4 surprises from Google I/O

It turns out the death of the advertising industry has been greatly exaggerated. In Rob Walker's many years of writing about branding and marketing, he's heard plenty of predictions about how savvy consumers empowered by technology simply won’t tolerate commercial persuasion anymore. But Netflix’s recent decision to break its no-ads vow is the latest evidence that, ultimately, advertising continues to triumph. You can read about it in the first installment of Walker's new weekly column, Branded, devoted to the intersection of marketing, business, design, and culture. Read it here—and stay tuned!
—Bobbie Gossage, @bobbiegossage
Why advertising won the streaming wars

Netflix and other streamers have surrendered to ads—and consumers really don’t mind.

google I/O
Google is betting big on ambient computing. But it’s getting it wrong

At Google I/O, ‘ambient computing’ is on everyone’s lips…but it was never meant to be another world of screens as Google is presenting.

productivity tips
7 time-saving Google Assistant tricks you should use every day

Automate your morning, turn articles into podcasts, find your way home, and a whole lot more with these Google Assistant time savers.

Lawns are terrible for the environment. California’s water restrictions may finally kill them

Landscape designers weigh in on how drought conditions could change the look of Southern California — and eventually the rest of the West.

google I/O
Here are the 4 most surprising takeaways from the first day of Google’s I/O conference

The tech giant introduced a number of interesting developments, including expanded privacy settings and a “Look and Talk” feature.

5 bags that are perfect for your summer weekend getaways

Wherever you’re headed, a well-made, sleek weekender bag should meet your needs. Here are some standouts from Paravel, Monos, and Everlane that Fast Company editors can vouch for.

How Sonos’ new voice assistant could take on Alexa and Google Assistant

Instead building an assistant to order pizzas and play trivia games, Sonos is focusing on music.

google I/O
Google’s Pixel Watch combines Fitbit brains and Apple Watch vibes

The company said at its I/O developer conference Wednesday that it plans to release its first Pixel smartwatch this fall.

Exclusive: Klarna’s new virtual-shopping feature will connect shoppers with sales associates

The Swedish BNPL company is aiming to replicate the kinds of in-store experiences that online shoppers say they crave.

The business case for getting your team to laugh together

The CEO of Peppercomm observes that humor and levity in daily work interactions, even virtually, can actually change how our brains work to develop creative solutions, reduce stress, and solve problems.

Bitter comedown for Dutch Bros. coffee
Shares of Dutch Bros. coffee are cratering in pre-market trading Thursday after the buzzy Starbucks rival warned it was not immune to inflation and rising prices.
The Oregon-based chain said in its earnings report that sales for the rest of 2022 could be “flat to slightly negative as we face macro-economic headwinds impacting consumer discretionary income and gas prices.”
After a surprisingly successful IPO last year, Dutch Bros. had laid out a plan for aggressive growth, saying it planned to open more than 100 stores this year, with a grander plan to eventually operate 4,000 stores.
As of the time of this writing, its share price sits around $20.85—a far cry from its $76.24 all-time high last October.
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