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category_outlined / Business & Finance
FortuneFortune

Fortune

March 2019

FORTUNE covers the entire field of business, including specific companies and business trends, tech innovation prominent business leaders, and new ideas shaping the global marketplace. FORTUNE is particularly well known for its exceptionally reliable annual rankings of companies. FORTUNE furthers understanding of the economy, provides implementable business strategy, and gives you the practical knowledge you need to maximize your own success.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Meredith Corporation
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20 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

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grand designs

THE NOTION OF “DESIGN THINKING”—which takes some of the tools involved in shaping physical products and applies them to the task of building better systems and organizations—has been around for decades. But Tim Brown has been on a mission to broaden its reach and understanding. The CEO of design firm IDEO, and author (with colleague Barry Katz) of the 2009 bestseller Change by Design, isn’t merely hoping to expand its canvas—using this collaborative approach to solve societal as well as business problems—but also to rework the very grammar of design.In a wonderful new essay, adapted from his updated book of the same title, which hits shelves this month and is excerpted in this issue (please see page 92), Brown explains that designers are learning to think not about nouns, but…

access_time3 min.
taming the behemoths

POLICYWILLIAM BARR, in his January confirmation hearings to become the U.S. attorney general, entered into the lexicon a valuable, if redundant, expression to describe the biggest technology companies in the land. “I think a lot of people wonder how such huge behemoths that now exist in Silicon Valley have taken shape under the nose of the antitrust enforcers,” said Barr, an establishment Republican lawyer from central casting—and therefore an unlikely antagonist for Big Business. His locution stuck, heightening the sense that the “behemoths”—Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and a handful of less-gigantic competitors—now face a greater regulatory threat than at any other time in their relatively brief existence.The companies are fighting the onslaught in various ways. Microsoft, the industry’s journeyman of governmental warfare, is cleverly advocating regulation of a narrow…

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analytics

TECH MAKES IT RAIN ON K STREETFear of having their business activities curtailed by politicians and regulators has tech companies writing ever bigger checks for lobbyists. To put the eye-watering amounts in some context, the five biggest tech spenders lay out more on lobbying than the entire oil and gas industry. A considerable uptick post-2016 suggests some anxiety about tech’s role in influencing the presidential election. ■…

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a pub crawl for public transport

MASS TRANSITDETROIT IS THE ARCHETYPE for urban sprawl, spanning over 140 square miles of downtown, industrial sites, and suburbs. And though it’s a metropolis built on the back of the personal automobile, nearly 85,000 of its residents depend on its notoriously unreliable municipal bus system to get around.Inadequate public transit, common in many Rust Belt cities, is an impediment to growth—87% of trips taken drive some form of economic activity—and maintains inequalities in the labor market. Andy Didorosi, a Motown native, founded the Detroit Bus Co. in 2011 to offer a private alternative.Didorosi bought a bus from Craigslist, commissioned a local artist to spruce up the exterior, and began to provide unlimited daily rides for $5. The company now offers private charters and tours—like a $40 historic bar crawl called…

access_time1 min.
cost of the shutdown

$11B LOST ECONOMIC ACTIVITYThe 35-day shutdown came at an astonishing cost. Per CBO estimates, $3 billion of the lost economic activity will be permanent.-0.2% GDPThe expected effect on GDP for the first three months of the year.3 WENT PUBLICOwing to furloughs at the SEC, only three companies held their IPOs in the first four weeks of 2019, down from 15 over the same span of 2018.300 YEARS TO RECOVERThe former superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park said the shutdown caused centuries worth of damage from trail erosion and vandalism. ■…

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sharing the highway with investor bots

TESLA announced 3,000 layoffs earlier this year—but web-scraping bots knew the news before it went public after discovering 60 searches for layoff laws traced back to the electric-car maker’s address. Increasingly, professional investors are looking for an edge by analyzing terabytes of information from the open web. Financial consultancy Opimas estimates these bots—trawling the Internet for hints of a company’s health—now account for 5% of all web traffic. ■…

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