Hello again

As you may have heard (or read), I am leaving Bloomberg. I’d like to try and explain why.

I never wrote a goodbye letter when I left Vox and The Verge. So maybe this can kill two big birds with one big stone. Although I am generally against the murder of animals.

First, some background.

You may not know this about me so I will tell you: I love building new things. I love looking at tough problems and figuring out a way to make them work. I love making something beautiful and useful and smart and engaging. I love the potential I see in news and media and modern storytelling and how that works on the web / mobile / apps / whatever — but I don’t often love what I see being done with it. And I get particularly bored and anxious when I feel like I’m not working towards making something more interesting than the last thing I made.

We made something unbelievable at The Verge from scratch, and built Vox into a new kind of beast in media — but there was still so much more that could be done. That I wanted to do.

A little over a year ago when I first talked to Justin Smith and Josh Tyrangiel about going to Bloomberg, I was skeptical. Why would I leave something I started and owned — which also happened to be hugely successful — to go to a behemoth of a corporation like Bloomberg? Why would I leave my friends and second family at Vox to start something new?

But little by little, I became convinced that something incredible was brewing at Bloomberg. I was already enamored with Businessweek and what Josh had done with that magazine as editor (you can be sure it came up in Verge meetings all the time). And their idea about Bloomberg was massive. The idea that you could harness the enormous and magnificent resources of the company on the media and news side was electric. Remember, this is a company with literally thousands of journalists in almost every corner of the world, a TV network, radio, multiple magazines… and more than just a little bit of money.

It was too huge, too crazy, and too interesting to say no to. So I said yes, and it was one of the best decisions of my life.

Fast forward twelve months, and so much of what I wanted to do at the company has come to pass. We accomplished ridiculous things in a tiny period of time.

Let this sink in a bit: we launched two completely new (award-winning, beautiful, inventive) websites and founded our first regional site (hi Europe!); hit new traffic records (like surpassing the WSJ for the first time); became the leader in business digital video (we grew audiences nearly 350% YoY); nearly doubled our social traffic (all time highs in every metric, a 358% increase in Facebook traffic YoY); PLUS we saw double digit revenue growth in digital.

But more important than revenue or numbers, the editorial work I had a chance to be a part of was some of the strongest and most interesting stuff anyone anywhere has been doing. Things like Paul Ford’s outrageously great What is Code, data viz storytelling like This Is How Fast America Changes Its Mind and our 2015 Weed Index, or our 80’s-drenched oral history of junk bond kings, a feature about mutant big game hunting in South Africa, the tale of a sad drill in Seattle, or, you know, this insane Paul Krugman thing. To say nothing of the killer photo essays we did for Pursuits, or the fantastic new video our team has been creating. The list goes on and on. We’ve been making a lot of cool shit.

But the last few months have been difficult for me. I started to feel a desire to go even further, beyond the shores of business-focused coverage (this is Bloomberg after all), into the broader, weirder, and nerdier side of my interests — something I knew might not be a perfect fit for that audience. I think launching a new podcast on my own (Tomorrow, for those of you who don’t know), was an attempt to scratch that itch. But that wasn’t enough: I wanted to do more and it was clear that it wasn’t going to be possible to do that work from inside the Bloomberg offices.

I love the people I have had a chance to work with and what we’ve made, but I also knew I had to move on.

And I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my industry.

The reality in media right now is that there is an enormous amount of noise. There are countless outlets (both old and new) vying for your attention, desperate not just to capture some audience, but all the audience. And in doing that, it feels like there’s a tremendous watering down of the quality and uniqueness of what is being made. Everything looks the same, reads the same, and seems to be competing for the same eyeballs. In both execution and content, I find myself increasingly frustrated with the rat race for maximum audience at any expense. It’s cynical and it’s cyclical — which makes for an exhausting and frankly boring experience.

I think people want something better, something more meaningful. Something a lot less noisy.

We made incredible and innovative things at The Verge and Vox Media, we made incredible and innovative things at Bloomberg, but I don’t think I got even close to what’s possible. I don’t think I’ve scratched the surface.

So, time to get to work.

Watch on


Even though women make up 51 percent of the U.S. population, only about 4 percent of movies are directed by women. Of the 220 TV shows, representing about 3500 total episodes, only 14 percent were directed by women. Bloomberg interviewed several female directors in Hollywood, from Oscar winners to the director of “Twilight” to explore the various forms of sexism and discrimination they have faced in Hollywood, and what they are trying to do to change things (Video by Dan Przygoda and Victoria Blackburne-Daniell.) (Source: Bloomberg)



Bloomberg Bombshell: ‘Climate Change Deniers Will Be Giant Money Losers’

A major new global financial report finds that investors who remain ignorant of or deny climate science will be big money losers compared to those who are climate-savvy.

bloomberg Business released this amazing infographic showing the real driver of climate change. It’s not volcanoes. Or planetary wobbling.

So what’s causing climate change? Greenhouse gases, like methane and carbon dioxide, which are released when we burn fossil fuels. In the above, you can see how greenhouse gases and observed changes in temperature averages over time pretty much track together.

