Fast Company November 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
4 ways machine learning powers better marketing

At its core, machine learning is a way to label and analyze huge data sets quickly and on an infinitely larger scale. Here's how you can apply machine learning to drive growth. Audience: Find Your Most Valuable Customers Let’s say you’re trying to get your app into the hands of long-term, paying users but they’re not opening it much after initial download. You wouldn’t be the first to encounter this issue. In fact, only 37% of app installs remain in use after seven days. So how can you find the right audience? 37% of app installs remain in use after seven days. If you’re using siloed sources to identify your audience, you might be missing out. Machine learning can sort and analyze sources to help you learn which users are most valuable, and help…

2 min
capitalism, for everyone

Our economic system—once heralded for ensuring customer choice, stoking job creation and upward mobility, and sparking innovation—is failing us. The U.S., the paragon of capitalism, is experiencing crushing income inequality and struggling to provide affordable healthcare and childcare for working families as unprecedented climate change threatens even further disruption. As Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, writes bluntly in this issue: “Capitalism is in crisis.” Business leaders are worried too. We polled members of the Fast Company Impact Council, a cadre of founders and CEOs of fast-growing companies and innovative corporate executives, to assess the state of capitalism, and nearly a quarter of respondents agree with Walker’s statement that we need a major overhaul to better serve society. (For more on the Impact Council, see our feature on page 80.)…

7 min
the selling of souls

When billionaire real estate tycoon Stephen Ross decided to host a fundraiser for Donald Trump last summer, it’s unlikely he was thinking much about SoulCycle. The spinning-class chain is a small piece of his $60 billion empire, Related Companies, which controls 13,000 apartment rentals, 5,500 luxury condos, 60,000 housing units, and 30 million square feet of commercial real estate around the country. It’s equally unlikely that SoulCycle’s customers—an army of spinning fanatics who built the company into a billion-dollar juggernaut—had given much thought to Ross. At least not until the morning of August 7, when Shannon Coulter, founder of #Grab-YourWallet, which organizes boycotts of companies that have financial ties to Donald Trump, alerted them. “This Friday the Soul Cycle and Equinox Fitness chairman is throwing a fundraising lunch for Donald Trump’s…

1 min
streaming wars

More than a third of U.S.households won’t have a traditional TV subscription by the end of the year. And there’s soon to be even less need for 500 linear channels. Disney+ and Apple TV+ streaming services are launching this November, promising hearty back catalogs, licensed content, and original shows bankrolled by cosmic sums of money. By mid-2020, they’ll be joined by HBO Max; Peacock, a service from NBCUniversal; and Quibi, a mobile-only, short-form product. These newer entrants are fighting Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu for viewers—which means the streaming landscape is turning into a thoroughly entertaining battlefield. Here’s a look. Sources: Official company reports and estimates from Ampere Analytics at the end of Q2 2019, CBS and Showtime figures represent subscribers of both plans and bundled packages (U.S. Subscribers); Ampere (Average Original-Release…

4 min
signs of the times

As an interpreter manager at Rise Interpreting, Sara Groves makes sure people who are deaf or hard of hearing can still rock out at music festivals like Stagecoach and Coachella. She and a team of more than a dozen nationally certified American Sign Language interpreters spend months preparing for concert season, studying performers’ mannerisms, predicting set lists, and memorizing lyrics while figuring out how to translate them into ASL. Groves estimates that Rise interpreters work 25 music events per year, and she has personally signed for Garth Brooks, the Bangles, and the late Nipsey Hussle (though she still gets nervous in front of crowds). “Most of the time it’s about making sure that I remember all the lyrics and I get the meaning across, and that [audiences] feel that connection…

2 min
a cleaner coating

Scientists and NGOs have been raising concerns since the 1980s over the presence of bisphenol A (BPA) in food and drink containers. The industrial chemical, used to make polycarbonate plastic bottles and food storage containers, along with the epoxy resin linings in canned goods, has been associated with endocrine disorders. Regulators have responded over the past decade: The FDA banned the compound from baby bottles and children’s drinking cups in 2012, and by 2018, 90% of steel food cans were being manufactured without it. But the beverage industry has struggled to get the chemical out of aluminum cans, stymied by the difficulty of finding an alternative coating that stops the corrosion of both steel and aluminum effectively. (Due to manufacturing requirements, the can industry needs a compound that works for both.)…