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Ben Fahy

Ben Fahy

Elevator Pitch, the extended version: Damaris Coulter on The Realness, efficiency vs. humanity and New Zealand's weird attitude to food

Elevator Pitch, brought to you by Flick

Elevator Pitch, the extended version: Damaris Coulter on The Realness, efficiency vs. humanity and New Zealand's weird attitude to food

After we made Damaris Coulter stand awkwardly in an elevator to pitch her app The Realness, we sat down for a more in-depth discussion about how the idea came about, how the experience of running Coco's Cantina has shaped her views on the hospitality industry and why taking the longer way makes life more interesting. It was thought-provoking, funny, sad, wide-ranging, honest and sweary, and it was worth putting it all out there. So here's an edited and slightly condensed transcript of our quite long chat.

Elevator Pitch, brought to you by Flick

Damaris Coulter stands awkwardly in an elevator and pitches her soon-to-be launched app The Realness, which showcases unique owner-operated restaurants that fit certain criteria – and helps diners find them.

Can you handle the jandal?

First there was a shoe made of merino in 2016. Then came shoes made of trees earlier this year. Now Allbirds has launched its latest comfortable, sustainable innovation: customisable jandals made from sugar cane. Co-founder Tim Brown tells Ben Fahy how the Sugar Zeffer range came about, how the SweetFoam material could make a dent in the environmentally unfriendly shoe universe and whether there will be any need for the classic bread-tag-to-fix-the-jandal-blow-out trick with this new range.

Elevator Pitch, brought to you by Flick

As part of our new Elevator Pitch video series in partnership with Flick, we gave Tony Small slightly longer than an elevator ride to tell us the story behind his company Innocent Packaging and its tree-free toilet paper and tissue brand Smartass.

A day in the life

In the startup world, it’s generally the stories of success that are glorified. It’s all unicorns, disruption, trendy offices, successful rounds and life-changing exits. But the stories of entrepreneurs never seeing their family, forgetting to exercise, struggling to cope with the workload, tossing and turning at 2am because they don’t think they’re going to be able to pay the wages next week, or, in extreme cases, committing suicide, are not quite as appealing to the hero entrepreneur mythology.

Umbrella Experiment

Idealog is one of the few media brands dedicated to celebrating the best of New Zealand’s design industry. And Blunt is a New Zealand company with a long history of using its design skills to create more beautiful, more functional umbrellas. So, as part of our design series, we’re asking our audience to submit a design that could end up on a limited-edition umbrella and net the winner a heap of prizes, including a six-month co-working tenancy at Generator for up to four people that’s worth $28,000. 

Most Creative People

Business is an inherently creative pursuit. Ideas are had. Actions are taken. Challenges arise. Experiments are conducted. Failures occur. Learning is done. Opportunities present themselves. Solutions are found. Success sometimes arrives. And so the cycle continues. And those who are able to ride the ups and downs, goods and bads of the creative process are the ones who tend to push society forward. So, with the help of our friends at Accenture, who are, appropriately, showing businesses that new is already here, we decided to celebrate some of them with Idealog’s Most Creative People. 

Technology Month, brought to you by Springload

Idealog’s just-released Technology Issue – 'Reality Check' examined some of the ways new technologies are improving us, amazing us, entertaining us and, in some cases, harming us. Now, thanks to the support of our friends at Springload, an independent, award-winning digital creative agency, we’re dedicating the month of August to a continuation of those discussions online. We’ll also be conducting a bunch of tech-related experiments, showcasing the best of this booming sector and sharing a bunch of wise words from local tech luminaries. So get ready to fill your internet-connected hover boots.

Purpose built

Back in 1999, a few art school graduates with a passion for ideas jumped into the unknown and started a company in a garage in Kingsland, Auckland. Now two of them, Ben Corban and Dean Poole, run one of the world’s finest design studios, Alt Group, which has won practically every award that matters, continues to create work of ‘beautiful simplicity with a smile in the mind’ for companies big and small, and has managed to maintain its culture along the way. Ben Fahy gets a rare audience with the deep thinking co-founders and tries to find out what makes them so good.