Freethink

An American Entrepreneur on the Importance of Chinese Manufacturing

Greg Shugar, founder of Tie Bar and Thread Experiment, discusses why his businesses wouldn’t have been possible without Chinese factories.

Mike Riggs December 1, 2016

Over the last few decades, China’s manufacturing sector has grown into a global economic behemoth, providing an easy path to market for American entrepreneurs and inexpensive goods for American consumers.

In an episode of Challengers, we profiled Flexport, the shipping logistics startup that is revolutionizing how we trade with countries like China. But we also wanted to talk to someone who sells the goods inside those shipping containers. So we reached out to Greg Shugar, co-founder of both Tie Bar (which Forbes recently called “the Warby Parker of men’s accessories”) and Thread Experiment, “the first ever brand of home bedding dedicated to men.”  

Way back in 2004, Shugar recognized the benefits of working directly with Chinese factories. Using Alibaba, he was able to start Tie Bar out of his Chicago basement and provide department-store-quality ties at thrift-store prices. In 2013, he sold a majority stake in the company to an equity firm for eight figures, and then turned around to launch Thread Experiment.

Shugar was kind enough to chat with me last week about how entrepreneurs can work with Chinese manufacturers.

Mike Riggs: I’ve spent the last two weeks reading everything I can get my eyes on about manufacturing in China. The biggest thing I’ve learned--and I’m sure this will make tech people roll their eyes--is that Alibaba is not just the Chinese version of Amazon.

Greg Shugar: Yeah, when I started my first company in 2004, Alibaba was this sort of business-to-business matchmaker between overseas factories and importers in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere. Over the years, Alibaba has morphed into a retail website as well. After that shift is when American media started covering it in a big way, which is why you think it's more of an Amazon marketplace. Because it is, but that's not how it started. And the business-to-business aspect still remains.

Mike Riggs: How did you know way back in 2004 that Alibaba’s manufacturing marketplace was the right way to get your products made? What caused you to think, “This is a safe bet?”

Greg Shugar: I had not heard of it in 2004, but I would say most people hadn't either. I found it just through Google searching. They used a grading system for factories, and it was based on things like quality of product, timing, communication, honesty, the factory conditions. They also went out and inspected these factories and graded them accordingly. And I just believed it.

Also, it's free, right? For us, it's free, for the factory it's not. So for free you can just email these people and start engaging in conversations, you can look at their website and talk to them online, or through messenger, or email, whatever. And then you can just go off your own human instincts to determine whether or not they're real.

Mike Riggs: I'm guessing that because you're an entrepreneur, you have a different way of approaching risk than someone like myself, who has always worked for other people.

Greg Shugar: Yeah, well, I mean that was my first venture. I was an attorney beforehand, and you might argue I was averse to risk, but good at measuring it. At the beginning of talking to a factory, you ask for samples. If they say, "Okay, I'm going to send it to you and it will arrive in three days," and it arrives in three days, that tells you something.

After some of these exchanges, I reached a point where I felt comfortable enough to place an order with the factory. I did it as a letter of credit and put the payment in escrow. Essentially you pay a little upfront and the balance gets delivered to the factory after they ship, so there's a few ways to hedge when you don't know who you're dealing with. But we found our first factory that way, which definitely made me a believer.

I use my instincts, like every entrepreneur. And you probably do a lot more of that than you realize, because you assess risks every day.

Today, I use my instincts, like every entrepreneur. And you probably do a lot more of that than you realize, because you assess risks every day. The tolerance level might be different, but we all have to take risks.

Mike Riggs: So you've been working with Chinese factories for 12 years. Are things smoother since you started in 2004? Is the process easier? Do you have more confidence in conducting relationships across that vast geographical and cultural gap?

Greg Shugar: I've been working with Chinese factories almost nonstop since 2004, and I also do consulting for other companies that want to work with Chinese factories. The process has definitely gotten more comfortable for me, and I always wonder if that’s because the Chinese have made it easier, or I've just gotten more experience. It's probably a combination of the two.

It's definitely easier to communicate. Apps that allow you to communicate for free internationally have made things much better. Skype and video conferencing were both huge.

The Chinese factories themselves, of course, have gained a lot more experience. If you were to visit China in 2004, versus today, you'd see an amazing improvements in many of these manufacturing towns. And they've certainly improved how they deal with American importers.

8733230123_b4e1ed1b45_k
Textile factory in Asia via ILO in Asia and the Pacific

As far as what the Chinese have gotten good at, it’s everything from communication to efficiency, and frankly the quality of manufacturing. These factories really understand the demand for American quality.

I remember in the old days telling my factory, "Hey, my customer returned a necktie because there was a pull in the thread," and I was basically told that they make hundreds of thousands of ties that ultimately get shipped to department stores, and so they never really heard from customers directly. The information would never be channeled back to the manufacturer.

Now they're starting to hear from all of these small importers who talk to their customers all the time. So when the products start to fall apart in some way, we have a ton of information. A lot of times we even have the product itself that we can share with the factory. Doing that helps improve their work and keeps them honest.

Mike Riggs: I've been thinking a lot about the “made in China” stereotype, and how silly it feels today. I don't know that I own anything that's not made in China, and I'm pretty happy with all the products in my life.

Greg Shugar: “Made in China” definitely has a negative stigma with some people. And for some products I would say it’s apt--Chinese products aren't as good. But Chinese manufacturers also don't profess to be good at making everything. They're not trying to replicate the European-handmade-fine-product model.

Chinese factories deal in enormous minimums and production schedules, so they prefer mass market. At the same time, they’ve gotten better at delivering value for those products, because consumers demand it. If you go to Macy's and buy a $20 shirt, you want that $20 shirt to fit, to not shrink on you, to not tear apart. As consumers have gotten more demanding, Chinese factories have done a better job of producing value at scale.

I never seem to understand why people automatically assume American manufacturing is better.

I've never worked with an American manufacturer, so I can't compare, but I never seem to understand why people automatically assume American manufacturing is better.

Mike Riggs: It's got to be some mix of fear and nationalism, right? That things made by us are better solely because we made them, while things not made by us are not only worse, but undermining domestic production.

Greg Shugar: American machinery isn't necessarily better. Our education on manufacturing isn't necessarily better. If it's patriotism or nationalism, fine, I can understand that. But I’ve had a handful of customers say, "If this were made in the U.S. it would be so much better." And I would always think to myself, why? The Chinese have mastered textiles manufacturing.

I’ve had a handful of customers say, "If this were made in the U.S. it would be so much better." And I would always think to myself, why? The Chinese have mastered textiles manufacturing.

Mike Riggs: Not only that, but being able to use Chinese manufacturers seems to be great for American entrepreneurs, many of whom wouldn’t be able to get their businesses off the ground if the only manufacturing options were domestic.

Greg Shugar:  [Then] President-elect Donald Trump threw out the idea of a 45 percent tariff. I want to say it was for steel, but that kind of thinking could destroy consumerism in the United States. Because either product pricing goes up considerably based on that tariff, or we move to the U.S. to manufacture stuff and pay higher costs for labor and supplies. Either way, consumer prices will be driven up.

