Light is slow, actually thumbnail

Light is slow, actually

This video depicts light speed in contexts where it appears to be slow. The moon is 1.2 light seconds from Earth; Mars several light minutes. This is, of course, why humans aren’t moving out of this solar system any time soon.

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You Need Trust To Build A Great Career, Team Or Company. Understanding The Four Key Elements Of Trust Building thumbnail

You Need Trust To Build A Great Career, Team Or Company. Understanding The Four Key Elements Of Trust Building

A team of people with a high degree of trust

A team of people with a high degree of trust in each other

Getty

Leaders talk about it. Investors depend on it. People working together in company toward a common mission require it. So, why is trust so hard to build? Well, it’s simple and complicated. While the word trust can mean different things to different people, let’s define it. Trust is both an emotional and logical act. Emotionally, it is where you expose your vulnerabilities to people believing they will not take advantage of your openness. Logically, it is where you have assessed the probabilities of gain and loss, calculating expected gains based on hard performance data, and concluded that the person in question will behave in a predictable manner. In practice, trust is a bit of both.

I trust you because I have experienced your trustworthiness and because of my faith in human nature. We feel trust. Emotions associated with trust include companionship, friendship, love, agreement, relaxation, comfort. There are a number of different ways we can define trust. Trust means being able to predict what other people will do and what situations will occur. If we can surround ourselves with people we trust, then we can create a safe present and an even better future. Trust means making an exchange with someone when you do not have full knowledge about them, their intent and the things they are offering to you. Trust means giving something now with an expectation that it will be repaid, possibly in some unspecified way at some unspecified time in the future. Trust means enabling other people to take advantage of your vulnerabilities but expecting that they will not do this.

Here are the four dimensions of trust that you should understand if you want to build a great career, team or company:

Predictability. It is a normal part of the human condition to be constantly looking ahead. We build internal models of the world based both on our experiences and what others tell us, and then use these to guess what will happen next. This allows us to spot and prepare for threats and also make plans to achieve our longer-term goals. The greatest unpredictability is at 50 percent; a reliable enemy can be preferable to an unpredictable friend, as at least we know where we are with them.

Exchange Value. Most of what we do with other people is based around exchange, which is the basis for all businesses as well as simple relationships. At its simplest, it is exchange of goods. I will swap you two pigs for one cow. It is easy to calculate the value in such material bargaining. Things get more complex when less tangible forces come into play. A parent exchanges attention for love. A company exchanges not only pay but good working conditions for the intellectual and manual efforts of its workforce. Value exchange works because we each value things differently. This principle of reciprocity is what binds societies together. Trust in value exchange occurs when we do not know fully whether what we are receiving is what we expect. We trust and hope we are not disappointed.

Delayed Reciprocity. Exchange is not just about an immediate swapping of cows and sheep or hugs and kisses. What makes companies and societies really work is that something is given now, but the return is paid back sometime in the future. The advantage of this is that we can create a more flexible environment, where you can get what you need when you need it, rather than having to save up for it. Trust now becomes particularly important because otherwise we are giving something for nothing. The delay we have placed in the reciprocal arrangement adds a high level of uncertainty, which we need to mitigate through trust. What is often called the “golden rule” is a simple formula for creating trust. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It sets up the dynamic for my giving you something now with the hope of getting back some unspecified thing in the indeterminate future.

Exposed Vulnerabilities. When we trust other people, we may not only be giving them something in hope of getting something else back in the future; we may also be exposing ourselves in a way that allows them to take advantage of our vulnerabilities. If I buy a car from you and I do not know a good price, you can lie to me so you get a better bargain. If I tell you in confidence about the problems I am having with my work, you could use this to further your own career at my expense. Although the threat of retribution or projected feelings of guilt can counteract your temptation to abuse my exposed vulnerabilities, if you succumb I still get hurt and may still end up with the shorter stick. For our transaction to completed successfully, I must be able to trust that such agonies will not come to pass.

The best thing that can ever happen to you is to find and work with people that you trust so deeply, it leads to the most rewarding career you could imagine. So, learn about trust, how it works and how to build it. If you do it well, people will give you the earth. If you betray them, they may hunt you to the ends of the earth.

