday life — i.e. singing in the shower, driving, and… slurping soup? – There is a clear line between this and things like Korean ‘eating’ videos.

Influencer Marketing Effectiveness is Limited by Management! | PARKLU – not only China!

Uber Sues Mobile Agency Alleging Ad Fraud – WSJ – interesting implications around tracking showing weakness in Uber’s much vaunted data expertise?

Should Social Go Local? | The Daily | L2 – some nice assets


Twitter to test longer tweets – but only for European languages – Mumbrella Asia – to be honest it makes sense for languages like German and Finnish

The New York Times on Facebook

The First Web Apps: 5 Apps That Shaped the Internet as We Know It | Zapier blog – great lunch time read


DuckDuckGo: The Solopreneur That Is Beating Google at Its Game – The Four-Week MBA

Signal Has a Fix for Apps’ Contact-Leaking Problem | WIRED – I so hope they sort it

Distrustful U.S. allies force spy agency to back down in encryption fight  – academic and industry experts from countries including Germany, Japan and Israel worried that the U.S. electronic spy agency was pushing the new techniques not because they were good encryption tools, but because it knew how to break them.

The NSA has had to drop all but the most powerful versions of the techniques – those least likely to be vulnerable to possible hacks by the NSA


Unilever finds startups can replace some agency tasks – Digiday – marketing automation gone mad