8734344534_0cf4b1f611_k
Textile factory in Asia via ILO in Asia and the Pacific

And then there's the other part which is we don't even manufacture certain things here anymore. There are no necktie factories in the United States, no home bedding factories in the United States. If you were to put a 45 percent tariff on those goods, there's no factory in the U.S. for bedding and tie makers to turn to. So what would my bedding company do? I would move my stuff to India, where there is no tariff. And if we imposed a tariff on Indian imports, I'll move it to Bangladesh. I'll move it to the Philippines. And we'll end up in this crazy game of Whack-a-Mole. Because nobody's going to pay $50 for a t-shirt, but that may be the cost of it if we end up manufacturing everything we wear and own in the U.S.

Mike Riggs: If not more than $50! Somebody's got to pay for the costs of creating a textile industry from scratch.

Americans do not shop with their American flag. They shop with their wallets. That's what they shop with.

Greg Shugar: Correct. And listen, Americans do not shop with their American flag. They shop with their wallets. That's what they shop with.

Mike Riggs: Of course. If I've got rent to pay and mouths to feed and healthcare costs, I just want to get affordable clothes and electronics that work reasonably well for a reasonable amount of time.

Greg Shugar: Right. You only have so much extra money to use on that stuff. You can’t spend $50 on t-shirts.

Mike Riggs: Which is why I want Chinese manufacturing.

Switching gears, do you feel like American entrepreneurs are getting the hang of using Chinese manufacturers? Are people a little bit more comfortable with the idea of saying, "Hey, I've got a good product idea, I've done a good sketch, I think I could describe to somebody at a factory how to make it. I'm going to go do this”?

Greg Shugar: Definitely some people are, though many people aren't. But that creates opportunities for the first group. For example, when I had my tie business, I used to, in essence, work as the manufacturer for other entrepreneurs who wanted to start a tie business but were too afraid to deal with Chinese factories themselves. So I would basically deal with Chinese manufacturers on their behalf, and--of course--make money.

As a consultant, I can tell you I've got a client that is very reluctant to work with China, even with me holding his hand, and I have one who feels extremely comfortable and is ready to travel over there tomorrow and begin the process.

Mike Riggs: The evolution of Chinese manufacturers working with American entrepreneurs feels like a great example of the diplomatic potential of free trade. From what I’ve read about Chinese-American relations 50 or 60 years ago, the idea of an independent American entrepreneur hopping on a flight to China to tour a factory was probably inconceivable.

Greg Shugar: Yeah, it's great. I became friends with the general manager of the factory that makes Tie Bar ties. Even though I’ve sold that business, he and I still exchange Christmas cards, email each other, and text each other from time to time. We recently met up at an expo in Las Vegas and went out to dinner.

How cool is that? I have a friend in China. In rural China, not Shanghai or Hong Kong. I mean, this guy grew up in a much different universe than I did, and here we are having dinner together. I love it. I thought that was the neatest thing.

Mike Riggs: Are there any tips that you haven't shared that you're just burning to get out in the world?

Greg Shugar: The one thing I always tell people who are looking to manufacture goods in China is to find a trade show where the factories are exhibitors. It's a great way to get in front of 20, to a 100, or 500 factories at a time, feel their products, explain who you are, explain what you're trying to do. You just can't replace human contact.

The one I go to is Magic, which is the clothing trade show out in Las Vegas. It’s twice a year, and they have literally hundreds of exhibitors. You can sit down with them and go through everything you're looking for, talk about every single detail, talk about everything you're worried about. Then, once you have that personal connection and they fly back to China and you fly back to your community, you’ve got this real-life relationship to build on.

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*Homepage and feature image via ILO in Asia and the Pacific.*