“>

A team of people with a high degree of trust

A team of people with a high degree of trust in each other

Getty

Leaders talk about it. Investors depend on it. People working together in company toward a common mission require it. So, why is trust so hard to build? Well, it’s simple and complicated. While the word trust can mean different things to different people, let’s define it. Trust is both an emotional and logical act. Emotionally, it is where you expose your vulnerabilities to people believing they will not take advantage of your openness. Logically, it is where you have assessed the probabilities of gain and loss, calculating expected gains based on hard performance data, and concluded that the person in question will behave in a predictable manner. In practice, trust is a bit of both.

I trust you because I have experienced your trustworthiness and because of my faith in human nature. We feel trust. Emotions associated with trust include companionship, friendship, love, agreement, relaxation, comfort. There are a number of different ways we can define trust. Trust means being able to predict what other people will do and what situations will occur. If we can surround ourselves with people we trust, then we can create a safe present and an even better future. Trust means making an exchange with someone when you do not have full knowledge about them, their intent and the things they are offering to you. Trust means giving something now with an expectation that it will be repaid, possibly in some unspecified way at some unspecified time in the future. Trust means enabling other people to take advantage of your vulnerabilities but expecting that they will not do this.

Here are the four dimensions of trust that you should understand if you want to build a great career, team or company:

Predictability. It is a normal part of the human condition to be constantly looking ahead. We build internal models of the world based both on our experiences and what others tell us, and then use these to guess what will happen next. This allows us to spot and prepare for threats and also make plans to achieve our longer-term goals. The greatest unpredictability is at 50 percent; a reliable enemy can be preferable to an unpredictable friend, as at least we know where we are with them.

Exchange Value. Most of what we do with other people is based around exchange, which is the basis for all businesses as well as simple relationships. At its simplest, it is exchange of goods. I will swap you two pigs for one cow. It is easy to calculate the value in such material bargaining. Things get more complex when less tangible forces come into play. A parent exchanges attention for love. A company exchanges not only pay but good working conditions for the intellectual and manual efforts of its workforce. Value exchange works because we each value things differently. This principle of reciprocity is what binds societies together. Trust in value exchange occurs when we do not know fully whether what we are receiving is what we expect. We trust and hope we are not disappointed.

Delayed Reciprocity. Exchange is not just about an immediate swapping of cows and sheep or hugs and kisses. What makes companies and societies really work is that something is given now, but the return is paid back sometime in the future. The advantage of this is that we can create a more flexible environment, where you can get what you need when you need it, rather than having to save up for it. Trust now becomes particularly important because otherwise we are giving something for nothing. The delay we have placed in the reciprocal arrangement adds a high level of uncertainty, which we need to mitigate through trust. What is often called the “golden rule” is a simple formula for creating trust. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It sets up the dynamic for my giving you something now with the hope of getting back some unspecified thing in the indeterminate future.

Exposed Vulnerabilities. When we trust other people, we may not only be giving them something in hope of getting something else back in the future; we may also be exposing ourselves in a way that allows them to take advantage of our vulnerabilities. If I buy a car from you and I do not know a good price, you can lie to me so you get a better bargain. If I tell you in confidence about the problems I am having with my work, you could use this to further your own career at my expense. Although the threat of retribution or projected feelings of guilt can counteract your temptation to abuse my exposed vulnerabilities, if you succumb I still get hurt and may still end up with the shorter stick. For our transaction to completed successfully, I must be able to trust that such agonies will not come to pass.

The best thing that can ever happen to you is to find and work with people that you trust so deeply, it leads to the most rewarding career you could imagine. So, learn about trust, how it works and how to build it. If you do it well, people will give you the earth. If you betray them, they may hunt you to the ends of the earth.

Read More

Sunken steel-clad Brexit Bunker built in garden of London house thumbnail

Sunken steel-clad Brexit Bunker built in garden of London house

Brexit Bunker by RISE Design Studio

Rise Design Studio has sunk a weathered steel-clad extension in the garden of a London house as a sanctuary from the UK’s Brexit-dominated political climate.

Dubbed the Brexit Bunker, the small studio provides a place to work or relax.

Brexit Bunker by RISE Design Studio

Hot-rolled steel, the same material used in the construction of the railway track directly behind the site, was left to naturally rust and then used to cover the entire exterior of the garden room.

Featuring a pyramidal roof with an oriel window, it faces the main house from the other end of a paved garden and is sandwiched between two brick walls.

Brexit Bunker by RISE Design Studio

“The garden studio sits, or rather nests, at the rear of a small garden connected by a patio clad in clay pavers, a contemporary addition that is still reminiscent of the reclaimed bricks used for the garden walls,” said the studio.

