Business & Finance
Fast Company

Fast Company November 2015

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.
be careful what you laugh at

I frst heard about “vertical video syndrome” 18 months ago. A colleague introduced me to a faux public service announcement on YouTube that humorously pokes at those who neglect to turn their phone to landscape view when filming. Posted in 2012 by an outfit called Glove and Boots, the satire is so spot-on, so funny, that it now has more than 6.7 million views. But 18 months is a long time in the world of media these days. Vertical videos, which used to be a joke, are now a booming entertainment format, thanks to one company: Snapchat. When it launched, Snapchat seemed like a curiosity—photos that disappear after you view them!—but it has grown into the social platform of choice for 100 million people, 86% of whom are between the ages of…

6 min.
louie presses pause

PIG NEWTON Louis C.K.’ production company, Pig Newton, appeared on the Most Innovative Companies list in 2013 for pioneering a directto-consumer model to sell his comedy specials and stand-up tickets, wresting distribution from middlemen. Now, C.K. is branching further out into Hollywood with his favorite funny people in tow. Shortly after breaking the hearts of fans of Louie—the FX hit that Pig Newton produces—by announcing an “extended hiatus,” the company confirmed it would produce three other comedies for the 2015–2016 TV season: Better Things, an FX show featuring Louie costar Pamela Adlon; a yet-to-be-named series for Amazon starring comedian Tig Notaro—whom C.K. helped rocket to fame by selling her work on his website—and Baskets, in which The Hangover star Zach Galifianakis will play a graduate of a Parisian clown school. (Yes,…

3 min.
the recommender

APPS THAT BOOST YOUR CAPACITY 1 TO WRITE “The word-processing tools we’ve used for decades are relics. Quip strips out the features related to formatting text on paper, turning documents into collaborative web resources.” Kris Gale Cofounder, Clover Health 2 TO SELL “Lily Pad is the best (and most fun) salesmanagement tool on the planet and is changing the way we work.” Meg Gill Cofounder, Golden Road Brewing 3 TO FOLLOW THE NEWS “Wildcard delivers the top stories from vastly different outlets. It’s like drilling down tap by tap.” Franklin Sirmans Curator and department head, contemporary art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art “My wife and I frequently travel overseas. With Skybell, when someone rings our doorbell, we can see who it is, no matter where we are. It feels a little Jetsons, but gives us a great sense of security.” Stewart Whitney President, Timberland “In…

7 min.
pinterest’s great expectations

This past summer, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann and cofounder Evan Sharp gathered the majority of their more than 600 employees in the office cafeteria to discuss how to make their workforce more diverse. Facing a room filled largely with white and Asian men, Silbermann and Sharp made a case for the importance of diversity in fostering creativity. More varied teams are more creative, they argued, and more creative teams lead to better products and greater success. With Pinterest rapidly expanding—it added more than 150 new employees in the first half of 2015— they had to move quickly to change the composition of the company. The gathering should have been a celebration. Nearly two years earlier, Tracy Chou, a female Asian-American programmer at Pinterest, had disclosed in a much talked-about blog post…

2 min.
sustainability starts at home

The idea of off-the-grid living has a romantic, back-to-nature feel to it—but the reality is significantly more complicated if you want anything more than the most basic amenities. Dutch startup Sustainer Homes is attempting to eliminate at least some of the difficulty by producing the world’s first off-the- shelf, zero-impact dwelling. Set in a converted shipping container, the 323-square-foot space includes a bedroom, bathroom, full kitchen, and living room, all constructed from wood-free, Ecoboard panels. The entire thing costs $78,000, approximately $1,300 of which would be made up annually in heat and electricity savings. And because it’s completely self-contained, it can be shipped anywhere and set up in minutes. Several pilot programs, which will rent out Sustainer Homes to travelers in the Netherlands, are in the works for early next…

7 min.
“reddit has been home to some of the most authentic conversations”

After Ellen Pao resigned in July, you came back as CEO, leaving the successful online travel company Hipmunk, which you also cofounded. Why did you return? I felt like I had a moral obligation to return to Reddit and try to fix it. It’s a very egocentric thought, but I truly believe that I’m the only guy in the world who knows Reddit well enough to actually fix it. One of the first things you did after your return was release a new content policy and ban a list of particularly offensive subreddits, including the racist /r/CoonTown. Is this part of the fix? I didn’t ban CoonTown for being racist. I don’t like that they’re racist. I find those users sickening, but that’s not why we kicked them off of Reddit. We kicked…