Fast Company December 2016 - January 2017

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
the productivity of laughter

Yesterday, I left the office at 5:30 p.m. to meet my wife for a date. I only checked my phone a few times on the way to meet her and not at all during dinner. It wasn’t until after 10 p.m. that I caught up with email and Slack messages from work. Going four hours without checking in, I felt like I was on vacation. That’s kinda crazy, right? I know that being always on, constantly connected, working 24/7 is not a recipe for success. It is a recipe for stress, overload, and missed opportunity. And yet sometimes . . . I can’t help myself. I love my job, and I like to work hard. That isn’t the issue. But I’ve also seen, both in others and in myself, that effort is…

2 min
getting the message

Bonin Bough HOST, CLEVELAND HUSTLES; AUTHOR, TXT ME (646) 759-1837 Why did digital-marketing innovator Bonin Bough ditch Triscuits for TV? Snack-food giant Mondelez’s chief media and e-commerce officer left in August to star in CNBC’s Cleveland Hustles, a business-focused reality show created by LeBron James. Bough also recently released a book, Txt Me (646) 759-1837, about how technology is changing modern life (yes, you can message him at that number). “I just started thinking that these moments might not present themselves again,” says the former PepsiCo social media guru, who is still doing consulting work but wants to devote more of his energy to content creation. He’s especially intrigued by how Snapchat and other messaging apps are reshaping behavior. “[I wanted] to be at the beginning of a whole new way consumers are…

5 min
most innovative companies

SIGN-IN OF THE TIMES MASTERCARD Selfies are no longer just a social media irritant: With Mastercard’s Identity Check, your face is the latest form of biometric identification. In October, Mastercard rolled out the new mobile-payment ID feature, which allows e-commerce customers to verify themselves at checkout simply by capturing an image of their face on their phone. “One of the biggest consumer pain points is when you are prompted for a password,” says Ajay Bhalla, who oversees Mastercard’s security efforts. “That leads to a lot of friction: unhappy consumers, merchants losing sales, banks losing volume.” Two years in the making, Identity Check works much like the iPhone’s fingerprint ID system. Users set it up in advance by taking a series of photos from several different angles. That info is then turned into an…

4 min
the recommender: gift guide

1 Baccarat Vega Whiskey Decanter and Tumblers $670 (for full set) With holiday party season in full swing, you can toast to the end of the year with Baccarat’s graphic interpretation of the classic whiskey decanter and its accompanying tumblers. Whether it’s filled with bourbon or scotch, there’s no doubt your party guests will be singing your praises. 2 Cire Trudon Christmas Collection Candles $210 Cire Trudon has been creating candles since 1643. Their annual Christmas Collection, Odeurs d’Hiver, includes three beautifully scented miniature candles in Bethléem (saffron and amber), Gabriel (leather and candied chestnuts), and Gaspard (orange and sandalwood). 3 Minted Gold Foil Art $67 to $234, depending on size and customization The Minted platform manufactures work submitted by independent artists who get a portion of each sale. Among its most popular items are…

6 min
the double bind

Before his death from pancreatic cancer in 2011, Steve Jobs paid $100,000 to have his DNA sequenced. It was a rare and expensive move that, according to biographer Walter Isaacson, provided insight into potential treatments and allowed doctors to customize his drug regimen. Five years after Jobs’s death, that same kind of sequencing is widely available and costs just a few thousand dollars—or less. The company most responsible for revolutionizing access to DNA isn’t a household name. Illumina is a $20 billion–plus genomics powerhouse whose supercomputers have sequenced some 90% of all the DNA data ever processed. Its machines have helped make genomics a compelling tool, used to treat diseases, predict drug responses, and identify which genetic mutations increase our risk of serious illness. They’ve also made it affordable for companies…

1 min
the gene t eam

1 23andMe Anne Wojcicki’s DNA testing company has rebounded from its 2013 FDA slapdown by concentrating on genealogy and slowly reintroducing health reports. It’s also working with researchers to help in drug discovery and development. 2 The genealogy giant, which focuses on connecting customers with lost relatives, claims some 1.5 million genomes in its database, thanks to its AncestryDNA testing kit. 3 Genos Like Helix, this new service promises to bring down the cost of sequencing. Users will be able to peruse genetic insights online via a data-visualization tool. 4 Color Genomics Founded by veterans of Google and Twitter, Color looks for common genes associated with a higher risk of hereditary cancers for a flat rate of $224. 5 Veritas For $999, it puts your whole genome on a smartphone and offers information on health- and lifestylerelated genes.…