DAVID EPSTEIN’S ‘RANGE’ Why It Pays to Be a Jack-of-All-Trades AWAY LUGGAGE AND BAGS In a world where you never know what to expect at an airport, smart luggage choices can be the difference between an easy flight and a nightmare. Overhead compartments get smaller all the time, you never know when you’ll be asked to check a bag, and who even knows what will and won’t make it through security these days? While luggage company Away doesn’t promise to solve all the indignities of air travel, they do offer excellent gear to make the process a little less painful. Founded in 2015, Away crafts stylish, functional suitcases and bags designed for the realities of travel in the 21st century. While they offer a number of totes and backpacks, it’s their hard-shelled suitcases that have garnered the most attention. Available in cheekily titled sizes like “The Carry-On” and “The Bigger Carry-On,” Away suitcases put traveler convenience front and center. With a durable exterior and TSA-approved lock, you’ll never need to worry about damage or theft should you have to check your bag. With 360-degree wheels, you’ll fly through the terminal. On top of those awesome features, you can opt for a model with an ejectable battery to charge your devices in a pinch no matter where you are — a lifesaver which doesn’t even cost extra. In fact, Away suitcases are surprisingly affordable. The largest model comes in under $300, with prices dropping from there. Oh, and they’re guaranteed for life. Is going to the airport ever going to be a joyous experience? Probably not. But with Away luggage, at least dealing with your bags won’t be part of the hassle. Stylish Gear for the Modern Traveler
Apple’s rise to dominance in the 2000s wasn’t based on having the most-advanced technology; it was based on creating designs that resonated with people. While a select few companies keep an industrial design team in-house, most opt to work with industrial design firms to help bring their ideas to life. Year after year, one firm has been behind an incredible number of innovative products: Ammunition. The firm was founded in 2007, and whether you know it or not, you’ve probably used a product they’ve worked on. Have you ever used those new-fangled cash-register interfaces powered by Square? Ammunition designed that. Noticed which car was your Lyft based on the light in the windshield? They were behind that, too. Admired your coworker’s fancy Ember coffee mug that keeps their drink warm all day? Your envy is the result of Ammunition’s eye- catching and practical design work. “Ammunition’s philosophy of design is to build very simple, meaningful things,” explains founder and partner Robert Brunner. “Our focus is on building simplicity from a usability and visual point of view, and yet not creating things that are homogeneous. We aim to create emotional characteristics that people will respond to. To do that, we take into account how the design of a product feels, looks, behaves, and captures the imagination.” Brunner believes design is a constantly evolving process, one that requires careful testing of an iteration before a product comes to market. “Most people focus on the product idea and concept stages and think that once you create the concept, the work is done,” he says. “In reality, that is a small amount of the work. The bigger task is bringing the idea to life and making it work. That is how you become design-driven.” In a world where product innovation is at an all-time high, quality design has never been more important. Design firms like Ammunition are helping bring products that improve our lives to market, earning accolades and new clients in the process. The Design Firm Behind Today’s Most Innovative Products AMMUNITION GROUP
Success, we are told, comes from the relentless pursuit of a solitary gold. We are bombarded with stories of people who knew what they wanted to do when they were a child and spent their life actualizing that dream. But is that really the surest way to success? David Epstein thinks not, and his new book, “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World,” seeks to prove it.
A former sports journalist, Epstein comes from a world where specialized narratives are the most prevalently told, if not the most common. He begins the book by comparing the career trajectories of Tiger Woods and Roger Federer — the former who was relentlessly dedicated to gold and the latter who had a more diverse upbringing. “The professed necessity of hyperspecialization,” he writes, “forms the core of a vast, successful, and sometimes well-meaning marketing machine, in sports and beyond. In reality, the Roger path to sports stardom is far more prevalent than the Tiger path.” Epstein goes on to tell stories from all arenas of life that demonstrate the value of being a generalist, citing studies and delivering pearls of wisdom along the way. Often, he withholds the name of the person he’s discussing until revealing it well into a chapter, making “Range” read with dramatic urgency you rarely find in a book of this type. That’s just one of its many values.
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