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The World’s First Bionic Drummer
Jason Barnes lost his arm in a horrible accident. Then he became the fastest drummer in the world...
Linking Genes to Depression Could Revolutionize Treatment
Dispatches
Linking Genes to Depression Could Revolutionize Treatment
Linking Genes to Depression Could Revolutionize Treatment
Saying something is “genetic” used to be a fatalistic diagnosis. But with modern medicine, it could be the key to treatment.
For People in Prison, a Second Chance to Give Back
Sponsored
Episode 20180417
For People in Prison, a Second Chance to Give Back
68% of people released from prison return within three years. This program is changing that.
The Eternal Sunshine of the Stressed Out Mind
Dispatches
The Eternal Sunshine of the Stressed Out Mind
The Eternal Sunshine of the Stressed Out Mind
Researchers at Cambridge University have finally figured out how the brain stops stressful thoughts and memories from taking over our minds.
Researchers Want to Create A Traffic Cop for the Sky
Dispatches
Researchers Want to Create A Traffic Cop for the Sky
Researchers Want to Create A Traffic Cop for the Sky
A new kind of radar could direct drone traffic safely around city skies.
FDA Approves AI “Doctor” That Can See Disease in Your Eyes
Dispatches
FDA Approves AI “Doctor” That Can See Disease in Your Eyes
FDA Approves AI “Doctor” That Can See Disease in Your Eyes
How will artificial intelligence transform medicine?
23andMe Can (Finally) Tell You about Your Genetic Cancer Risk
Dispatches
23andMe Can (Finally) Tell You about Your Genetic Cancer…
23andMe Can (Finally) Tell You about Your Genetic Cancer Risk
23andMe has won the right to tell you what your genes say about you. It's a landmark legal achievement that could help usher in a new age of personalized medicine.
Tesla and Uber Fatalities Show the Limits of “Semi-Autonomous” Cars
Dispatches
Tesla and Uber Fatalities Show the Limits of…
Tesla and Uber Fatalities Show the Limits of “Semi-Autonomous” Cars
How can we make humans pay attention when a machine is doing our job for us?
A Prosthetic Memory Can Help You Remember
Dispatches
A Prosthetic Memory Can Help You Remember
A Prosthetic Memory Can Help You Remember
Scientists have figured out how to hack the brain's memory.
Self-driving Uber Fatality: Video Shows Tech Failure & Human Error
Dispatches
Self-driving Uber Fatality: Video Shows Tech Failure &…
Self-driving Uber Fatality: Video Shows Tech Failure & Human Error
The only way to make self-driving cars safer is to take the risk of more testing.
Having Your Views Challenged is a Good Thing
Crossing the Divide
Episode 7
Having Your Views Challenged is a Good Thing
When we encounter ideas we don’t like, we often shut them down. Professor John Inazu explains why that’s a bad thing and what we can do to fix it.
Could Growing Vaccines in Plants Save Lives?
Science
Episode 20180219
Could Growing Vaccines in Plants Save Lives?
Vaccines for influenza, polio, smallpox, even Ebola have all be grown … in plants.
The Homemade Internet Service
DIY Science
Episode 5
The Homemade Internet Service
We all get tired of our internet service. But what if instead of just restarting your router, you started your own internet service?
Treating Diabetes with a DIY Pancreas
DIY Science
Episode 4
Treating Diabetes with a DIY Pancreas
A group of coders created an open source, DIY pancreas to help people with diabetes manage their condition.
Electrifying Classic Cars
DIY Science
Episode 3
Electrifying Classic Cars
Starting with the classics, this unique shop is converting existing cars into all-electric road warriors.
The Conservative Radio Host Urging People to Break Out of Their Bubbles
Crossing the Divide
Episode 8
The Conservative Radio Host Urging People to Break Out of Their Bubbles
Charlie Sykes, a conservative radio host and author of "How the Right Lost Its ...
Can Coding Prevent Overdoses?
DIY Science
Episode 2
Can Coding Prevent Overdoses?
A group of teenagers in Baltimore have created an app that can notify the public about heroin overdoses and save countless lives
The Violinist Playing for Freedom in Venezuela
Change Agents
Episode 20180117
The Violinist Playing for Freedom in Venezuela
Venezuelan violinist Wuilly Arteaga has been beaten and arrested, but it hasn’t stopped him from using music to help bring freedom to his country
The Alzheimer's-Detecting Helmet
DIY Science
Episode 1
The Alzheimer's-Detecting Helmet
If we could detect Alzheimer’s earlier, we could treat it better. Two college students designed a device that may be able to do just that.
Freezing Bodies for the Future
On the Fringe
Episode 5
Freezing Bodies for the Future
Alcor CEO Max More knows most people don't believe cryonics will work. But More thinks we can't afford not to try.
The Robot Duck Helping Kids With Cancer
Sponsored
Episode 20180109
The Robot Duck Helping Kids With Cancer
Nation of Artists and Freethink are proud to partner with Aflac, Sproutel and Carol Cone ...
Growing Human Organs in Pigs
On the Fringe
Episode 4
Growing Human Organs in Pigs
Twenty people die every day in the U.S. waiting for an organ transplant. There ...
Can Snot Help Stop the Flu?
On the Fringe
Episode 3
Can Snot Help Stop the Flu?
The flu is a really tough target. The virus evolves far too fast to really ...
A Stranger's Poop Could Save Your Life
On the Fringe
Episode 2
A Stranger's Poop Could Save Your Life
💩 is pretty gross. We do everything we can to avoid it. But thanks to the bur...
Searching for Cures in a Sewer
On the Fringe
Episode 1
Searching for Cures in a Sewer
Yale researcher Ben Chan spends a lot of time doing what most people would avoid ...
Will Robots Take Our Jobs?
Wrong
Episode 5
Will Robots Take Our Jobs?
Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, fear of automation has been on the rise. ...
What Happened to the Beepocalypse?
Wrong
Episode 4
What Happened to the Beepocalypse?
In 2006 bees started disappearing. Beekeepers reported to losing up to 90% of their beehives. And no ...
Is Vitamin C a Total Sham
Wrong
Episode 3
Is Vitamin C a Total Sham
In the heart of cold and flu season, it's natural to reach for the Vitamin ...
Did Rats Start the Drug War?
Wrong
Episode 2
Did Rats Start the Drug War?
Much of our shared understanding about drugs and addiction came from a series of studies ...
Our Cyborg Future is Coming (And That’s Not a Bad Thing)
The Big Idea
Episode 20171113
Our Cyborg Future is Coming (And That’s Not a Bad Thing)
Hollywood loves to sensationalize merging the body with advanced tech. But will it really be so bad?
Did the Food Pyramid Make Us Fat?
Wrong
Episode 1
Did the Food Pyramid Make Us Fat?
To address rising health problems in the 1980s, scientists and policymakers developed the US Food ...
How AI Could Revolutionize Coffee
Coded
Episode 5
How AI Could Revolutionize Coffee
Could the blockchain be used to make fair trade goods live up to their promise?
This Research Team Wants to Hack Your Car
Coded
Episode 4
This Research Team Wants to Hack Your Car
What happens when an SUV going 75 miles-per-hour down a highway is hacked from a remote computer?
The Tattooed, Skater Principal Making Education Fun Again
Relentless
Episode 20171024
The Tattooed, Skater Principal Making Education Fun Again
The Tattooed, Skater Principal Making Education Fun Again
Hacker Wins Election As Pirate Party Leader
Coded
Episode 3
Hacker Wins Election As Pirate Party Leader
Iceland's Pirate Party is trying to use a hacker mindset to improve their country and the world.
Hacker Hero Arrested by FBI
Coded
Episode 2
Hacker Hero Arrested by FBI
Was MalwareTech just doing research to stop criminal activity or engaging in criminal activity himself?
The Lawyer Who Defends Anonymous
Coded
Episode 1
The Lawyer Who Defends Anonymous
Jay Leiderman isn’t your normal defense attorney. He’s committed his career to defending hack...
3-D Printing Prosthetics for Kids
Superhuman
Episode 1
3-D Printing Prosthetics for Kids
The incredible movement of shared designs and tech that’s making prosthetics better and cheaper for everyone.
Father Creates Bionic Organ for Son
Superhuman
Episode 5
Father Creates Bionic Organ for Son
A father’s quest to help his son with diabetes could change the lives of millions of people who suffer from the disease.
How Virtual Reality is Changing Medicine
On the Cusp
How Virtual Reality is Changing Medicine