Steps leads down from this patio to the Brexit Bunker’s door next to a projecting window box providing seating overlooking the garden.

Brexit Bunker by RISE Design Studio

At  the back, where it faces the railway tracks, the only views are upwards through the skylight.

Plywood provides a surprising contrast to the rough exterior, lining the walls and ceiling to create a warm and light-filled space.

Brexit Bunker by RISE Design Studio

Built-in storage has been arranged to provide a niche for seating below.

A set of steps lead over the niche and up to create an accessible platform area directly beneath the skylight.

Brexit Bunker by RISE Design Studio

“One can relax surrounded by the sounds of birds without any visual hint that they are in the city instead of the country; it is a place of sanctuary,” said the studio.

The walls and roof of the studio have been highly insulated to offer both thermal and acoustic protection.

Brexit Bunker by RISE Design Studio

A hanging light fixture also made from weathered steel illuminates the patio.

Its shape is designed to emulate the pyramid-shape of the Brexit Bunker, connecting the house and the studio.

Brexit Bunker by RISE Design Studio

Rise Design Studio, based in Queens Park in London, was founded in 2011 by Sean Ronnie Hill.

Previous projects by the firm include a glazed, light-filled extension to a terrace home, as well as the renovation of a flat inside a 19th century mansion block.

Photography is by Edmund Sumner.


Project Credits:

Architect: RISE Design Studio

Contractor: Capital Building Contractors

Structural engineer: Tyrone Bowen, CAR

Party wall surveyor: Osprey Building Consultancy

Glazing, oriels and sliding doors and glazed envelope: Maxlight

Garden design: Daniel Shea

Glazing: Finchley Glass Clay

Pavers: Vande Moortel

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Making Models with Lasers thumbnail

Making Models with Lasers

Good design starts with a good idea, and being able to flesh that idea out with a model. In the electronics world, we would build a model on a breadboard before soldering everything together. In much the same way that the industrial designer [Eric Strebel] makes models of his creations before creating the final version. In his latest video, he demonstrates the use of a CO2 laser for model making.

While this video could be considered a primer for using a laser cutter, watching some of the fine detail work that [Eric] employs is interesting in the way that watching any master craftsman is. He builds several cubes out of various materials, demonstrating the operation of the laser cutter and showing how best to assemble the “models”. [Eric] starts with acrylic before moving to wood, cardboard, and finally his preferred material: foam core. The final model has beveled edges and an interior cylinder, demonstrating many “tricks of the trade” of model building.

Of course, you may wish to build models of more complex objects than cubes. If you have never had the opportunity to use a laser cutter, you will quickly realize how much simpler the design process is with high-quality tools like this one. It doesn’t hurt to have [Eric]’s experience and mastery of industrial design to help out, either.

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3 Tips to Scale Your Business by Becoming an Industry Expert thumbnail

3 Tips to Scale Your Business by Becoming an Industry Expert

You’re doing much more than training your competition.


2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

“Aren’t you worried that you are just training your competition?” That’s a question photographer and entrepreneur Sarah Petty gets all the time.

In this interview at ClickFunnels’ annual Funnel Hacking Live conference, Emily Richett sits down with Petty to learn how she scaled her business by teaching others how to grow their businesses too.

Leverage your expertise

Petty started her entrepreneurial journey with a boutique photography business, and before long, people were asking her how she became successful so quickly. She realized other photographers were hungry for her marketing expertise. So she started teaching. She traveled for speaking engagements and teaching opportunities, equipping others to grow the same way she did.

Get in front of more people

As she continued to establish herself as an expert, Petty realized that teaching a few people at a time wasn’t a sustainable way for her to do business. The travel was taking her away from her three children too often.

“You can’t teach one-on-one, and you can’t go out and speak to a room of 30. You have to be able to help many people at once,” Petty says.

She launched a webinar to share her expertise with more entrepreneurs at the same time, and it provided real-time feedback that allowed her to adjust her material quickly.

Don’t compete based on price

Some might worry that sharing their knowledge will increase competition, but Petty says you can’t let that scare you.

Entrepreneurs must “compete without making the emphasis on price, because all businesses compete with someone who does it cheaper,” Petty says. That’s especially true in the world of photography where everyone is now a photographer thanks to cell phones.

Petty teaches that building a brand and authentic relationships with your clients are ways to rise above the competition without making it about the price.

