Issue

September 2016

From this Issue

By putting new twists on old products — using zippers to secure footwear, snap-together panels to build play forts, crowdsourcing to inform design — three of the newest consumer-product companies in the Puget Sound region are creating a buzz around ideas that, in one sense, are hardly new, while, in another, are revolutionary.

By day, Charles “Chas” Jeffries leads a group of Microsoft techies. When he leaves his Redmond office, he often sheds his suit and tie for military fatigues as commander of an elite band of cybersoldiers who are quietly waging global warfare on malicious hackers.

Round-number-anniversary stories are an overused tool in the journalism workshop, maybe because they’re still helpful in pausing to assess where we are, how we got here and where we’re going.

Imagine you’re the CEO of an airline in crisis. Customers and shareholders are unhappy. Your employees have just gone on strike. What do you do? Give in to union demands? Hold your ground and negotiate? Fire all the employees?

About three years ago, Derek Richardson and his wife bought a second home — “a dark cabin,” says Richardson. He began searching for an affordable smart lighting system but couldn’t find anything he liked. “It was $30,000 or $40,000 for a professionally installed home system,” he explains, “or it was do-it-yourself systems that were difficult to set up.”

Seattle attracts talented architects, even more so as the region continues to enjoy an unprecedented construction boom. Yet it’s rare to come across the distinctive new development that is not only visually stunning but also manages to add something special to its urban environment.

There was a time when dogs and cats roamed their neighborhoods freely, reappearing only for meals and to sleep in the backyard. But Snoopy and Puff aren’t in the doghouse anymore. They sleep indoors, in their custom beds.

The Washington distillery industry can provide many stories about how and why people decided to start up their stills.

Arguably the greatest risk facing companies, even small businesses, is impostor fraud — specifically, the business email compromise (BEC) scam.

BECU, formerly the Boeing Employees Credit Union, was founded in 1935 at the height of the Great Depression.

When an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) struck the Great Wheel on Seattle’s waterfront last November, it was a vivid demonstration of what can go wrong as more drones take to the sky.

Nick Hanauer, an early investor in Amazon, is a venture capitalist who has launched or funded more than 30 companies. He is also a social activist who played a role in promoting Seattle’s adoption of a $15 minimum wage.

The fact that downtown Seattle has tied its fate to Amazon’s future is about as surprising as discovering — again — that Michael Bennett thinks the Seahawks should pay him more money.