How Virtual Reality is Changing Medicine
From virtual hearts to immersive battlefields, doctors and scientists are using virtual reality to transform medicine
Father Makes 3D Heart for Daughter
Superhuman
Episode 4
Father Makes 3D Heart for Daughter
When a father’s daughter was diagnosed with a heart disease, he set out to design an innovative 3D model of a heart that doctors could explore in virtual reality to save her life and thousands more.
Stem Cells Give Paralyzed Man Movement
Superhuman
Episode 3
Stem Cells Give Paralyzed Man Movement
Could an injection of embryonic stem cells into the spinal cord reverse paralysis?
Brain Implant Gives Quadriplegic Movement
Superhuman
Episode 2
Brain Implant Gives Quadriplegic Movement
A brain implant connected to electrodes could offer hope to those who have lost function in their limbs.
Could This Revolutionary Football Helmet Protect Players and Save the Game?
Science
Could This Revolutionary Football Helmet Protect Players…
Could This Revolutionary Football Helmet Protect Players and Save the Game?
As more and more former football players exhibit symptoms of CTE, one company thinks their new helmet can address the problem of player safety.
The Exotic Zoo Run by Prisoners
Prison Reform
Episode 20170731
The Exotic Zoo Run by Prisoners
Could zookeeping turn an inmate’s life around? Jeanne Selander who runs the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm thinks so.
The Real Mother of Dragons
On the Cusp
Episode 20170721
The Real Mother of Dragons
Meet the scientists using dragon blood to fight superbugs
Can an Algorithm Catch a Serial Killer?
Technology
Episode 20170710
Can an Algorithm Catch a Serial Killer?
A self-professed data nerd, Thomas Hargrove believes everything around us is following a mathematical formula...including murder.
Why Does This Cop Have a Million Instagram Followers?
Crossing the Divide
Why Does This Cop Have a Million Instagram Followers?
Why Does This Cop Have a Million Instagram Followers?
Officer Tommy Norman's work has drawn national attention recently, but his approach to policing is nothing new.
Making America Dinner Again
Crossing the Divide
Episode 6
Making America Dinner Again
What happens when you put people of all political persuasions together over dinner?
How to Negotiate the Nonnegotiable
Crossing the Divide
Episode 5
How to Negotiate the Nonnegotiable
Insights on working through conflict with Harvard's top negotiation expert.
A White Cop and Black Barber Team Up to Bring Peace to Their City
Crossing the Divide
Episode 2
A White Cop and Black Barber Team Up to Bring Peace to Their City
A local barber teams up with an officer to ease tensions in their community.
Can a Single Conversation Really Change Someone's Mind? This Research Says Yes.
Crossing the Divide
Can a Single Conversation Really Change Someone's Mind?…
Can a Single Conversation Really Change Someone's Mind? This Research Says Yes.
After studying a team of canvassers, two researchers found that a single conversation can have a significant and lasting impact on a person's opinion.
Maybe We Can All Get Along: 5 Reasons to Be Hopeful
Crossing the Divide
Maybe We Can All Get Along: 5 Reasons to Be Hopeful
Maybe We Can All Get Along: 5 Reasons to Be Hopeful
While the press tends to emphasize bad news, there are less covered stories of people from different backgrounds and beliefs coming together.
LGBT Rights: The Power of a Single Conversation
Crossing the Divide
Episode 3
LGBT Rights: The Power of a Single Conversation
Why a gay rights activist started a movement to talk to thousands who voted against gay marriage.
Where Muslims and Jews Worship Together
Crossing the Divide
Episode 4
Where Muslims and Jews Worship Together
When a Jewish community lost its place of worship, help came from an unexpected place.
Americans Are Divided. These People Are Doing Something About It.
Crossing the Divide
Americans Are Divided. These People Are Doing Something…
Americans Are Divided. These People Are Doing Something About It.
Amidst our most intense religious, political, and cultural conflicts, there are people around the country who are working tirelessly to forge connections
Crossing the Divide Trailer
Crossing the Divide
Trailer
Crossing the Divide Trailer
77% of people think the country is more divided than it’s ever been. We set out to meet the people trying to change that.
The Mom Who Will Stop at Nothing to Save Her Daughter's Life
Superhuman
Episode 20170512
The Mom Who Will Stop at Nothing to Save Her Daughter's Life
Doctors told Karen Aiach her daughter had a rare and fatal disease. So she decided ...
Afghanistan’s First Female Tech CEO
Technology
Episode 20170502
Afghanistan’s First Female Tech CEO
Despite getting death threats from the Taliban, Roya Mahboob realized her dream of a successful career in tech.
How Skate Punks are Ushering in a New Era of Freedom in Myanmar
Pop Revolution
How Skate Punks are Ushering in a New Era of Freedom in…
How Skate Punks are Ushering in a New Era of Freedom in Myanmar
For decades, Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by a repressive military junta. Then, in 2011, things began to change.
Nico Sell on Recruiting Hackers for Good
Coded
Nico Sell on Recruiting Hackers for Good
Nico Sell on Recruiting Hackers for Good
Why we should teach kids how to hack and encourage them to use their new-found talents for good.
Skatepunks of Myanmar
Pop Revolution
Episode 20170422
Skatepunks of Myanmar
Is the booming skating scene in Myanmar a sign of a more hopeful future for the once isolated country?
5 Fascinating Ways Humans are Adapting to Cities
Rise
5 Fascinating Ways Humans are Adapting to Cities
5 Fascinating Ways Humans are Adapting to Cities
There’s a global transformation happening - millions of people are migrating to cities from the countryside.
The Untold Story of Rio’s Largest Favela
Rise
The Untold Story of Rio’s Largest Favela
The Untold Story of Rio’s Largest Favela
Meet the proud, hopeful, ambitious people determined to build the life they’ve dreamed of.
The Hidden Side of "Slum" Life
Rise
Episode 20170413
The Hidden Side of "Slum" Life
Life in favelas, or slum cities in Brazil, are often portrayed as some of the ...
Teaser of The Hidden Side of “Slum” Life
Episode 20170412
Teaser of The Hidden Side of “Slum” Life
One of the most significant transformations in humankind is underway but largely going untold.
3 Times Our Brightest Minds Made Bad Predictions
Wrong
3 Times Our Brightest Minds Made Bad Predictions
3 Times Our Brightest Minds Made Bad Predictions
Some of the predictions might look outlandish now, but at the time they actually seemed quite plausible.
The Y2K Bug is Going to Bite!
Wrong
Episode 3
The Y2K Bug is Going to Bite!
Did we narrowly avoid the apocalypse because of some world-saving last minute de-bugging.
Beware the Frankenbabies!
Wrong
Episode 2
Beware the Frankenbabies!
Frightening predictions almost stopped the invention that has helped millions of families.
We’re All Gonna Starve!
Wrong
Episode 1
We’re All Gonna Starve!
A revolution in food production turned predictions of a population bomb into a worldwide boom.
How an Exiled Cryptographer is Protecting Journalists in His Native Ethiopia
Coded
Episode 7
How an Exiled Cryptographer is Protecting Journalists in His Native Ethiopia
An exiled blogger teaches journalists in his native Ethiopia how to avoid capture
Can This Robot Stop Violence at Traffic Stops?
Criminal Justice
Can This Robot Stop Violence at Traffic Stops?
Can This Robot Stop Violence at Traffic Stops?
A Duke robotics PhD student and his partner think they have a way ease tensions while deep-rooted differences are hashed out.
Meet the Artist and Activist Who Wants You to Erase Your DNA
Coded
Meet the Artist and Activist Who Wants You to Erase Your DNA
Meet the Artist and Activist Who Wants You to Erase Your DNA
Heather Dewey-Hagborg wants to make sure people understand the hidden secrets in the DNA they leave behind everywhere they go.
Erasing Your DNA
Coded
Episode 6
Erasing Your DNA
Is a spray that can mask your DNA the frontier of personal privacy or a tool for criminals?
From Multi-Millionaire Bitcoin Entrepreneur to Inmate and Back Again
Coded
From Multi-Millionaire Bitcoin Entrepreneur to Inmate and…
From Multi-Millionaire Bitcoin Entrepreneur to Inmate and Back Again
The story of how Charlie Shrem built his business as a Bitcoin pioneer, lost it all, and is now clawing his way back.
