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$10 Juice: A Cultural Symbol for Gentrification

While waiting for Uber in front of the newly renovated Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles, a security guy struck a conversation and asked me what the juice I was drinking tasted like. I kindly replied and said it’s made out of pineapple, cucumber, kale and ginger and it sort of tastes like watered-down pineapple juice. He still seemed quite curious and eventually walked away as if he was embarrassed about the whole situation.

Perhaps he didn’t understand why I was drinking something that didn't seem to taste particularly great and costs as much as what he probably makes in an hour. Perhaps the security guy may have been right. Buying a $10 juice didn't seem economical at all. In fact, my decision to purchase the juice may be creating a rather uncomfortable gap in social equality.

Later that day, I wanted to find out whether there is a correlation between juice bars and gentrification. So I screen-grabbed the search results for “juice" on Google Maps, which displays the promoted businesses that sell juice. I then compared the pattern from Google Maps to the map on Zillow based on houses for sale with the price of $500,000 and above. Ditto! There seems to be some correlation between the two. Not a huge surprise, but the simple comparison does tell a lot about the trajectories that gentrification will follow.

Where do you expect the gentrification will happen next in Los Angeles?

Relevant Article:

Top Performers Most Resistant to Data-Driven Method. But Why?

"Now intuitively, you would think that the first group (high-high, your overachieving all-stars) would be the easy converts to a data-informed culture; of course they’ll want the best tools and analysis at their disposal. But in our experience, the high-highs are the most likely to be data skeptics. Quantifying their domain and performance offers little upside. They are already perceived as doing quality work; adding hard numbers can, at best, affirm this narrative, and at worst submarine the good thing they have going. There is a reasonable fear that the outputs used to measure their performance will not fully capture the true value of their contributions. Skepticism is especially strong in any workplace where attribution is difficult (think marketing and media)."

This is not always the case, but it's interesting to see that most star performers in an organization (probably mostly enterprise) prefer their intuition and experience over data-driven methods. In the design industry, a similar phenomena occurs. Many designers are either qualitative or quantitative; Apple or Google; or iOS or Android. Ideally, having a single fixed point of view makes sense because it's easier to make decisions and abide by rules that are agreed upon by a homogenous group. However, the easiest and the obvious solutions aren't often the best for a product or service. Thus designers should treat every problem as unique as possible and analyze it from as many perspectives as possible.

Best Square Tippers

"According to the data gathered via Square payments, Chicagoans were the most likely to leave a tip, while Denver residents left the biggest tips overall, coming close to 17%. Customers in Atlanta and Tampa were the least likely to tip, and San Franciscans left the smallest tips, only 15.5% on average."