Issue 182

February 2014


  • Preposterous New Plastics

    Procter & Gamble's newly patented manufacturing process makes plastic packaging up to 75% thinner—potentially saving P&G up to $1 billion per year and keeping countless tons of waste out of landfills. The move follows similar thinning down by Poland Spring and Nivea. But other plastics makers are taking an even more radical turn.

  • How Kleenex Chases the Flu

    February is peak flu season, which means go time for Kleenex. But how can parent Kimberly-Clark beat out other brands for the snottiest customers? The preparation began late last year, with its web-based flu-prediction tool, Achoo, and a sharp rollout plan.

  • Mission: Design Defense

    Great design is more than just great looking. It's also valuable, and designers are increasingly turning to design patents to protect their wares from copycats.

  • Let It Snow?

    This year's Super Bowl in New Jersey will be only the fifth to be played in a cold-weather climate—and, if the Farmer's Almanac is right, the first of them to be played in snow. Are winter-weather brands extra eager to advertise?

  • Medals for the CEOs

    Few athletes from the 2014 Winter Olympics will have long careers in sports. But for some, the 16 days of athleticism is just a break from their entrepreneurism.

  • Office Superstitions, Revealed

    Knocking on wood—it works! (It helps you stop worrying about luck, thus improving focus, say researchers at UChicago's business school.) That may lead to more knocking on desks: A recent Fast Company survey found that 45% of respondents were most superstitious at work.

  • Corvette's Innovation Seedling

    After 10 years of research, Corvette is test-driving a "shape memory alloy" in its 2014 models. Shaped into a wire loop, the blend of nickel and titanium responds to heat and electricity and opens a vent in the car's trunk. But that's just the beginning...

  • Be The Best, Not The First

    This month marks the death of MyOpenID, a universal log-in service that started just before Facebook and Google launched similar things. Experts consider: Was this a case of bad timing?



From the Editor