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Max Q: NASA signs up new Moon delivery companies thumbnail

Max Q: NASA signs up new Moon delivery companies

Sign up here to receive Max Q weekly in your inbox, starting December 15.

There were lot of highlights in the space industry this past week (even though a rocket launch that was supposed to happened is now pushed to Monday). The biggest news for commercial space might just be that NASA signed on five new companies to its list of approved vendors for lunar payload delivery services, bringing the total group to 14.

SpaceX is among them, and Musk’s company had its own fair share of news this week, too – some good, some bad. One things’ for sure: Even going in to the last week in November, there’s still plenty of news to come in this industry before the year’s out.

  1. NASA selects five new vendors for commercial lunar payloads

Artist’s rendering of Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lander.

The five include Blue Origin, SpaceX, Ceres Robotics, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems. This doesn’t necessarily mean all or any of these companies will actually fly anything to the Moon on behalf of NASA, but it does mean they can officially bid for the chance. Alongside 9 other companies selected previously by NASA, their bids will be considered by the NASA based on cost, viability and other factors.

  1. SpaceX Starship prototype blows its lid

This is the bad news I referred to earlier: SpaceX’s Starship Mk1 prototype in Texas blew up just a little bit during cryo testing. This test is designed to simulate extreme cold conditions that the spacecraft could endure during flight, and it clearly didn’t. But Elon Musk was optimistic, saying just after the incident that they’ll move on to a more advanced design right away.

  1. Sierra Nevada Corporation details an expendable cargo container for its Dream Chaser spaceship

SNC’s Shooting Star module. Credit: SNC.

One of the companies that is now included in NASA’s lunar payload service provider list is Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). They’re currently developing and building their Dream Chaser spacecraft, which is reusable and lands like the Space Shuttle. At an event at Cape Canaveral in Florida, they unveiled what they call the ‘Shooting Star’ – an ejectable single use cargo container for the Dream Chaser that can really add to its versatility.

  1. Nanoracks will launch a test craft that can convert old spaceships into orbital habitats

This demonstration mission is just a start, but the tech that Nanoracks is launching aboard a future SpaceX launch will be able to cut metal in space, marking the first time a robotic piece of equipment has done that. The ultimate goal is to use this tech to take spent spacecraft upper stages and give them new life – as research platforms, satellites or even habitats in orbit.

  1. NASA’s JPL is using the Antarctic to test a rover for a trip to Enceladus

That’s one of Saturn’s moons, and it’s made up of icy oceans. Normally, that’s not an optimal place for a rover to get around, but the agency’s laboratory has been testing a design in the Earth’s coldest oceans to see how viable it will be, and now they’re going to use the Antarctic, which is where it’ll test it for months at a time.

  1. Tesla’s Cybertruck is made of Starship steel

Elon Musk revealed Tesla’s crazy, beautiful, ugly, strange Cybertruck pickup last week, and he noted that the stainless steel alloy that makes up its skin is the same material that SpaceX is developing and using on its new Starship spacecraft. Sometimes, being CEO of both a car company and a space company at the same time really pays off.

  1. Space is inspiring new kinds of startups

A lot of large companies outsource at least part of their innovation management and design, and with the space boom on, there’s a new opportunity for companies to emerge that specialize in helping those same large companies find out where they fit in this new frontier. Luna is one such co, putting the puzzle pieces together for health tech companies.

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Highlights of Saudi Aramco intention to float

(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s state oil company kicked off its initial public offering (IPO) on Sunday by announcing its intention to float on the Riyadh bourse.

The logo of Aramco is seen as security personnel walk before the start of a press conference by Aramco at the Plaza Conference Center in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia November 3, 2019. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Here some highlights from the document: bit.ly/2m7ZyEL

OFFERING

— Aramco said the final offer price, number of shares to be sold and percentage will be determined at the end of the book-building period.

— It will be offered to institutional and individual investors.

— Saudi nationals will be eligible to receive one bonus share per 10 shares they hold for 180 days, up to a maximum 100 bonus shares.

— Saudi Arabia’s CMA market authority has agreed to exempt non-resident institutional foreign investors that intend to subscribe from certain formalities to achieve qualified foreign investor status.

DIVIDEND POLICY

— The board intends to declare aggregate ordinary cash dividends of at least $75 billion in 2020.

— The government will forgo a quarterly dividend between 2020-2024 if needed in order to allow Aramco to pay a minimum cash dividend to other shareholders.

