Fast Company October 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

3 min
making the tough calls

Whitney Wolfe Herd and Mark Parker might not seem to have much in common. Wolfe Herd, the 30-year-old cover subject of our October issue (“Herd Mentality,” page 68), is the founder and CEO of Bumble, a privately held company with a reported $300 million in annual revenue that’s best known for its dating app, in which women initiate contact. Parker is the 63-year-old CEO of Nike, an athletic shoe and gear leviathan that does $39 billion in annual revenue—and is Fast Company’s 2019 Design Company of the Year (page 40). But both have endured harsh criticism recently for high-profile business decisions. In March 2018, Wolfe Herd and her colleagues received threats of violence after she banned most images that contained firearms and other weapons from the Bumble app—a response to…

8 min
facebook’s plan to live forever

By now you’ve probably heard about Libra, the global digital currency that Facebook recently announced plans to develop. This past summer, the internet went ablaze trying to explain what Libra “really” is. A true cryptocurrency? (Depends on which nerd you ask.) A potential threat to the global financial system? (Jerome H. Powell, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, thinks so.) An innocent attempt to bring innovative fintech options to developing nations where banks are ripping people off… so can everybody please just chill? (That’s Facebook’s own take, paraphrased from a slightly exasperated-sounding July blog post by David Marcus, the Facebook executive spearheading Libra.) Libra might be all of these things, or none. We won’t know until 2020, when Facebook plans to launch it, if it launches it at all—House Financial Services…

4 min
they shoot, he scores

Jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard is one of Hollywood’s preeminent composers, having scored 20 of Spike Lee’s projects—including last year’s BlacKkKlansman, which earned him his first Oscar nomination—and Harriet, Kasi Lemmons’s upcoming biopic of abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Blanchard has also begun experimenting with opera, most recently writing the music for Fire Shut Up in My Bones (based on the New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow’s 2014 memoir), which premiered at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June. “I’ve always been a believer that the universe will put things in front of you, and how you react will determine your future,” Blanchard says. Here’s how he’s channeled that improvisational spirit into a melodious career NEVER TURN DOWN AN OPPORTUNITY When Spike Lee asked Blanchard if he could help compose the score for…

1 min
hitting the right notes

1992 Malcolm X “The opening is based on my first hearing a recording of one of his speeches at jazz camp. The crash is like the shock of me hearing it. The bass drum—my heart was pounding. The trumpet is Malcolm, and the cello, it’s the emotional reaction to how important he was to the community.” 2002 25th Hour “I always put myself in the situation of the characters in the story. What would it feel like if you knew you had to turn yourself in? If you had somebody you really loved that you’re leaving behind?” 2006 Inside Man “When the patrons are coming out of the bank and being put on the bus—the music needed to match that, and [Spike Lee’s] style. That’s not a moment of ‘let me score what’s going on,’ [but] making a…

1 min
where’s the beef?

If you eat meat but you’ve recently tried a plant-based burger, you’re not alone. Impossible Foods, maker of fake meat products that look and taste like the real thing, estimates that 95% of its customers are omnivores. In a decade, these alternatives may make up 10% of the meat industry. Here’s how the category is gaining muscle. The Market $800M The current worth of the U.S. plant-based meat market. A recent report by Barclays estimates it could grow to $140 billion globally in the next decade. Since 2017, more than 12,500 chain restaurant locations have begun offering Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods products: More than 184 million units of plant-based meat were sold in the U.S. in the past year. The most popular types of “meat” were: Environmental Impact CO2 emissions (in kilograms) to make…

7 min
mike judge’s triumph of engineering

WRITER, DIRECTOR, AND PRODUCER MIKE JUDGE HAS A TALENT for bringing an almost anthropological understanding to his subjects, from the vacuous teenage boys of Beavis and Butt-Head to the disaffected cubicle dwellers of Office Space to the proud Texans in King of the Hill. With Silicon Valley, now in its sixth and final season on HBO, he has turned his gaze to twenty-something startup engineers navigating the world-building narcissism of Big Tech. A former engineer himself, Judge somehow finds the real players of Silicon Valley—despite it all—rather decent. Season 5 of Silicon Valley ended on an optimistic note, with the show’s protagonists walking into this huge, amazing new office for their suddenly successful company. After years of letting viewers watch the team flail, why did you decide to conclude the season…