Disrupting Money
Coded
Episode 5
Disrupting Money
Can a bitcoin entrepreneur on house arrest convince the world it’s the currency of the future?
The App That Sniffs Out Censorship
The App That Sniffs Out Censorship
The App That Sniffs Out Censorship
Created by the Tor Project, the app gives internet users a new way to monitor and report online censorship around the world.
This Week in Ideas: Saying Goodbye to Lab Rats and Replacing Bees with Drones
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Saying Goodbye to Lab Rats and…
This Week in Ideas: Saying Goodbye to Lab Rats and Replacing Bees with Drones
Breakthrough could mean the end of test animals, violent crime nearly cut in half, and drones that pollinate flowers.
Nico Sell on Recruiting Hackers for Good
Coded
Episode 20170209
Nico Sell on Recruiting Hackers for Good
Nico Sell, founder and chairman of the Wickr Foundation, on teaching kids how to hack and encouraging them to use their new-found talents for good.
Nico Sell Thinks Hackers Can Be a Force for Good
Coded
Nico Sell Thinks Hackers Can Be a Force for Good
Nico Sell Thinks Hackers Can Be a Force for Good
After criminals hijacked the term, Sell is on a mission to change our perception of hackers.
Hacking the Future
Coded
Episode 4
Hacking the Future
How do we make sure the next generation of hackers uses their talents for good?
This Week in Ideas: Building a Cheaper MRI, Reconciling God and AI, and The Next Einstein
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Building a Cheaper MRI, Reconciling God…
This Week in Ideas: Building a Cheaper MRI, Reconciling God and AI, and The Next Einstein
Rethinking the MRI machine, how will Christianity handle advanced tech, and is this 7-year-old the next Einstein?
Meet the Digital Bodyguard for Investigative Journalists
Coded
Meet the Digital Bodyguard for Investigative Journalists
Meet the Digital Bodyguard for Investigative Journalists
Smári McCarthy discusses his job protecting the work of journalists investigating organized crime and corruption
It’s Time for Regular Americans to Think Differently About Cybersecurity
Coded
It’s Time for Regular Americans to Think Differently About C…
It’s Time for Regular Americans to Think Differently About Cybersecurity
If huge companies and government agencies can't manage the cyber threats, how can ordinary Americans?
The Hackers Exposing Government-Wide Crime and Corruption
Coded
The Hackers Exposing Government-Wide Crime and Corruption
The Hackers Exposing Government-Wide Crime and Corruption
Displaying the power of unique technological abilities combined with dogged investigative journalism
The People’s NSA
Coded
Episode 3
The People’s NSA
Hackers and journalists team up to expose crime and corruption around the world
This Week in Ideas: Embryonic People-Pigs, the Glories of the Hubble Telescope, and American Cyber-Security
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Embryonic People-Pigs, the Glories of…
This Week in Ideas: Embryonic People-Pigs, the Glories of the Hubble Telescope, and American Cyber-Security
A step toward human organs in animal embryos, the Hubble Telescope was a game changer, and Americans aren't doing much to protect themselves online.
The Evolution of a Dissident: How Ladar Levison Became Someone Who Said "No" to the FBI
Coded
The Evolution of a Dissident: How Ladar Levison Became…
The Evolution of a Dissident: How Ladar Levison Became Someone Who Said "No" to the FBI
For Ladar Levison, founder of secure email service Lavabit, everything changed when the two FBI agents showed up at his door.
What We Mean When We Talk About Hacking
Coded
What We Mean When We Talk About Hacking
What We Mean When We Talk About Hacking
We've all heard it before: "I was hacked!" But that can mean a lot of things. We take a look at some of the big ones.
Meet the Programmer Who Defied the FBI
Coded
Meet the Programmer Who Defied the FBI
Meet the Programmer Who Defied the FBI
Ladar Levison spent 10 years building his business, then destroyed it all in one night when the FBI came knocking.
The Unhackable Email Service
Coded
Episode 2
The Unhackable Email Service
Edward Snowden’s email service of choice wants to make mass surveillance obsolete.
This Week in Ideas: How to Form Good Habits, the Case Against Empathy, and a Miracle Cure Derailed
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: How to Form Good Habits, the Case…
This Week in Ideas: How to Form Good Habits, the Case Against Empathy, and a Miracle Cure Derailed
From how to make good habits (and keep them) to a crisis at the NIH, it's a new edition of our week in ideas.
WATCH: Trailer for Our New Show, Coded
Coded
WATCH: Trailer for Our New Show, Coded
WATCH: Trailer for Our New Show, Coded
Meet the programmers on the frontlines of the war over security and privacy.
Coded Trailer
Coded
Trailer
Coded Trailer
Meet the programmers on the frontlines of the war over security and privacy.
Let's Talk About Failure
Challengers
Let's Talk About Failure
Let's Talk About Failure
Are we fetishizing failure? What are the costs of failing? How do we bounce back after it inevitably happens?
What Can We Learn From an Entrepreneur Whose Business Failed?
Challengers
What Can We Learn From an Entrepreneur Whose Business…
What Can We Learn From an Entrepreneur Whose Business Failed?
Luke Kenworthy put everything he had into making his business work. But it didn't pan out. Now he's sharing what he learned through it all.
Failure is Inevitable, But It Doesn't Have to Ruin Your Life
Challengers
Failure is Inevitable, But It Doesn't Have to Ruin Your Life
Failure is Inevitable, But It Doesn't Have to Ruin Your Life
Why learning to suck at something is the only way to get good at it.
This Week in Ideas: Good Things That Happened in 2016
Culture
This Week in Ideas: Good Things That Happened in 2016
This Week in Ideas: Good Things That Happened in 2016
Despite 2016 being widely panned, there were also truly good things that happened over the past year. Here are some of the big ones.
Four Crazy Uses for Virtual Reality (That Aren't Video Games)
Challengers
Four Crazy Uses for Virtual Reality (That Aren't Video…
Four Crazy Uses for Virtual Reality (That Aren't Video Games)
We’re now starting to scratch the surface of the true potential of virtual reality.
Five Insights: Linc Gasking On What Every Startup Should Be Shooting For
Challengers
Five Insights: Linc Gasking On What Every Startup Should Be…
Five Insights: Linc Gasking On What Every Startup Should Be Shooting For
Linc Gasking, co-founder of VR startup 8i, discusses the day-to-day grind and big picture excitement of being an entrepreneur.
Meet the Startup Creating Incredible Virtual Realities
Challengers
Meet the Startup Creating Incredible Virtual Realities
Meet the Startup Creating Incredible Virtual Realities
8i takes video and converts it into virtual realities that are nearly indistinguishable from real life.
How VR Could Change Your Life
Challengers
Episode 5
How VR Could Change Your Life
Virtual reality could alter the human experience forever.
Five Insights: Ryan Petersen on Tackling Problems That Feel Too Big to Fix
Challengers
Five Insights: Ryan Petersen on Tackling Problems That Feel…
Five Insights: Ryan Petersen on Tackling Problems That Feel Too Big to Fix
Flexport's founder discusses the personal and business side of building an ambitious startup.
This Week in Ideas: Why D.A.R.E. Didn't Work, the Future of Cities, and is Love Actually Actually Good?
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Why D.A.R.E. Didn't Work, the Future of…
This Week in Ideas: Why D.A.R.E. Didn't Work, the Future of Cities, and is Love Actually Actually Good?
Our weekly take on the best stuff from around the web.
Five Insights from AltSchool Founder and CEO, Max Ventilla
Challengers
Five Insights from AltSchool Founder and CEO, Max Ventilla
Five Insights from AltSchool Founder and CEO, Max Ventilla
Max Ventilla on why he thinks its time for a new way to educate kids and how his startup could be a way to do it.
Can This Startup Build the School System of the Future?
Challengers
Can This Startup Build the School System of the Future?
Can This Startup Build the School System of the Future?
AltSchool wants to build a new school system based on a highly personalized education model that any school could join.
Building a Better School System
Challengers