SABIC ACQUISITION

— Aramco and the sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF) agreed to amend payment terms so that 36% of the purchase price will be paid in cash and 64% will be paid as a seller loan on or before Sept 30, 2020.

— Saudi Aramco will pay a $500 million loan charge to the PIF on the closing date and five additional promissory notes in an aggregate principal amount of $2.5 billion will be issued.

ATTACKS

— The document mentioned a May 2019 armed drone attack on Aramco’s East-West pipeline, which briefly shut it down.

— It said five drones attacked the Shaybah NGL facility on Aug 17 resulting in fires and damage costing around $28 million. Restoration of plant operations on one NGL train was completed within two weeks after the attack and other repairs are ongoing, it said, adding revenue losses would not be material.

— The attack on Aramco’s Abqaiq facility and Khurais processing facility on Sept. 14 caused explosions, fires and significant damage to equipment at each facility. Aramco is working towards fully restoring full plant operations there and does not expect the attack to have a material impact on its business, financial condition or results of operations.

SECURITIES ACT

— The shares have not been registered under the United States Securities Act or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction other than Saudi Arabia.

BANKS

— In total 27 banks will be working on the IPO marketing.

— Nine banks are overseeing the listing as joint global co-ordinators: Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, NCB Capital and Samba Capital & Investment Management Company.

— Five Saudi banks are working as domestic bookrunners, 11 as foreign bookrunners.

— Moelis, Lazard and Michael Klein are acting as special advisers.

TAXES & ROYALTIES

— The tax rate for Aramco’s downstream business will be reduced from the 50% to 85% multi-tiered structure of income tax rate for domestic oil and hydrocarbon production companies to the general corporate tax rate of 20% applicable to similar domestic downstream companies under Saudi’s income tax law.

— This is on the condition that Aramco consolidates its downstream business under a separate, wholly-owned subsidiary before the end of 2024.

— The period for which Aramco will not have to pay royalties on condensate production was extended for an additional 10 years after the current five-year period ending on Jan. 1, 2023, and may be further extended for further 10-year periods subject to government approval.

Compiled by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Peter Graff and David Evans

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On Singles' Day, green groups warn of China's surge in packaging waste - Manila Bulletin thumbnail

On Singles’ Day, green groups warn of China’s surge in packaging waste – Manila Bulletin

Published

By Reuters

Accumulated waste from China’s e-commerce and express delivery sectors stands to more than quadruple by 2025 unless action is taken to rein it in, green groups said on Monday, as an online shopping spree known as Singles’ Day broke new sales records.

The logo of Alibaba Group is seen during Alibaba Group's 11.11 Singles' Day global shopping festival at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, November 1src, 2src19. (REUTERS/Aly Song/MANILA BULLETIN)

The logo of Alibaba Group is seen during Alibaba Group’s 11.11 Singles’ Day global shopping festival at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. (REUTERS/Aly Song/MANILA BULLETIN)

The volume of packaging material used by the sectors hit 9.4 million tonnes last year, and is on course to reach 41.3 million tonnes by 2025 if they keep up the rate of increase, Greenpeace and other non-government bodies said in a report.

“The e-commerce giants have barely offered even superficial responses,” said Tang Damin, a plastics campaigner with Greenpeace in the Chinese capital Beijing. “They’re biding their time for regulation to come out.”

Sales hit 84 billion yuan ($12 billion) in the first hour of the Singles’ Day annual event, up 22% from last year, China e-commerce giant Alibaba Group said.

As e-commerce giants work to extend their reach into rural regions, 1.88 billion packages were delivered from Nov. 11 to Nov. 16 last year, an annual increase of almost 26%, the State Post Bureau said.

There is no official figure for the waste generated, but Greenpeace estimates it to have exceeded 250,000 tonnes.

China has moved to turn recycling into a profitable business as space for landfills becomes scarcer and environmental concern grows over plastic waste, but has yet to tackle e-commerce waste, only recycling around 5% of plastic packaging, the green groups said in their report.

Last month, China’s market regulator published new draft packaging standards that will restrict courier firms to an approved list of recyclable material.

In October, Alibaba said it was now “greener than ever” and provided incentives for customers to recycle, adding that its delivery subsidiary Cainiao would observe Nov. 20 as a special cardboard recycling day.

Another online retailer, JD.com, also announced it had cut back on adhesive tape and paper used at warehouses, besides adopting more recyclable materials.

