Fast Company June/July 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
seeing business from 100 new angles

One of the many insights Mary Kaye Schilling gleaned from spending time with Reese Witherspoon is that the award-winning actress and producer likes to play a parlor game with her family: They’ll watch television, and Witherspoon will pause the programming and ask her husband and kids to describe what they just saw. They might offer an observation about the product or the characters in an ad. Witherspoon will note how many (or few) women were featured. Witherspoon’s commitment to increasing the number of women in prominent roles in Hollywood—on screen and behind the scenes—predates the rise of the Time’s Up movement, of which she is a leader. It is at the heart of Hello Sunshine, her media company, which aims to tell women’s stories across a variety of platforms, and it…

7 min
it’s time to burst silicon valley’s tech bubble

Silicon Valley showrunner Alec Berg just wanted to let viewers in on the joke. When he started writing the satirical HBO series five years ago, the Valley seemed to him like a caricature, rife with overhyped tech products and self-aggrandizing corporate mission statements. It was full of “arrogance” masquerading as “altruism,” Berg says—and he and show creator Mike Judge began skewering the startup industry for dressing up dumb social media apps as world-changing innovations, producing self-driving cars that can’t follow directions, and lionizing machinelike engineers who build things without fear of the consequences. “Those people scare the shit out of me,” laughs Berg, who remembers meeting with various developers in the early years of writing the show and being alarmed by how little consideration they gave to the potential dangers…

4 min
how green was my valley?

1. May 1963 William Shockley, the Nobel Prize–winning physicist who cocreated the transistor—the building block that put the silicon in Silicon Valley—gives a speech in which he reveals that he’s a eugenicist. His peers condemn his unscientific racial theories, but his views are a harbinger for the current gulf between Silicon Valley’s meritocratic rhetoric and its not-so-diverse reality. 2. June 1975 NBC News airs a series detailing how the Pentagon has used Arpanet, its new computer network (and internet forerunner), to spy on antiwar and civil rights activists. “Congress has always been afraid that computers, if all linked together, could turn the government into ‘Big Brother,’” the show reports. 3. May 1982 Residents of Santa Clara County, where Silicon Valley lies, discover that underground chemical tanks from companies such as Fairchild Semiconductor, Hewlett-Packard, and Intel…

3 min
opening the closet

Rent the Runway Since launching in 2009, Rent the Runway has transformed from an evening-wear rental company to, in cofounder and CEO Jennifer Hyman’s words, a full-service “closet in the cloud,” offering members clothes and accessories for work, proms, weddings, pregnancies, and more. With 9 million customers and a new unlimited plan (for $159 per month), Rent the Runway has developed a sophisticated back-end platform that includes tools to manage its inventory and same-day delivery and dry-cleaning services. Now the company is lending that logistics expertise to luxury fashion brands. “We’re opening our capabilities to any retailer that not only wants to monetize their inventory,” says Hyman, “but also access our customer base.” That means instead of just playing middleman, Rent the Runway will allow customers to rent directly from brands—either through…

2 min
the recommender

BKR WATER BOTTLE From $42 “I’ve had a lot of water bottles and this one is by far my favorite. Not only because it’s glass (which helps the water keep a clean taste) but because of the top handle, which makes it super easy to hold on a hike and carry around during the day.” Eleanor Haycock Founder, Year of Ours MOLEKULE AIR PURIFIER $799 “We were recently inspired to re-search and invest in a new air purifier. This one by Molekule is quiet, energy efficient, and can be controlled via an app. It also looks cool.” Derik Mills Founder and CEO, YogaGlo CHEN AND KAI FOLDED VESSEL From $150 “If you, like me, are still in love with print magazines and books, this cleverly designed shelf will help you show off your reading list in exquisite fashion.” Phillip Picardi Chief…

6 min
01-05 for leading americans beyond thoughts and prayers

Jaclyn Corin, Emma González, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, and Alex Wind Cofounders, March for Our Lives Cameron Kasky recalls the eerie realization that descended upon the kids huddled in the Marjory Stone-man Douglas High School classroom where he and his younger brother, Holden, were hiding from a 19-year-old former student with an AR-15. “I remember seeing a lot of people not confused anymore,” says Kasky. After all the years of lockdown drills, it was happening to them. Since that February day in Parkland, Florida, when 14 students and three faculty members were killed, Kasky and fellow classmates Emma González, David Hogg, Jaclyn Corin, and Alex Wind have dedicated themselves to preventing it from happening to anyone else. In the week after the shooting, these five teens helped form the core leadership of what…