Episode 4
Building a Better School System
A highly-personalized experience could be the foundation for the future of education.
Dr. Leslie Dewan on the Future of Nuclear Energy
Challengers
Dr. Leslie Dewan on the Future of Nuclear Energy
Dr. Leslie Dewan on the Future of Nuclear Energy
We dive into the viability and future of nuclear energy in the U.S. and around the world with Leslie Dewan, CEO of nuclear power startup Transatomic.
Four Crazy Ideas From the Golden Age of Nuclear
Challengers
Four Crazy Ideas From the Golden Age of Nuclear
Four Crazy Ideas From the Golden Age of Nuclear
For a couple decades people thought nuclear power was the answer to pretty much everything. And they came up with some ideas we’ll generously call visionary.
Three Reasons We Don't Have More Nuclear Power in the U.S.
Challengers
Three Reasons We Don't Have More Nuclear Power in the U.S.
Three Reasons We Don't Have More Nuclear Power in the U.S.
Many think of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island when they hear nuclear power. But nuclear's struggle to gain a foothold in the U.S. is more nuanced than isolated safety problems.
Can This Startup Power the World With Nuclear?
Challengers
Can This Startup Power the World With Nuclear?
Can This Startup Power the World With Nuclear?
Leslie Dewan and her team at Transatomic believe they've figured out a safe, scalable, cost-effective way to power the world with nuclear.
Leslie Dewan on Learning from Failure
Challengers
Episode 20161213
Leslie Dewan on Learning from Failure
Dr. Leslie Dewan, CEO of nuclear power startup Transatomic, discusses the importance of entrepreneurs' ability ...
Powering the World With Nuclear
Challengers
Episode 3
Powering the World With Nuclear
Transatomic believes they've figured out a safe, scalable, cost-effective way to power the world with nuclear.
This Week in Ideas: The End of Checkout Lines, Photoshopping Your Voice, and a New Way to Pay for a Ride
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: The End of Checkout Lines,…
This Week in Ideas: The End of Checkout Lines, Photoshopping Your Voice, and a New Way to Pay for a Ride
Amazon's new grocery store, Adobe's new tech can make you say anything, and pay for the bus by watching an ad.
You Should Start Learning About Artificial Intelligence. Here's How.
Challengers
You Should Start Learning About Artificial Intelligence.…
You Should Start Learning About Artificial Intelligence. Here's How.
There are a lot of different levels of artificial intelligence being applied in a lot of different ways. Here's a primer for starting to wrap your head around it all.
Five Insights: Scott Phoenix on Creating AI and Building a Company Around a Crazy Idea
Challengers
Five Insights: Scott Phoenix on Creating AI and Building a…
Five Insights: Scott Phoenix on Creating AI and Building a Company Around a Crazy Idea
Scott Phoenix, founder of Vicarious, shares insights on the development of artificial intelligence and why this is a great time to be alive.
Meet the Startup Developing Human-Level Artificial Intelligence
Challengers
Meet the Startup Developing Human-Level Artificial…
Meet the Startup Developing Human-Level Artificial Intelligence
The story of Vicarious' mission to build the world's first human-level artificial intelligence and use it to help humanity thrive.
Can AI Solve Our Biggest Problems?
Challengers
Episode 2
Can AI Solve Our Biggest Problems?
Vicarious believes smart machines could solve virtually every problem humans can’t.
This Week in Ideas: Fighting Addiction With Implants, Using VR to Educate, Amazon Prime Gets Primer
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Fighting Addiction With Implants, Using…
This Week in Ideas: Fighting Addiction With Implants, Using VR to Educate, Amazon Prime Gets Primer
An arm implant to treat opioid addiction, teaching hair stylists with VR, and a potential Amazon Prime game changer.
This Startup Wants to Make Everything You Buy Cheaper
Challengers
This Startup Wants to Make Everything You Buy Cheaper
This Startup Wants to Make Everything You Buy Cheaper
Flexport's app is built to make global trade easier. If they're successful, it could mean everything you buy will cost less.
An App for Global Trade
Challengers
Episode 1
An App for Global Trade
Flexport thinks bringing trade into the 21st century could improve lives around the globe.
This is The New Space Race
The New Space Race
This is The New Space Race
This is The New Space Race
It’s been 44 years since a human stepped on the moon, and a new generation of entrepreneurs is laying the groundwork for us to go back.
Challengers Trailer
Challengers
Trailer
Challengers Trailer
Fast Company presents a Freethink original series about entrepreneurs building companies that could transform entire industries and change the world.
This is Our Superhuman Future
This is Our Superhuman Future
This is Our Superhuman Future
With Thanksgiving winding down, take some time to join us on a journey to the frontier of medical technology.
Meet the Entrepreneurs Disrupting Industries and Changing the World
Challengers
Meet the Entrepreneurs Disrupting Industries and Changing…
Meet the Entrepreneurs Disrupting Industries and Changing the World
Fast Company and Freethink bring you powerful stories of a new generation of entrepreneurs.
This Week in Ideas: Unveiling Google Earth VR, China Goes All in on CRISPR, Cuba's Cancer Vaccine
Culture
This Week in Ideas: Unveiling Google Earth VR, China Goes…
This Week in Ideas: Unveiling Google Earth VR, China Goes All in on CRISPR, Cuba's Cancer Vaccine
Google releases some beautiful VR, human trials of gene-editing technology CRISPR, and importing Cuba's cancer vaccine.
What We Need Right Now Is a Little Bit of Hans Rosling
Culture
What We Need Right Now Is a Little Bit of Hans Rosling
What We Need Right Now Is a Little Bit of Hans Rosling
The Swedish public health researcher says that, contrary to most of what you hear, the world is actually moving in the right direction.
This Week in Ideas: A $1 Microscope, Healing Our Divisions, Planet Earth is Back
Culture
This Week in Ideas: A $1 Microscope, Healing Our Divisions,…
This Week in Ideas: A $1 Microscope, Healing Our Divisions, Planet Earth is Back
Democratizing microscopes, how we heal our political divisions, and BBC's Planet Earth returns. These are our favorite stories of the week.
Why the U.S. Government Treated Satellites and Machine Guns as the Same for 15 Years
The New Space Race
Why the U.S. Government Treated Satellites and Machine Guns…
Why the U.S. Government Treated Satellites and Machine Guns as the Same for 15 Years
Regulations forced companies that planned to sell satellites to other countries to register, in effect, as arms dealers.
How Do We Respond to Crimes in Space?
New Space Race
How Do We Respond to Crimes in Space?
How Do We Respond to Crimes in Space?
As talk of space colonization heats up, is it time to have a serious conversation about conflict resolution in a place where few rules or laws exist?
Preparing the First Space Colonizers for Life Off of Planet Earth
The New Space Race
Preparing the First Space Colonizers for Life Off of Planet…
Preparing the First Space Colonizers for Life Off of Planet Earth
It’s only a matter of time until the average person can explore space. But, will the average person be ready?
Preparing for Outer Space
The New Space Race
Episode 5
Preparing for Outer Space
As the tech side of space travel advances, an annual gathering focuses on life off of planet earth.
The Four Weirdest Things We've Sent to Space
Science
The Four Weirdest Things We've Sent to Space
The Four Weirdest Things We've Sent to Space
We take a look at a few of the not-so-obviously-bizarre things we've launched beyond the earth's atmosphere.
How a Sci-Fi Enthusiast Decided to Memorialize His Best Friend
Culture
How a Sci-Fi Enthusiast Decided to Memorialize His Best…
How a Sci-Fi Enthusiast Decided to Memorialize His Best Friend
The story of how one man gave his space-loving best friend a final resting place in the final frontier.
Who Owns the Moon?
The New Space Race
Who Owns the Moon?
Who Owns the Moon?
Throughout history, different organizations, governments, and even individuals have attempted to establish rules for, and ownership of, outer space.
Can This Startup Give Everyone Access to the Moon?
The New Space Race
Can This Startup Give Everyone Access to the Moon?