China is building 100 “comprehensive resource utilization bases”, creating pilot “zero-waste” cities and pushing for mandatory trash sorting rules in major hubs, such as its commercial capital of Shanghai.

“We cannot say China is not recycling,” said Antoine Grange, chief executive for recycling at SUEZ Asia, who estimated such rates could be as high as 25% overall.

“One point that is more difficult in China is traceability, and the lack of infrastructure to separate waste.”

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JOHN WILCOCK: Applying for a Permit to Exorcise the Pentagon of Evil Spirits, Levitating It Ten Feet Off the Ground thumbnail

JOHN WILCOCK: Applying for a Permit to Exorcise the Pentagon of Evil Spirits, Levitating It Ten Feet Off the Ground

Abbie Hoffman and Martin Carey arrive at The Pentagon to do a literal hand-count on how many protestors will be needed to encircle the building for a protest. On the way out they apply for, and receive, a permit to initiate an Exorcism to rid the base of its evil demons.

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Building A Carbon Neutral Digital Prints Company thumbnail

Building A Carbon Neutral Digital Prints Company

Fracture

This holiday season many consumers will turn to prints as a thoughtful gift. This Florida-based company is making those prints with little waste, in a 30,000 square foot solar-powered facility, and investing in carbon credits. So can a holiday gift be carbon neutral? Fracture argues yes.

“Greenwashing by some of our business leaders today is frustrating,” says Abhi Lokesh, CEO and co-founder of Fracture. “We need buy-in from major companies on these sustainability efforts. It’s about actions, not words.”

Fracture specializes in printing images on glass, which distinguishes them from several other digital printing services available these days. All of the glass that’s leftover or not used in production is recycled, Lokesh says. “It took a ton of energy to find a partner who would take all that and recycle it. We had to seek it out.”

But he’s happy to do that search, he says, as he fine-tunes all aspects of the company to make it as eco-friendly as possible. Currently, the facility is run on solar energy, meaning all their machinery and equipment are working on renewable resources. By making items in the US, not only are they reviving manufacturing in the US, but cutting down on their carbon footprint. Each package of frames is shipped with minimal packaging — no bubble wrap, no fillers, no packing chips. And yet, even though it’s glass, it still stays intact. 

That said Lokesh is not done. “We’re still looking for more eco-friendly materials to incorporate so that we can move further away from using petroleum-based products.”

Much of this drive to build a company that “treads lightly,” Lokesh says, comes from his travels and global awareness. He started Fracture after college: the vision was to create a nonprofit art gallery where artists could feature their work and if any were sold, the profits would help fund a nonprofit in Africa. Having worked in Swaziland on health and poverty issues, Lokesh had first-hand experiences of the challenges on the ground. Inspired by the idea that business could be a catalyst for change, he started a social enterprise, working with artists in the US to raise funds for development work in Africa. Unfortunately, that enterprise didn’t work out. But it gave him, and his co-founder (who has since left the company), Alex Theodore, the idea of Fracture and led them to an e-commerce startup.

“We spent about the first four to five years, just trying to get all the elements of the business to work. It wasn’t very profitable but we were building the foundation,” Lokesh says looking back.

Granted they started the business in the depths of the economic crash in 2007, which would could explain the slow start. With the help of Lokesh’s family, they were able to finance the venture. “I didn’t have any debt back then, which was also helpful. I could spend all my time on Fracture, and not have to worry about debt,” he notes.

They also had the hurdles of not being in Silicon Valley, but in Gainesville, Florida. “This was not a hub for startups, and finding the talent, resources, and mentorship wasn’t easy,” he adds. “Did I think about leaving? All the time.”

But he didn’t. Rent alone would have been double, if not triple elsewhere, he admits. But it was more than just that. “I loved the idea of building a business here, investing in the working communities, and creating an ecosystem that didn’t exist.”

Plus, Fracture’s model was not forgiving: it’s a volume-based business, with slim margins. Yet Lokesh stuck with the idea. With the launch of Instagram in 2010 and smartphones having higher quality cameras built into them, Fracture’s business model became more and more relevant — and his decision to stay in Florida made more business sense.

While had he had been thinking about sustainability from the get go, he admits they had to choose their battles, starting a business from the ground up.  One thing was certain, he says: “We had always been attracted to glass. It was environmentally-friendly but also timeless.”

