Fast Company May 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
a wider lens

“This entire enterprise has been a response to the question, ‘What if?’” Filmmaker and producer J.J. Abrams never set out to build an empire, but his company, Bad Robot, is one of the most diversified and ambitious media outfits to emerge from Hollywood in a generation. In this issue’s cover story, writers Nicole LaPorte and KC Ifeanyi offer a rare peek into Bad Robot’s quirky headquarters and the wide array of ideas hatching inside. There’s definitely a “J.J.’s playhouse” feel to the place, which features an actual toy workshop, a printing press, a music studio, and carefully curated knickknacks. What can business leaders learn from a movie director, fresh off shooting Star Wars: Episode IX, who clearly prefers creating fictional worlds to crunching numbers? For starters, that curiosity and the embrace of…

7 min
lead ing out loud

Tyler Haney was fed up. Last November, she was trying to fill an executive role at her athleisure company, Outdoor Voices, and had brought in an external recruiting firm. Haney had been clear about what she was looking for, but the recruiters seemed oblivious to—or disdainful of—her wishes. So the 30-year-old founder and CEO went on her In stagram account and posted a sweaty gym selfie to her nearly 50,000 followers with an impassioned caption: “I may look sweet and people call me cute… but underneath it all I am a BEAST. It’s wild how many people try to chip away at this strength on a daily basis.” The message was nonspecific in a way that prevented any controversy. And it was more about energizing her users than selling product—though perhaps…

1 min
head first

A Closer Look Here’s how the Wavecel Bontrager helmet works to prevent a concussion. FLEX The cells, structured like honeycomb, flex to minimize the force of the impact. FOLD The cells buckle and crumple. GLIDE The cells slide, moving energy away from the head and redirecting it. For decades, bike helmets have been primarily designed to prevent one thing: skull fractures. Most products are made with EPS foam, the same material used in beer coolers, which simply cushions the head upon impact. But with increasing attention being paid to concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (due, in part, to pro football), finding ways to protect what’s within the skull is becoming top of mind. The new Wavecel Bontrager helmet from Trek Bikes, a leading cycling-gear company based in Waterloo, Wisconsin, is composed of a hard plastic shell lined…

6 min
packing power

PRODUCER WILL PACKER’S FILMS, SUCH as the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, Tiffany Haddish’s breakout vehicle Girls Trip, and the dance drama Stomp the Yard, have generated more than $1 billion at the box office by making blockbusters that appeal to black audiences and beyond. His latest film, Little, starring Issa Rae and Black-ish’s Marsai Martin, was coproduced by 14-year-old Martin, whom he worked with to develop and pitch the idea for a Big-in-reverse-style comedy. You’ve collaborated with a lot of powerful women over the years, including Tiffany Haddish, Queen Latifah, and Taraji P. Henson. Little showcases the talent of 14-year-old Marsai Martin, both behind and in front of the camera. She’s now the youngest person ever to have produced a Hollywood movie. What made you want to work with her?…

1 min
variety pack

Stomp the Yard It was tough to get this film green-lighted. Studios didn’t understand what stepping was or know about black fraternities and sororities. I went to Sony, which made You Got Served, and I sold it through the lens of a dance movie. ESTIMATED BOX OFFICE $61.3 million* Obsessed Beyoncé passed on [playing one of the lead roles] at first. We came back and said, “What do you need to do it?” And then we removed every single reason for her to say “no.” ESTIMATED BOX OFFICE $68.3 million Straight Outta Compton I learned to never give up on a project if you believe in it. The team behind this project stuck with it for over 10 years, but ultimately it got made [and received] worldwide critical acclaim. ESTIMATED BOX OFFICE $161.2 million Girls Trip Tiffany [Haddish] would hang…

3 min
it’s a big world after all

The opening of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction at California’s Disneyland this month marks the biggest move Disney has made to enhance its global theme-park business. The company, which posted a $4.5 billion operating profit last year for its parks and resorts division, is expanding its six resort complexes, upgrading older attractions, and capitalizing on the valuable intellectual property of its movie franchises. “We’re using everything from robotics and machine learning to augmented reality and autonomous vehicles to create the next generation of immersive, experiential storytelling,” says Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products. Below, a look at Disney’s plans to keep us amused. New Galaxies In addition to this month’s opening of a 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area in Disneyland, a Star Wars area of the same…