See for yourself here.

How Salad Lunches are Killing American Leather

Bloomberg has an interesting story on the economics behind the leather trade, and how the decline of meat consumption is adversely affecting one American maker of leather shoelaces. An excerpt:

A typical steer weighs from 1,300 to 1,400 pounds. Its carcass yields about 850 pounds of meat, which sells wholesale for an average of $2,300, according to the U.S Department of Agriculture. The hide sells for about $100, making it a mere 4.3 percent of the value of the animal. (Dairy cattle hides cost a little less, but the meat-to-hide ratio is the same.) Leather in all its forms—the aspirational $10,000 Hermès bag, the $6,000 upgrade package in a Mercedes, the $120 New Balance sneaker—is the wrapper around what will become someone else’s Big Mac.

For thousands of years, this byproduct was vegetable-tanned: The skins would soak in natural tannins for several weeks until they pickled to the texture of what we think of as leather. There’s an equally long history of people using tanned leather for apparel, but until the Industrial Revolution, the material was used sparingly. As a rule, the only people clothed in hide were people surrounded by cattle. American Indians had a surfeit of bison and wore leather apparel for centuries. In Western society, leather didn’t go mainstream until after World War I, and it was only in the 1950s that “leather became much more available,” says Michelle Finamore, a curator of fashion arts at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

This was the result of America’s embrace of factory farming. By the mid-1970s, there were 140 million head of cattle in the U.S.—more than one cow for every woman in the country. Cattle totals began to decrease in the 1980s, as ranchers got better at making their cows fatter faster, and Americans started reevaluating red meat. In 1985 there were almost 110 million head of cattle, according to the USDA, and the average American ate 79 pounds of beef a year. By 2009 the cattle population had dropped 32 percent, and Americans consumed just 61 pounds of beef each. Every time you opt for a salad over a burger, the law of supply and demand works against Lisa Howlett.

You can read the rest here. 


Hyundai Heavy Industries

Employees work on a ship under construction in the dry dock at the Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea.

Hyundai Heavy Industries is the largest shipbuilding company in the world. They employ 26,000 people in production, including research & development and administration. 

Photographer SeongJoon Cho visited their 1,500-acre shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea, which stretches over four kilometers, according to the company’s website. Their products range from container ships to bulk carriers, submarines and destroyers.

Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP

What’s Really Warming the World?

Yesterday the good folks at Bloomberg Business brought a NASA study to life in a stunningly simply infographic: What’s really warming the world?

The graphic sums up an extensive study by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Institute. The study uses state-of-the-art climate models and global observational datasets to examine the influence of every factor that might be able to contribute to global temperature rise. They looked at the warming effects of aerosols, clouds, the sun, and other forcings and found that all of those would be cooling the world right now, while increased greenhouse gases almost perfectly explains the warming trend. The results are quite compelling.

Got that awkward relative that just won’t believe climate change is human-caused? Unsure yourself? Take a quick look.

- OB

Further Reading:
- The infographic:
- The original NASA study:
Editor Apologizes On-Air to ‘Republican Sources’ Who Warned Him of Obamacare Lie: ‘They Were Right’
Mark Halperin, Bloomberg Politics managing editor, apologized to his “Republican sources” on the air Monday, saying he took the White House at its word when officials claimed Jonathan Gruber played only a minor role in the crafting of Obamacare. His apology came on the heels of the release of...

Took the White House at its word???? lol


Robot Revolution                                                        

Robot hotels, robot villages, robot’s first day at work. Robots are big business in Japan.

Bloomberg photographers visited the country’s first “robot hotel” – the Henn na Hotel – which opened on last week in the Dutch-themed Huis Ten Bosch amusement park in Sasebo; Yaskawa Electric Corp.’s Robot Village complex in Kitakyushu, where the company manufactures industrial robots; and Pepper robot’s first day at work at a Mizuho Bank branch in Tokyo. 

At the opening of Japan’s Robot Revolution Initiative Council on May 15, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged companies to “spread the use of robotics from large-scale factories to every corner of our economy and society.” Backed by 200 companies and universities, the five-year, government-led push aims to deepen the use of intelligent machines in manufacturing, supply chains, construction, and health care, while expanding robotics sales from 600 billion yen ($4.9 billion) annually to 2.4 trillion yen by 2020.

Photographer: Akio Kon, Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP

Shannon R. Watts lashes out at CNN anchor for not politicizing killing spree

Shannon R. Watts lashes out at CNN anchor for not politicizing killing spree!/DLoesch/status/470711710358450176

This past weekend, CNN reporter Deborah Feyerick led a panel discussion about Elliot Rodger’s killing spree:

Here’s what Feyerick said:

“It’s got to be about mental health, and not firearms.”

Seems reasonable enough. After all, Rodger suffered from major mental health problems, and three of his six murder victims were stabbed, not shot. But…

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トヨタが首位陥落、ワーゲンに抜かれる-今年上期の世界販売 - Bloomberg
自動車の今年1-6月の世界販売台数で、 トヨタ自動車 が独フォルクスワーゲン( VW )を下回り、首位の座を明け渡した。