Fast Company Mar/Apr 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

6 min
lessons of innovation for 2018

I got my first glimpse of Apple’s newest product as the sun was coming up. It was just after 7 a.m. on a Wednesday in January, two days after Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook, began moving into Apple Park, the company’s new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino. As I was escorted around the gleaming structure, it occurred to me that it embodied everything Apple’s products represent: a glimpse of the future, and yet also something familiar—not science fiction, but a tangible vision made real. When I sat down with Cook a while later, in a conference room labeled simply CEO, he talked about how central “humanity” is to Apple’s products, how tech specs and silicon advancements only matter if they enable users to improve their lives. Apple has long been an icon…

2 min
the recommender

POGLIA KNIVES From $270 each “A well-crafted knife is an essential, versatile, and beautiful tool. Poglia Knives embraces and highlights the wabi-sabi of their handmade objects, raising them up to the status of art pieces.” Sandra Richter Cofounder and CEO, Soofa RULES FOR RADICALS $10 “This 1971 book by Saul Alinsky on community organizing is so good I refer to it every time we’re conceiving a new digital campaign at GLAAD. It’s still relevant.” Jim Halloran Chief digital officer, GLAAD L. ORGANIC TAMPONS From $4.95 per month “L.’s monthly organic tampon subscription is synced to your cycle. With every purchase, L. provides hygiene products to women in developing countries.” Cayla O’Connell Brand manager, Under the Canopy BLIND BARBER BARBERSHOP $55 for a haircut “This old-school shop in New York City has a speakeasy in the back and recently opened a new Chicago location. Nothing better than cocktails…

12 min
for delivering the future today

The only things more impressive than Apple’s financial numbers are the products that generated them. For a company routinely slagged for not having had a hit since 2010’s iPad, Apple, which as of mid-January was valued at more than $900 billion, had a heckuva 2017: Its wireless AirPods became ubiquitous from Brooklyn to Boise, and can now be paired with the best-selling Apple Watch Series 3, which has GPS and cellular connectivity, for a meaningful, new consumer experience. Developers embraced ARKit, Apple’s augmented-reality framework, like nothing since 2008’s App Store (which paid out $26.5 billion last year). After a year of whining about what the new iPhone might offer, most skeptics were blown away by the iPhone X, with its facial recognition, camera quality, bezel-tobezel screen, and new user interface.…

1 min
for mastering the smallest screen

On a recent trip to Bangkok, Todd Yellin, Netflix’s VP of product, saw “the future”: two kids on the back of a motorbike, watching Netflix on a phone. To serve mobile heavy markets, the streamer has rethought everything, enabling quicker menu scrolling and encoding content at different levels. For Bojack Horseman, say, it will use fewer bits, while rendering The Punisher’s action scenes at high quality. “We save up for crashing through glass,” Yellin says. In 2017, subs grew 25%, to 117 million, and more people subscribed via mobile than either TV or laptop.…

1 min
for extending the benefits of banking

Even with its new $999 checkout system for larger merchants, called Register— and a roughly $16 billion market cap—Square has never forgot ten about the little guy. When the mobile payments company launched, in 2009, it was because “sellers were being underserved by financial institutions and treated un fairly,” founder and CEO Jack Dorsey says. Now, Square is helping the roughly 35 mil lion U.S. households categorized as unbanked or underbanked: Cash Card, its prepaid card, gener ated early buzz in April (thanks to a tweet from Dorsey), and Cash App, a digital wallet that facilitates peer-to-peer payments, has edged out PayPal and Venmo on the App Store charts. In November, the company leaped even further ahead of its rivals with a feature for buying and selling bitcoin. Digital currencies,…

1 min
for honoring content as king

Imagine if Apple bought Disney and Spotify, and you can begin to envision the content colossus that Tencent is building to complement its WeChat messaging service, which has nearly 1 billion active monthly users. Last November, Tencent spun out its digital reading company, China Literature, which offers almost 200 million customers the chance to pay for sample chapters of 10 million books before committing to buying the entire work, in a $1 billion IPO. China Literature intends to mine its library to develop movies, TV series, and other media to be distributed through WeChat—much like Tencent, which owns the world’s largest videogame company, turned the hit Honor of Kings mobile game into a celebrity game show called Kings Attack for its video-streaming service. Meanwhile, Tencent Music secured deals with the…