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Five Coolest Things in Business This Week: 17 August 2018

Business · 4 min read

5 Coolest things in business this week

A British bank has given the classic credit card a makeover, while a new podcast combines fashion and innovation. Here is our rundown of the five most exciting ideas coming out of the business world this week:

Driving innovation

Success in the fashion world is about more than simply looking good - it takes entrepreneurship, innovation and resilience. That is the idea behind Drive, a new podcast from the Business of Fashion, delivered by DHL. This week’s episode features Jose Neves, founder and chief executive of Farfetch. Neves launched the company as a self-funded startup in 2007, and today the popular e-commerce hub works with some 900 high-end boutiques to sell clothing in 190 countries around the world. More than once Farfetch’s funding struggles nearly brought about its demise, but hard work and a unique approach to fashion helped it persevere. Speaking on Drive, Neves discusses the ups and downs of startup life and the way he was able to make his company a major player in a global industry. Listen to Drive here on Discover.

Mastering the vertical

Since their earliest days, the basic look of a credit card has gone virtually unchanged. But the team behind Starling Bank’s new flashy piece of plastic is proof that even the most entrenched designs can do with an update. The UK outfit recently unveiled its vertical credit card, featuring only the bank name, Mastercard logo and chip on the front. Everything else - names and numbers most prominently - is on the back. The revamp is a simple but innovative response to the changing way people orient their cards - think chip readers and smartphone wallets. Just one look at Starling’s classy new design and it’s clear they are on to something. It begs the question: What other products are due for a makeover?

The mobile touch-up

With taking photos an increasingly smartphone-based endeavor, so too is editing them. The Jerusalem-based startup Lightricks has made waves with its Facetune app, which allows users to touch up selfies and make them more flattering. For just a small fee, those who purchase the app gain access to a whole range of photo editing tools. The software has proven hugely popular, and as the funding flowed in, Lightricks ambitions grew. The company this week announced it was launching a new office in London. The expansion is a sure sign that the business of looking better can be just as profitable in the virtual world. 

Cutting the cord

Up to this point, the major reason most TV viewers have been sticking to their cable contracts is live sports. That may be set to change, however, and the new broadcast deal between Facebook and Spain’s top flight football league is a good reason why. The social media giant, which boasts some 270 million users in India alone, signed an exclusive agreement this week to show La Liga games for free over the next three seasons in eight countries on the subcontinent. Similar deals already exist for other sports and leagues in the UK and US. Bringing India into the fold marks a huge shift in how sports leagues, and platforms such as Facebook and Amazon, will market their content to consumers. Consider this week’s deal good news for cord-cutters across the planet.

Try before you buy

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is setting up a demo center in Singapore to showcase new technologies for retail businesses. Visitors can trial developments designed to improve the customer experience – from payment by facial recognition to augmented reality in mirrors. Alibaba Cloud Services already serves more than 1 million customers worldwide and is looking to gain ground against its American competitors Google, Amazon, and Microsoft in the lucrative market of South East Asia. The demo center is slated to open next month and will join existing centers in Frankfurt and Kuala Lumpur.

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