That said, the images do come on a foam board, which Lokesh is looking at phasing out to an organic material. But the next step, he says, is trying to get some of their suppliers to also think about what materials they’re using, where, and how much. “It’s a bit of reverse engineering. We try to do as much as possible but we don’t make the glass for example, or the recycled paper we use. So helping suppliers also think through these challenges.”

As a $20 million company now, he says, they have some leverage to do that. Inspired by companies such as Patagonia and founder Yvon Chouinard’s entrepreneurial journey, Lokesh admits, “We are trying to stand on the shoulders of some great giants.”

“>

Fracture

Abhi Lokesh, CEO and co-founder of Fracture, has been thinking about how he can make his company … [+] more eco-friendly.

Fracture

This holiday season many consumers will turn to prints as a thoughtful gift. This Florida-based company is making those prints with little waste, in a 30,000 square foot solar-powered facility, and investing in carbon credits. So can a holiday gift be carbon neutral? Fracture argues yes.

“Greenwashing by some of our business leaders today is frustrating,” says Abhi Lokesh, CEO and co-founder of Fracture. “We need buy-in from major companies on these sustainability efforts. It’s about actions, not words.”

Fracture specializes in printing images on glass, which distinguishes them from several other digital printing services available these days. All of the glass that’s leftover or not used in production is recycled, Lokesh says. “It took a ton of energy to find a partner who would take all that and recycle it. We had to seek it out.”

But he’s happy to do that search, he says, as he fine-tunes all aspects of the company to make it as eco-friendly as possible. Currently, the facility is run on solar energy, meaning all their machinery and equipment are working on renewable resources. By making items in the US, not only are they reviving manufacturing in the US, but cutting down on their carbon footprint. Each package of frames is shipped with minimal packaging — no bubble wrap, no fillers, no packing chips. And yet, even though it’s glass, it still stays intact. 

That said Lokesh is not done. “We’re still looking for more eco-friendly materials to incorporate so that we can move further away from using petroleum-based products.”

Much of this drive to build a company that “treads lightly,” Lokesh says, comes from his travels and global awareness. He started Fracture after college: the vision was to create a nonprofit art gallery where artists could feature their work and if any were sold, the profits would help fund a nonprofit in Africa. Having worked in Swaziland on health and poverty issues, Lokesh had first-hand experiences of the challenges on the ground. Inspired by the idea that business could be a catalyst for change, he started a social enterprise, working with artists in the US to raise funds for development work in Africa. Unfortunately, that enterprise didn’t work out. But it gave him, and his co-founder (who has since left the company), Alex Theodore, the idea of Fracture and led them to an e-commerce startup.

“We spent about the first four to five years, just trying to get all the elements of the business to work. It wasn’t very profitable but we were building the foundation,” Lokesh says looking back.

Granted they started the business in the depths of the economic crash in 2007, which would could explain the slow start. With the help of Lokesh’s family, they were able to finance the venture. “I didn’t have any debt back then, which was also helpful. I could spend all my time on Fracture, and not have to worry about debt,” he notes.

They also had the hurdles of not being in Silicon Valley, but in Gainesville, Florida. “This was not a hub for startups, and finding the talent, resources, and mentorship wasn’t easy,” he adds. “Did I think about leaving? All the time.”

But he didn’t. Rent alone would have been double, if not triple elsewhere, he admits. But it was more than just that. “I loved the idea of building a business here, investing in the working communities, and creating an ecosystem that didn’t exist.”

Plus, Fracture’s model was not forgiving: it’s a volume-based business, with slim margins. Yet Lokesh stuck with the idea. With the launch of Instagram in 2010 and smartphones having higher quality cameras built into them, Fracture’s business model became more and more relevant — and his decision to stay in Florida made more business sense.

While had he had been thinking about sustainability from the get go, he admits they had to choose their battles, starting a business from the ground up.  One thing was certain, he says: “We had always been attracted to glass. It was environmentally-friendly but also timeless.”

That said, the images do come on a foam board, which Lokesh is looking at phasing out to an organic material. But the next step, he says, is trying to get some of their suppliers to also think about what materials they’re using, where, and how much. “It’s a bit of reverse engineering. We try to do as much as possible but we don’t make the glass for example, or the recycled paper we use. So helping suppliers also think through these challenges.”

As a $20 million company now, he says, they have some leverage to do that. Inspired by companies such as Patagonia and founder Yvon Chouinard’s entrepreneurial journey, Lokesh admits, “We are trying to stand on the shoulders of some great giants.”

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