Business & Finance
Fast Company

Fast Company February 2016

Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership, world changing ideas, and design. Written for, by, and about the most progressive business leaders, Fast Company inspires readers to think beyond traditional boundaries, lead conversations, and create the future of business.

United States
Mansueto Ventures LLC
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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
embrace the unexpected

“We came all the way from Bangkok for this, and was it worth it? Hell yeah!!” So wrote Katherine Amatavivadhana, one of 3,000 attendees at our inaugural Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City. “It was a visit to a future world that is already here,” another attendee from Bosnia expressed in a blog post. “During five days, at a hundred different events, you could hear about innovation from the business innovators themselves, from Hollywood stars, who are increasingly becoming business people, and from entrepreneurs, who are increasingly becoming media stars.” We set out to bring Fast Company’s pages to life—nearly two dozen of our cover subjects joined us, including Nike CEO Mark Parker and Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts—and in the process something magical happened: By juxtaposing perspectives and…

2 min.
a new channel

KEN PARKS Then CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER, SPOTIFY Now EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, PLUTO TV Is passive viewing passé? With TV watchers increasingly ditching cable for streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, that old habit of flipping through random channels is fading. But while people love the convenience and control of streaming, many miss the let’s-just-seewhat’s-on aspect of traditional TV. At least that’s what Ken Parks is hoping. Last fall, Parks—who previously oversaw all of Spotify’s U.S. operations—joined two-year-old video-streaming company Pluto TV, a free platform offering more than 100 channels of live-running content: everything from old Cheers episodes to a live feed of the Bloomberg News channel. “Services like Netflix have achieved remarkable success and scale, but if you look at the data and people’s behavior, the dominant use case for TV is leanback, linear viewing,” says Parks.…

5 min.
an artful addition

SNØHETTA Snøhetta’s first project was the 1989 reconceptualization of the Library of Alexandria, a lost wonder of the world. Nearly three decades later, the Norwegian architecture firm is still updating iconic cultural centers: Along with a highly publicized Times Square makeover, it’s also designing a 235,000-squarefoot expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which reopens in May after a three-year closure. “Alexandria [involved] tons of international stakeholders,” says Claire Fellman, a director at the firm. “We developed a skill shepherding a vision through a complex process.” This helped the firm during its work on SFMOMA, which sits in the gentrified SoMa district. Rather than cave to commercial pressure to join the skyline-forming fortresses nearby, Snøhetta aims to open up SFMOMA to the neighborhood. The 10-story expansion, located behind the…

1 min.
forecast: cloudy skies

DROPBOX At the end of our April 2015 profile of cloud-storage startup Dropbox, cofounder and CEO Drew Houston mused that he worried more about being eclipsed by a startup than by giants such as Google and Microsoft that had targeted his business. Houston’s fears have been borne out, as the messaging tool Slack has emerged as the future-of-work platform that he had hoped Dropbox would become. As a result, Dropbox’s rivals now include its institutional investors BlackRock and Fidelity, both of which downgraded their stakes in Dropbox by as much as 24%, fueling skepticism about its $10 billion valuation and making it a symbol of the purported tech bubble. Dropbox is now courting more enterprise-level clients, hiring IT brokers, adding features such as team messaging, and rolling out the Google Docs–esque…

2 min.
the recommender

“Cupcakes are done to death, but Yeh Cakes, made in New York City, are custom works of art.” Lara Crystal Cofounder, Minibar “Coming home on a flight, I found that I couldn’t stand up. My left knee was locked. The RolPal, a next-level foam roller, helped me walk again. It’s designed to massage trigger points, and it comes in a travel size.” Patti Pao Founder and CEO, Restorsea “M y Kaikado canister holds the single-origin coffees I drink. The 140-year-old Kyoto com pany designs them to get more beautiful with time. I love my iPhone, but in two years it will be toxic waste.” James Freeman Founder and CEO, Blue Bottle Coffee “Salt of the Earth is the most moving film I’ve seen in years. It follows the life of legendary photojournalist Sebastião Salgado as he travels the world…

6 min.
serious beauty

“Hi! I’m Michelle.” Michelle Phan is poking her head into a spacious room at the Ipsy Open Studio in Santa Monica, California, an outpost of the San Mateo–based beauty subscription company she cofounded four years ago. A young woman named Sophie Torres is sitting at a table, neatly arranging brushes, bottles, and tubes in preparation for a video tutorial she is going to film about hard-to-pull-off hairstyles. She is a member of Ipsy’s extended family of online beauty influencers, who, like Phan, are using YouTube, Instagram, and other social media to build careers as beauty gurus. Phan is the biggest guru of all. Since 2007, when she started making videos of herself applying makeup in her bedroom and uploading them to YouTube, she has amassed a following of more than 8…