Fast Company May 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

3 min
are you proud of your company?

In the days after Donald Trump was elected president, I found myself reaching out to chief executives of several key businesses that Fast Company has covered. The presidential campaign had convinced me that neither party’s candidate, and neither party, had a compelling vision for how our technology-driven culture could both energize our country and include all Americans. What I encouraged of these CEOs was to use their perches to fill that leadership vacuum. There has long been debate in America about the role of the corporation.Is it a job- and wealth-producing marvel? Or is it a nefarious, rapacious beast? “Corporations aren’t to be trusted,” argues Ian Bremmer, president of global strategy firm Eurasia Group. “The presumption that America supports capitalism has never been true: The number of people who have capital…

6 min
panera on demand

Updates from the MIC alumni Panera Bread The soup-and-sandwich café chain has been rethinking customer service across its 2,000-plus outlets, implementing a series of technology-infused initiatives it calls Panera 2.0. The project drives orders through digital platforms that simplify food prep in the back of the house while expediting the customer experience. And it’s paying off: Twenty-four percent of the company’s sales are made through in-store kiosks, on the web, or on the Panera app (only the pizza giants drive more digital business), and 9% of customers opt to order ahead and pick up in a café. Panera’s samestore sales growth in 2016 was 4.2%, well above the industry average. “We asked ourselves, ‘What’s going to be next?’ ” says CEO Ron Shaich, “and then we made the long-term commitment to build…

2 min
the recommender

Monographie blouses From $270 “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a brand reinvent a must-have classic, like the dress shirt, in a new way. The pleated sleeves on this are my favorite.” Karen Robinovitz Cofounder and co-CEO, Digital Brand Architects Poco Dolce Confections $7 per bar “This chocolate has become a staple in our household. We have it shipped [to Nashville] once a month from San Francisco.” Max Goldberg Co-owner, Strategic Hospitality Light + Ladder Ballast planters $150 “I’m loving the Brooklyn design movement and started following Light + Ladder’s studio in Greenpoint. My favorite are their planters.” Andrew Lipovsky Founder and CEO, Eponym Coolest coolers $400 “This is an absolute beach essential. It’s a decked-out cooler that comes equipped with a Bluetooth speaker, blender, USB charging station, and bottle and wine openers. A Jersey Shore home run.” Scott Tannen Cofounder and CEO, Boll & Branch Lovepop cards From…

11 min
president oprah?

On a recent afternoon in Washington, D.C., at a Starbucks just a few blocks from the White House, a pair of baristas are explaining why their boss Howard Schultz should run for president. Schultz, the executive chairman of the world’s largest coffee-shop chain, had reportedly considered bids for the Oval Office in previous elections, but since he announced in December that he would be stepping down as CEO, speculation has built about his plans for 2020. Employees at this particular store seem eager for “Howard,” as they call him, to get in the race. “He’s a great guy and a great CEO,” says one of the workers, pointing to Starbucks’s unusually generous benefits and Schultz’s progressive activism on a range of current issues, which include advocating for LGBTQ rights and providing…

1 min
where business and culture collide

6 min
adidas’s stylish turn

An onyx stage catches fire and three performers, silhouetted in the blaze, begin to sing from behind the flames. You can hear Kanye West’s voice, but you can’t make out his face. The first glimpse of him, poking out of the fire, is a shoe. But not just any shoe: specifically, a white Adidas Ultra Boost, which until this moment—the Billboard Music Awards in May 2015— has never been worn in public. West begins his next song and leaps through the flames. He’s dressed all in black except for the two white Ultra Boosts, which hang in the air like exclamation points. “What happens next? Every single store that had [Ultra Boosts] cleared out within the hour,” says Yu-Ming Wu, founder of shoe-culture network Sneaker News, with only a touch of hyperbole. Never…