Fast Company December 2017/January 2018

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
the one surefire way to succeed in 2018

Let’s not waste any time. The simple solution that we’re all looking for: It doesn’t exist. Want your business to thrive like Amazon’s? Want to emulate Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg? Follow the road map of Nike or Warby Parker to build the next brand that matters? Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. What succeeded for them may not work for you. Too bad. Get over it. One-size-fits-all strategies just aren’t effective in today’s age of flux (and maybe they never were). That’s one of the insightful messages in senior writer Austin Carr’s feature “The Future of Retail in the Age of Amazon” (page 94). It’s become common practice to refer to billiondollar startups as “unicorns,” but there is no more one-of-a-kind business than Amazon: hard-driving, customer-focused, yet broadly directed, from…

2 min
nest secures its future with alphabet

Nest Since launching its industry-changing smart thermostats in 2011, Nest has notoriously been slow to release wholly new products. But in September, the company announced a major addition to its lineup: Nest Secure, a machine-learning security system that includes Nest Guard, a base with a keypad, alarm, and motion sensor; Nest Detect, dual motion sensors for doors and windows; and Nest Tag, which lets users easily arm and disarm the system. In addition to being three products in one, Nest Secure signals a significant new direction for the smart-home company. “We are definitely a security company,” says Nest cofounder Matt Rogers. Three and a half years after its acquisition by Alphabet for $3.2 billion, Nest is establishing its place within the Google Home ecosystem: It will handle security, while the Google Home…

2 min
most innovatives companies

PepsiCo Milestones PepsiCo is continuing its push into healthier snacks with a new line of Frito-Lay products, called Simply, that includes organic versions of Doritos, Tostitos, and Cheetos. Challenges PepsiCo still faces skepticism from organic stores like Whole Foods that are not accustomed to stocking larger, mainstream brands such as those from Frito-Lay. Buzz ← → Ikea Milestones After partnering with Task Rabbit in 2016 to offer London customers assistance with furniture assembly, Ikea recently acquired the on-demand services company—a sign that the Swedish giant is building out its customerservice capabilities. Challenges Ikea is still figuring out how to make delivery cheap enough to compete with Amazon. The company’s fee for large items starts at $99, while Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping. Buzz ↑ Boeing Milestones In October, the airplane manufacturer announced it would acquire Aurora Flight Sciences,…

1 min
to infinity and beyond

Beyond Meat Beginning in January, the plant-based Beyond Burger will roll out to its largest restaurant partner yet: TGI Fridays. More than 465 of the casualdining chain’s outposts will incorporate the patty into the company’s recently revamped Burger Bar, helping Beyond Meat in its quest to convince carnivores that meatless alternatives can taste (and be cooked) like their animal-protein counterparts. Since its launch in May 2016, the Beyond Burger has become the most successful item on Beyond Meat’s roster, thanks to the company’s efforts to get the vegan burger placed in grocery store meat cases alongside ground beef. In the past year, Beyond Meat has partnered with major grocers and distributors including Safeway, Kroger, and Sysco to get its frozen products into 12,000 stores (the burger is currently in 3,500 outlets).…

5 min
a meeting of the minds (and bodies)

It’s not easy being a meeting planner these days. Along with the endless details involved in booking rooms, selecting a menu, and making sure the video equipment works on cue, you face the larger of ensuring that attendees are (and remain) engaged, focused, and productive. The bottom line: You’ve got to wow them. Hilton’s popular Meet with Purpose program grew out of this insight and is now in almost 300 hotels. Based on three core principles— mindful meeting, mindful eating, and mindful being—it gives planners a creative and flexible offering designed to resonate with attendees on an individual, even emotional level. The goal is making attendees feel something, through a combination of healthy food, energizing exercises, social impact activities, and puppies. Yes, actual puppies. But more on that later To understand how…

4 min
the recommender: gift guide

THE ADVENTURER 2018 MARIN FOUR CORNERS BIKE $1,040 The mark of a good adventure bike is how easily it can go from dirt roads and gravel paths to the city streets of a daily commute. Marin’s Four Corners bike is optimized for comfortable multi-terrain touring, with a long, tall frame that steers slowly and has extra braze-ons for storing cargo without sacrificing balance and speed. ABOM ONE GOGGLES From $250 Crafted in Abom’s Oregon labs, these goggles are not only scratch- and glareresistant, they also banish fog (the bane of skiers) with a micro-current that heats the lenses via a six-hour rechargeable battery. LEATHERMAN TREAD TEMPO WATCH $575 Leatherman has created the ultimate multifunctional watch: a Swiss-made timepiece attached to a stainless-steel band containing 30 links that double as screwdrivers, wrenches, and files. FORSAKE WOMEN’S PATCH BOOTS $150 The Patch line from…