Fast Company February 2019

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
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
leaders in motion

Since its inception in 1995, Fast Company has sought to portray business and businesspeople in surprising ways. Our focus on innovation—as opposed to mere scale or power—allows us to look beyond CEOs to highlight a diverse set of visionaries, such as the scientists, marketers, set and costume designers, and researchers featured on our most recent annual Most Creative People in Business list. When we do write about corporate chieftains, we go deep, exploring the private moments that shape these influential people. And yet, even by Fast Company standards, the “Picturing Innovation” photo portfolio, on page 46, is a revelation. Jake Chessum’s and James Hartley’s images, shot at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in October 2018, show the dynamic, human side of business figures that is so often overlooked. Chessum, headquartered in…

6 min
the slow death of open offices

First, you tear down the walls and dispense with the soulless cubicles. Then you put everyone at long tables, shoulder to shoulder, so that they can talk more easily. Ditch any remaining private offices, which only enforce the idea that some people are better than others, and seat your most senior employees in the mix. People will collaborate. Ideas will spark. Outsiders will look at your office and think, This place has energy. Your staff will be more productive. Your company will create products unlike any the world has ever seen. That is the myth of the open office, a workplace layout so pervasive that its presence is taken for granted, and its promises—of collaboration and innovation—are sacrosanct. According to a 2010 study by the International Facility Management Association, 68% of…

1 min
seating arrangements

Chiat/Day, Los Angeles | 1994 Workers at ad agency Chiat/Day’s “virtual office” had no assigned seats and had to check out laptops and phones each day. The result: People began ditching work to escape. Intel, Santa Clara, California | 1995 CEO Andy Grove assigned himself a cubicle, hoping to foster conversations and “constructive confrontation,” in which people could criticize him and the company without fear. Pixar, Emeryville, California | 2000 Steve Jobs rejected the open-office trend for Pixar’s headquarters. Instead, he placed groups of five to six workers in adjacent offices, with a collaboration space in the middle. Zappos, Las Vegas | 2013 Zappos’s campus is intentionally cramped. CEO Tony Hsieh allocated less than 100 square feet per employee, based on research that showed denser cities are more productive. Airbnb, San Francisco | 2013 At Airbnb’s offices, bookable work…

2 min
everybody, listen up

If you’re not listening to a podcast these days, chances are the person next to you is. Last year was a watershed for the medium, with creators beginning to generate significant revenue in myriad ways. A few years ago, a popular podcast would maybe get a couple hundred thousand downloads and a single sponsor. Today, they’re spinning off live events, selling merchandise, crowdfunding, being optioned by television studios—all the while accruing millions of listeners. Podcasting has become a lucrative entertainment medium. Check out today’s spoken-word landscape, by the numbers. The Download Percentage of U.S. population over the age of 12 who had listened to a podcast in the previous month $1,000,000 Amount Spotify reportedly paid Amy Schumer to host the podcast 3 Girls, 1 Keith THE DEVICE SPLIT 24% LISTEN TO PODCASTS ON COMPUTER 76% LISTEN ON…

6 min
night vision

Few filmmakers have experienced as wide a range of praise and criticism as M. Night Shyamalan. After finding fame at age 29 with the blockbuster The Sixth Sense, followed by Unbreakable and Signs, he put out a series of misses, culminating in 2013’s widely panned Will and Jaden Smith vehicle After Earth. But in 2015, Shyamalan surprised audiences with a twist: He released The Visit, a horror movie he self-financed for $5 million that went on to gross $65 million in the U.S., sparking a professional renaissance. The next year, his $9 million horror film Split (a sequel of sorts to Unbreakable) grossed $138 million. Shyamalan, who’s now producing a psychological thriller series starring Rupert Grint for Apple TV, explains how he regained his moviemaking powers. Glass is the third in…

3 min
west world

Next month, a daring, $20 billion development officially opens in a previously inhospitable and uninhabitable area on Manhattan’s Far West Side. Spearheaded by real estate firm Related Companies (and partly paid for by the city), the 28-acre Hudson Yards sits atop an active rail yard, making it a remarkable architectural and technological achievement. It’s also an audacious experiment in large-scale urban planning, combining public art and tourist-worthy stores and restaurants with high-end office towers and mixed-income residential buildings. “It’s a city within a city,” says Related chairman Stephen Ross. Below, an early look at the first phase of this built-from-scratch neighborhood. 1. Office Buildings Hudson Yards has 10 million square feet of office space spread across five high-rises including 30 Hudson yards, New York’s second-tallest office building. The development has attracted a…