A Kickstarter campaign to build a better cooler has raised a whopping $4 million


Here’s a look at five ideas that could impact the way we live, work and play.
1. A better cooler. The Coolest, featuring a built-in blender, phone charger, speaker and bottle opener, has raised over $4 million on Kickstarter even as 46 days remain in its campaign. Ryan Grepper’s project is one of only 73 campaigns to raise over a million. As of Monday morning, only six projects on the site had ever received more funding. If you check out the video it’s pretty obvious why the Coolest has become so popular.

(Satsuki Ohata)
(Satsuki Ohata)

2. Custom-made slippers. An unusual creation from Satsuki Ohata:

I have named it “Fondue Slipper” because the production process is similar to cheese fondue. It’s very easy to make. You just dip your foot and dry it. That’s all. This prototype is using PVC, which hardens at 200~300 degrees Celsius (392~572 degrees Fahrenheit). This time I used my foot mold instead of my foot. I am currently developing a kit which allows Fondue Slipper to make at home.

3. Traditional publishers a middleman? Here’s a good read on the dispute between Amazon and publisher Hachette, via the New York Times:

The general belief is that it wants to increase its share of revenue on every e-book to 50 percent from 30 percent. Amazon believes that publishers take too much of the money in producing a book and add too little value. In traditional publishing, the highest royalty a writer could get was 15 percent of the book’s price. With e-books, the royalty is 25 percent of net revenue, but Amazon feels that is still not enough. Mr. Zandri gets 35 percent, and self-published writers who use Amazon’s platform get more. “Amazon believes the value exchange between publishers and authors is fundamentally broken,” said Scott Jacobson, who worked on the Kindle team at Amazon and is now at the Madrona Venture Group. “In a world where authors can hire their own editors, market their books through the web and social media, and get production and distribution through Amazon or other services, publishers will play a lesser role and their share of the economics will be diminished.” So writers should get more and publishers less, an assertion with which few writers would disagree. But Amazon also believes that books should be cheap.This makes the pie smaller for everyone; Amazon argues that the publishers will make up on volume what they lose on each sale.

4. UberX replacing your car? Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick had this to say in an interview with the New York Times:

The whole point of price cuts is to get UberX pricing below the cost of owning a car. Let’s say you take three or four trips a day on average. If we can get the price of UberX low enough, we can get to where it’s cheaper to take Uber than to own a car.

5. What mobile devices can do for hospitals. From Mohana Ravindranath:

Beth Israel’s staff of 12,000 tallies 2,000 iPads, 4,000 iPhones, 2,000 Android devices, two BlackBerry phones and one Windows phone. The center enforces a bring-your-own-device policy — meaning physicians, nurses and other staff are welcome to purchase devices and use them at the hospital, as long as they comply with Beth Israel’s security requirements (data encryption, password protection, and the ability to wipe information from the device remotely.) “The laptop is dead, the desktop is gone,” said John Halamka, Beth Israel’s chief information officer. Over the past couple of years, Beth Israel has been encouraging staff to use mobile devices so they can more closely interact with patients. “Having the desktop [computer] or even the laptop between you and the patient is a negative experience,” he said. “It’s really easy to invite your friends [to see] your iPad.”

Disclosure: Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.

Matt McFarland is the editor of Innovations. He's always looking for the next big thing. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.
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Matt McFarland · July 11