Category Archives: Design

Nordtrom’s $425 Fake Mud-Dirty Jeans


Nordstrom has recently made available for sale a $425 pair of jeans. Nordstrom Dirty Mud Jeans

These jeans are described as “Heavily distressed”.

Moreover, they embody the

rugged, Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty.

A clean looking equivalent in the same site would cost “only” $!88.

There has been outrage and scorn on twitter

On the other hand, you could argue that the outrage is misplaced and delayed. After all the more holes in a pair of jeans the more it costs.

Ripped Shredded Jeans Macy's

Freelance Websites – My top 3!

I have used freelance websites for services that helped me, broadly speaking, with branding.

For instance, mirikolonja1 on made a speed-drawing video of my logo

and Faye did a introduction to an article I wrote for Linkiesta on entrepreneurship.

Here are my top three freelancing websites, in increasing order of budget.

Gigs start at $5 each, freelancers are rated out of five stars. Fiverr is strongest for quick, low risk, relatively low added value jobs such as having a pixelated portrait of yourself.

If you are short of ideas on how to spend $5 then you can always try the bizarre section.

What are you good at?

You set the budget, freelancers are rated by employers and odesk administers an impressive variety of tests. Employers therefore have the ability to filter by tests such as English to Arabic translation, CS3, etc…

The image on the right shows the many ways in which you can filter freelancers.

(Odesk has recently merged with elance)

Finally, there is hourlynerd. This service is geared towards more sophisticated projects. The freelancers are said to be, or perform at MBA level.

The projects posted require more time, more analysis and more insight. For instance, reviewing clinical trials, reducing COGS, customer segmentation. See more here.

This means that the budgets range from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars.

The big question for economists is this: will these websites help reduce unemployment? Will they have a different impact on different job-seekers, favouring those with a minimum of skills and digital connectedness? Will it force employers to review full-time hiring and consider more freelance?

When “Productivity” Apps Hit a Wall

According to Wikipedia,

Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of production. Productivity is a ratio of what is produced to what is required to produce it.

Usually this ratio is in the form of an average, expressing the total output divided by the total input. Productivity is a measure of output from a production process, per unit of input.

As of today, there are 4 762 productivity apps available on iTunes for both ipad and iphone. I have downloaded a few of these including “pages” and “numbers”. The expectation was, that I would increase my output and efficiency of production by because I would be able to work in more places with my ipad than I would with a computer. In turn, this implied that I would carry my ipad to more place because it is lighter and generally speaking, more easy to transport, store and switch-on.

However, it became clear that these apps offer only theoretical productivity gains. I have used these apps a few times and then stopped.

The problem was not the apps themselves, the problem was the keyboard; I can deal with answering emails (if they are short) using the virtual keyboard on the ipad. But when you think of text-editing and productivity, it generally involves long sentences, moving around text or cells and extensive edits. All of this becomes prohibitive with an ipad keyboard and therefore always reverted to using my heavier but more user-friendly computer when it came to these activities.


Yet, the productivity apps have been resurected, at least as far as I am concerned due to a very low-tech event. I was offered an ipad case with a bluetooth keyboard. Though the keys are still a tad too close for fast typing I am comfortable writing the equivalent of a few pages without much frustration.

The key insight of this experience is that sometimes a given set of products or services rely on third-parties upon which they have no control. In this case, the apps themselves may be faultless in terms of features, stability and user experience but to express their full potential they need keyboard manufacturers to create a symbiotic eco-system.

Post Scriptum, the above article was written with the use of my new ipad keyboard.

Coffee with Mr. Jobs

When design meets taste!

Mr. Jobs’ computer have accompanied me since the Apple II come out. A few decades later, and here is the view at the Apple Covent Garden store in London a few hours before the expected release of the iPhone 5.