Fast Company February 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

7 min
how to lead in 2017

I didnÕt know what to do. A protester had just stood up in the audience, shouting questions toward the stage, where I was moderating. As host of the event, it was my responsibility to defuse the situation. But how? That’s when PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, one of my guests onstage, stepped in. Nooyi calmly and firmly addressed the question with no hint of defensiveness. The audience applauded. When another protester tried to interrupt the session again several minutes later, the people seated nearby shouted down the disrupter. Completely unruffled, Nooyi continued on with our interview. The crowd came away even more impressed by her. She turned adversity to her advantage. There are other compelling messages that Nooyi delivered that day (several of which are highlighted in Food for Thought on page 76),…

2 min
the recommender

Soko earrings $56 “I love Soko jewelry’s stunning statement pieces that are handcrafted in Nairobi, Kenya. They offer a wide array of accessories. The company helps local artisans expand their markets globally and allows the craftspeople to retain up to 35% of revenue from each sale.” Nora Feeney Pittenger Business development director, Fair Trade USA Figma Free “Figma is a web-based UX tool that I’ve only just started using. I am extremely excited by the platform, which has innovative vector network tools and a collaborative system that makes it a very simple and fun way to develop apps. It’s perfect for beginners.” Harry Lees Design director, Alpha Audiotronics Owney’s rum From $30 “Owney’s is created from non-GMO molasses in a female-owned and -run distillery in Brooklyn. It’s my new go-to happy-hour order.” Dana DiRaimondo Partner, DiRaimondo & Schroeder LLP Bump charger From $40 “It…

4 min
karlie kloss

As one of the world’s most indemand fashion stars, Karlie Kloss has appeared in dozens of ad campaigns and walked countless runways. But in her free time, the Victoria’s Secret model is more likely to obsess over code than clothes. “I like knowing how apps and hardware work and why,” says Kloss, who is pursuing a degree at NYU. That interest in technology inspired her to found Kode With Klossy, a summer computing camp and scholarship program with a mission to empower young women. Along the way, Kloss has learned three techniques that can further any passion project. FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS Kloss didn’t set out to learn about coding, but as she got more interested in business and tech, she realized it would be an essential tool. “As a model, I was…

1 min
rachel holt

S TAY RESTLESS When Rachel Holt joined Uber in 2011 to run the company’s small Washington, D.C., arm, the concept was relatively modest: to match corporate-oriented “black car” limousine services with customers during downtimes (when drivers would otherwise be idle). But then the business started changing fast—a hallmark of Uber’s rise. “One of the things that really sets Uber apart is our willingness to disrupt ourselves. Back when we launched [less-expensive ride-share service] Uber X, we were a black-car product, and tons of people were like, ‘Are you crazy? You’re lowering the price. You’re cutting your margins. Why wouldn’t you keep the highmargin product?’ Everything I learned [in business school] also said to keep the high-margin product. But we realized that if we weren’t going to do it, someone else was going…

2 min
regina dugan

COGNITIVE DIVERSITY IS THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL As the head of Facebook’s secretive new hardware unit, Building 8, Regina Dugan leads a team of engineers who are trying to develop breakthrough technologies, much as she did when she was the first female director of DARPA. She’s learned that assembling a diverse group of perspectives is essential to the creative process. “There’s very little difference between scientists and engineers and artists—they just use different tools. We [all] want to make things that haven’t been made before, and that’s tremendously exciting. It’s exhilarating, it’s invigorating, and it’s hard. Diversity is absolutely key to innovation. It’s just hands-down true. When we are working on very difficult problems, it’s essential that we have different voices in the room. In my teams it is common to see…

3 min
david lauren

BE A SHARK To keep stalwart preppy brand Ralph Lauren relevant in a fastfashion era, David Lauren is looking for fresh ideas at every level of the company. “When I started, about 17 years ago, there were about 6,800 employees. Today, there are 26,000. My job is to make sure we’re protecting the brand DNA and innovating. It’s hard to move large organizations, no doubt about it. It’s about [finding] entrepreneurial energy. You have to figure out ways to think small. At our company, although it seems like we have a lot of employees, when you go in and meet each team, it’s just a handful of people. The more nimble we can be, the more we can be tuned in, so we’ll hear the [next] idea and try it. “The truth is…