Can This Startup Give Everyone Access to the Moon?
With advanced navigational technology, Astrobotic wants to provide a routine, affordable, and accurate delivery service to the moon.
This Week in Ideas: Beer That Delivers Itself, Chatbots From Beyond, and How to Set a Very Strange World Record
Culture
This Week in Ideas: Beer That Delivers Itself, Chatbots…
This Week in Ideas: Beer That Delivers Itself, Chatbots From Beyond, and How to Set a Very Strange World Record
Uber's self-driving beer truck, how a chatbot can help the grieving process, and more of our favorite stories from the week.
Why Don't We Believe Extreme Weather Forecasts?
Science
Why Don't We Believe Extreme Weather Forecasts?
Why Don't We Believe Extreme Weather Forecasts?
Research shows people don't take extreme weather predictions seriously. And don't take the necessary precautions as a result.
The Market for Tiny Satellites Is Going to Be Huge
The New Space Race
The Market for Tiny Satellites Is Going to Be Huge
The Market for Tiny Satellites Is Going to Be Huge
Fleets of small satellites can gather far more accurate and timely data than conventional satellites. And investors are taking notice.
The Startup That May Be On the Cusp of Revolutionizing the Satellite Industry
The New Space Race
The Startup That May Be On the Cusp of Revolutionizing the…
The Startup That May Be On the Cusp of Revolutionizing the Satellite Industry
Spire's satellites fit in the palm of your hand, cost a fraction of their predecessors, and transmit more data than several behemoth satellites combined.
Tiny Satellites With a Huge Impact
The New Space Race
Episode 4
Tiny Satellites With a Huge Impact
Many satellites are nearing the end of their life. This is what could be next.
This Week in Ideas: Using Drones for Medicine, Fighting Zika, Re-Imagining Passwords
This Week in Ideas: Using Drones for Medicine, Fighting…
This Week in Ideas: Using Drones for Medicine, Fighting Zika, Re-Imagining Passwords
Reimagining how we get medicine to people, using genetically modified mosquitoes to fight Zika, and selfies as passwords. These are the stories that got us talking.
Here's What Happens to the Human Body in Outer Space
The New Space Race
Here's What Happens to the Human Body in Outer Space
Here's What Happens to the Human Body in Outer Space
As the idea of colonizing space becomes mainstream, it’s important to keep in mind that traveling in outer space does some crazy stuff to our bodies.
What Happens When Stuff Breaks in Space?
The New Space Race
What Happens When Stuff Breaks in Space?
What Happens When Stuff Breaks in Space?
Despite rigorous prep, astronauts often have to improvise when things go wrong in space. And a lot more duct tape is involved than you may expect.
Why This Startup Believes 3D Printing in Space Will Be a Game Changer
The New Space Race
Why This Startup Believes 3D Printing in Space Will Be a…
Why This Startup Believes 3D Printing in Space Will Be a Game Changer
Sending things into space is really expensive. But what if we didn't have to? What if everything in space was made in space?
Can We Make It In Space?
The New Space Race
Episode 2
Can We Make It In Space?
What if one day, everything in space was made in space? 3D printing may hold the answer.
What a Controversial Asteroid Mission Tells Us About U.S. Space Policy
The New Space Race
What a Controversial Asteroid Mission Tells Us About U.S.…
What a Controversial Asteroid Mission Tells Us About U.S. Space Policy
Billions spent on projects of questionable benefit - like the plan to capture an asteroid - raises the question: Should NASA take a back seat in the 21st century space race?
Where Did the Commercial Space Sector Come From?
The New Space Race
Where Did the Commercial Space Sector Come From?
Where Did the Commercial Space Sector Come From?
Private companies have worked with NASA for decades. Can the next generation of space companies get by without the government as their biggest customer?
Can XCOR Build the World's First Airline for Space?
The New Space Race
Can XCOR Build the World's First Airline for Space?
Can XCOR Build the World's First Airline for Space?
Out of a small hangar in the Mojave Desert, XCOR is developing a rocket ship designed to fly to space four times a day, five days a week.
This Week in Ideas: Rockets in Flight, Poverty in Decline, and Explaining the Unexplainable
Culture
This Week in Ideas: Rockets in Flight, Poverty in Decline,…
This Week in Ideas: Rockets in Flight, Poverty in Decline, and Explaining the Unexplainable
A step forward for space tourism, extreme poverty could be on its way out, and illustrating advanced tech. These are our favorite stories of the week.
The New Space Race is Here
The New Space Race
The New Space Race is Here
The New Space Race is Here
Our new show will introduce you to the people and the technology that could make humans a multi-planetary species in the coming century.
The Fake Disease That Saved Rome's Jews
Culture
The Fake Disease That Saved Rome's Jews
The Fake Disease That Saved Rome's Jews
Dr. Giovanni Borromeo dreamed up a brilliant scheme that saved dozens of Jewish families in Rome from Nazi persecution.
A Delivery Service for the Moon
The New Space Race
Episode 3
A Delivery Service for the Moon
This startup wants to offer the world insanely accurate shipping to the moon.
Four Flights a Day. Five Days a Week.
The New Space Race
Episode 1
Four Flights a Day. Five Days a Week.
At XCOR, the dream of taking regular commercial flights to space is alive and well.
New Space Race Trailer
The New Space Race
Trailer
New Space Race Trailer
Meet the next generation of explorers taking us higher and farther than ever before.
This Week In Ideas: An Artificial Pancreas, Google's New Translation Tech, and a Massive Mars Rocket
This Week In Ideas: An Artificial Pancreas, Google's New…
This Week In Ideas: An Artificial Pancreas, Google's New Translation Tech, and a Massive Mars Rocket
An incredible medical breakthrough, Google ups the ante, and the SpaceX Mars rocket. These are our favorite stories of the week.
What to Expect In a Post-Meat Future
Science
What to Expect In a Post-Meat Future
What to Expect In a Post-Meat Future
From advanced plant-based meat alternatives to real meat grown in a lab, the days of eating meat from once-living animals could be numbered.
Could Ugly Produce Change the World?
Change Agents
Episode 20160928
Could Ugly Produce Change the World?
Meet the startup that wants to sell you ugly fruits and veggies
Elon Musk Explains the Economics of Getting to Mars
Culture
Elon Musk Explains the Economics of Getting to Mars
Elon Musk Explains the Economics of Getting to Mars
The SpaceX founder gave a rousing presentation on his company’s long-term plan for getting to Mars and establishing a civilization there.
This week in ideas: How VR changes our dreams, a stem cell miracle, and the shoes of the future
This week in ideas: How VR changes our dreams, a stem cell…
This week in ideas: How VR changes our dreams, a stem cell miracle, and the shoes of the future
Virtual reality users experience more lucid dreams, a paralyzed man gets movement back, and self-lacing shoes. These are our favorite stories this week.
This Computer Can Write 2,000 Snarky Articles Per Second
This Computer Can Write 2,000 Snarky Articles Per Second
This Computer Can Write 2,000 Snarky Articles Per Second
What does it mean for the future of journalism when a computer can turn mounds of data into a cohesive narrative?
This Army Sergeant Started a 24-Hour Hotline For Service Members with PTSD
Culture
This Army Sergeant Started a 24-Hour Hotline For Service…
This Army Sergeant Started a 24-Hour Hotline For Service Members with PTSD
First Sgt. Landon Jackson battled with severe PTSD and turned his experience into a 24 hour hotline that gives service members an outlet whenever they need it.
Self-Driving Cars are Finally Here. Sort Of.
Self-Driving Cars are Finally Here. Sort Of.
Self-Driving Cars are Finally Here. Sort Of.
Uber rolled out self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, but they're not totally autonomous. Yet. Under Pennsylvania law, every car still needs an operator.
Meet the Wounded Veteran Using Bionics to Take Back His Independence
Superhuman
Meet the Wounded Veteran Using Bionics to Take Back His…
Meet the Wounded Veteran Using Bionics to Take Back His Independence
