Welcome to 2021: the year of the bathroom oasis. Technologist John Maeda recently scanned through 2021 trend predictions in tech, home, fashion, and food from multiple publications and curated them into one easy-to-read list. From oversized loungewear to nonalcoholic cocktails to WFH sanctuaries (replete with aromatherapy), the trends reflect how Covid-19 continues to shift the way we work, live, and cope with stress.

FedEx trucks lined up on a street
FedEx trucks lined up on a street
Photo: Robert Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images

FedEx delivery workers have officially reached hero status. They’ve transported essential goods during the pandemic, holiday packages during “shipageddon,” and now the first coronavirus vaccines during the peak of the outbreak. On Sunday, trucks and cargo planes from FedEx and UPS began rolling out across the country packed with the first of nearly three million doses. As David H. Freedman wrote in Marker recently, the pandemic has been a boon for FedEx: “Largely due to the pandemic, in the six months between April and September, the company’s shipping volume was up some 20% over last year’s numbers during the same…

After New York magazine published a cover story cataloging 500 notable New York City businesses that shuttered for good during the pandemic, writer and director Julio Vincent Gambuto wrote about the heartbreaking loss that happens behind the scenes for entrepreneurs and their families. His own father’s entrepreneurial woes were one of the foundational experiences of his childhood, he writes, one that still seeps into his work as a film director. “Despite our family’s best efforts to save my father’s quest for the American dream from devolving into an American nightmare, we lost that business,” he recalls. …

How to make your own Rainbow Road

Image for post
Image for post
Photos courtesy of Adam Gossage

They say William Shakespeare wrote King Lear during quarantine for the plague in 1606. During Covid-19, my brother, Adam Gossage, created his own masterpiece of sorts in his basement: a 100-foot working replica of the most beloved (and loathed) racetrack from Mario Kart: Rainbow Road.

The inspiration for the project was Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, an augmented reality game for Nintendo Switch that lets you race webcam-enabled toy cars IRL against virtual opponents — around a course you build in your home. …

Can Airbnb put the Long-Term Stock Exchange on the map? After a lackluster debut in September amid a frothy IPO market, the LTSE — Eric Ries’ new stock exchange that aims to untether companies from the stock market’s fixation on short-term results and focus on long-term value creation — might finally be landing its first big unicorn IPO. (Well, sort of.) Airbnb, which is preparing to raise $3 billion on the Nasdaq in the coming weeks, is reportedly considering being listed on Silicon Valley’s alternative trading exchange in early 2021. According to Bloomberg, the move would be largely symbolic: “By…

If there’s one piece of furniture that defines 2020, it’s the Nugget: A $230 children’s couch made of foam cushions that can be arranged into a fort (or a chair, or a tent, or a ball pit, or whatever shape kids can imagine). With kids stuck at home during the pandemic, demand for the Nugget recently reached a fever pitch; a Facebook group devoted to the kiddie couch currently tops 60,000 members. In October, the North Carolina startup that produces the Nugget instituted a weekly lottery system to let parents vie for the chance to buy its limited stock —…

They say everyone deserves a second chance, but Noa Santos may be pressing his luck. The entrepreneur is back with another interior design startup that somewhat resembles his last: Homepolish, the VC-backed company that crumbled in 2019, leaving designers unpaid — some owed as much as $32,000. “Behind the company’s glossy Instagram feed was a much messier reality,” wrote Marker contributor Courtney Rubin, when she documented the company’s spectacular fall.

Santos’s new venture, Freddie, is a membership-based network for interior designers. “Freddie is grounded in the idea of herd intellect,” he told Architectural Digest, “We all lift each other up.”…

Bobbie Gossage

Deputy editor of Marker at Medium. Formerly: Executive Editor of Inc. Magazine, Director of Editorial Content at LearnVest and Etsy.

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