Jerral lost his left arm in Iraq. Now he's working with a team from Johns Hopkins to test a prosthetic arm that works by reading signals in his skin.
Gaining Independence with the World's Most Advanced Prosthetic Arm
Superhuman
Episode 6
Gaining Independence with the World's Most Advanced Prosthetic Arm
Jerral was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq and left paralyzed. Now he's partnering with researchers to regain his independence. »
This Week in Ideas: Reasons to Feel Good About Humanity
Culture
This Week in Ideas: Reasons to Feel Good About Humanity
This Week in Ideas: Reasons to Feel Good About Humanity
A paralyzed woman runs a half marathon in an exoskeleton, Sri Lanka defeats malaria, incomes are rising. Here's some good news since most of what we hear is just the bad.
A Regulatory Fight Is Brewing Over Experimental Stem Cell Therapies
Science
A Regulatory Fight Is Brewing Over Experimental Stem Cell…
A Regulatory Fight Is Brewing Over Experimental Stem Cell Therapies
New proposed regulations from the FDA would effectively shut down private stem cell clinics in the U.S.
The Future of Sports and Human Performance
Science
The Future of Sports and Human Performance
The Future of Sports and Human Performance
Unpacking the science behind human performance with The Sports Gene author David Epstein
The Experimental Procedure That Can Reverse Blindness
Superhuman
The Experimental Procedure That Can Reverse Blindness
The Experimental Procedure That Can Reverse Blindness
Doctors told Vanna she was permanently blind. But thanks to an experimental procedure, she can see.
Reversing Blindness
Superhuman
Episode 5
Reversing Blindness
Vanna was legally blind. Now she can see. Hear her inspiring story and meet the amazing doctors who gave her back her sight.
Can Tech Giants Get Ahead of A.I.?
Can Tech Giants Get Ahead of A.I.?
Can Tech Giants Get Ahead of A.I.?
Companies gather to discuss impact of A.I. A possible neural lace breakthrough. And unmanned cargo ships. This is the coolest stuff we've read this week.
How Do We Scale Bionic Technology?
How Do We Scale Bionic Technology?
How Do We Scale Bionic Technology?
Right now, assistive bionic technology is really cool and really expensive. This is how it will get better and cheaper.
What to Expect at the First Cyborg Olympics
What to Expect at the First Cyborg Olympics
What to Expect at the First Cyborg Olympics
The event will seek to answer one of the most interesting technology questions of the early 21st century: How close are we to integrating humans with machines?
Could Your Brain Regenerate Like Skin?
Science
Could Your Brain Regenerate Like Skin?
Could Your Brain Regenerate Like Skin?
Brain regeneration used to be considered a medical fantasy. But research shows that fantasy could eventually become a reality.
Meet the Paralyzed Man Who Can Walk Again
Superhuman
Meet the Paralyzed Man Who Can Walk Again
Meet the Paralyzed Man Who Can Walk Again
Robert is paralyzed from the chest down. But now a robotic exoskeleton is giving him what he calls "a second chance at life."
A Life Changed by Robotic Legs
Superhuman
Episode 4
A Life Changed by Robotic Legs
Robert is paralyzed. But thanks to a robotic exoskeleton, he can walk again.
Will Robots Steal Our Jobs?
Will Robots Steal Our Jobs?
Will Robots Steal Our Jobs?
Could exoskeletons help us do our jobs? Should we actually be afraid of robots taking our jobs? These are the latest stories from the frontlines of the robotic world.
Assistive Tech Doesn't Have to be High Tech
Assistive Tech Doesn't Have to be High Tech
Assistive Tech Doesn't Have to be High Tech
The story of how 3D printing gave Ryan Hines a chance to regain his independence for $150. And how he's now offering the same chance to others.
Prosthetics Enter a New Age of Beautiful Form and Incredible Function
Technology
Prosthetics Enter a New Age of Beautiful Form and…
Prosthetics Enter a New Age of Beautiful Form and Incredible Function
For centuries, prosthetics didn't change much at all, but the past 10 years has seen an incredible leap forward in the way they look and work.
Everything You Wanted to Know About the World's Most Advanced Bionic Arm
Superhuman
Everything You Wanted to Know About the World's Most…
Everything You Wanted to Know About the World's Most Advanced Bionic Arm
A fascinating interview with Michael P. McLoughlin, the chief engineer of research and exploratory development at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.
Meet the Man with the Most Advanced Prosthetic Arm in the World
Superhuman
Meet the Man with the Most Advanced Prosthetic Arm in the…
Meet the Man with the Most Advanced Prosthetic Arm in the World
Johnny Matheny has been working with doctors at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to test a prosthetic arm that is controlled with your thoughts.
A Lay Person's Guide to Biohacking
A Lay Person's Guide to Biohacking
A Lay Person's Guide to Biohacking
We're living in a golden age of people exploring high and low tech methods to optimize our bodies.
How to Send Mail to a Person With No Address
Technology
How to Send Mail to a Person With No Address
How to Send Mail to a Person With No Address
Millions of people have no address. They can’t get mail, they can't vote, they can’t get aid, and they don’t have rights. One company wants to change that.
The Real Bionic Man
Superhuman
Episode 3
The Real Bionic Man
After losing part of his arm to cancer, Johnny now has one of the world's most advanced prosthetics.
How to Rebuild a Broken Brain
Science
How to Rebuild a Broken Brain
How to Rebuild a Broken Brain
The unbelievable story of the day Jordan Riley was declared brain dead and his journey of re-learning how to be human.
Conor Russomanno on Exploring Our Limits
Superhuman
Episode 20160823
Conor Russomanno on Exploring Our Limits
Could linking our brains to computers allow the mind to control the world outside of our bodies?
The 3D-printed helmet that can read your mind. Could it change the world?
Superhuman
The 3D-printed helmet that can read your mind. Could it…
The 3D-printed helmet that can read your mind. Could it change the world?
OpenBCI has developed technology that allows you to control the world outside your body with your brain waves.
Open Sourcing the Brain
Superhuman
Episode 2
Open Sourcing the Brain
Open BCI has developed a 3D-printed headset that allows your brain to interact with computers in amazing ways.
Karen Aiach on Doing the Impossible
Superhuman
Episode 20160820
Karen Aiach on Doing the Impossible
When Karen Aiach decided to quit her finance job in 2005 in order to find a ...
Meet the Mom Curing Her Daughter's Incurable Disease
Superhuman
Meet the Mom Curing Her Daughter's Incurable Disease
Meet the Mom Curing Her Daughter's Incurable Disease
Karen Aiach isn't a doctor and has never worked in medicine. But when doctors said her daughter wouldn't live past adolescence, she knew she had to get to work.
The Promise of Gene Therapy
Superhuman
Episode 1
The Promise of Gene Therapy
When Karen was told her daughter had an incurable disease, she started a gene therapy company to find a cure.
Superhuman Trailer
Superhuman
Trailer
Superhuman Trailer
Join us as we meet the innovators building our superhuman future.
The Fascinating Story of How AIDS Activism Helped Usher in a "Right to Try" Movement
Science
The Fascinating Story of How AIDS Activism Helped Usher in…
The Fascinating Story of How AIDS Activism Helped Usher in a "Right to Try" Movement
Should terminally ill patients be allowed to try experimental procedures? Hear the amazing, true story of the AIDS activists who fought for a "right to try." And won.
Is the Miracle Medicine of the Future About to Become the Totally Real Medicine of the Present?
Superhuman
Is the Miracle Medicine of the Future About to Become the…
Is the Miracle Medicine of the Future About to Become the Totally Real Medicine of the Present?
Gene therapy uses a virus to replace missing or defective genes. It sounds counterintuitive, but it could be the key to curing previously incurable diseases.
Three Women Who Changed the Way We Think About Medicine
Superhuman
Three Women Who Changed the Way We Think About Medicine
Three Women Who Changed the Way We Think About Medicine
From newborn health to AIDS treatment to DNA research, these brilliant women paved the way for incredible advances in the field of medicine.
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