Fast Company September 2016

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 ready to join the flock?

I got my hair cut yesterday at a barbershop in Brooklyn that’s been in business for nearly 60 years. Angelo, who runs the place, has created a distinctive culture: music from the 1950s and 1960s, posters of Bogart and Sinatra, an impromptu bar in the back during the Christmas season. Two of the barbers, Vito and John, are brothers who know Angelo from their childhood days in Italy. John (who retired a year ago) once playfully identified the thinning hair on the crown of my head as a “Saint Anthony” condition—Saint Anthony being the patron saint of lost causes. Angelo’s has survived for six decades as much because of its personality as its haircuts. In that way, it is indicative of a wave of today’s most highprofile businesses, fueled by cultlike…

6 min
the world on a pin

PINTEREST For the first time since Pinterest launched in 2010, a majority of its more than 100 million users are based outside of the United States. That shift in audience is the catalyst for a wave of innovations from the social network, which its head of product Jack Chou says are crucial as it breaks out internationally. In April, Pinterest released a new iOS app, billed as its “fastest and cleanest” yet. The minimalist design makes the app universally readable in 31 languages, regardless of screen size. Plus, the feed now loads up to three times more rapidly, even on older-model phones—especially vital in developing countries, where only 37% of people have smartphones and many lack computers. Along with the app, Pinterest has introduced “featured collections,” regional ideas and trending pins curated…

2 min
office perks

VC–funded startups have long been known for their cushy amenities, such as foosball tables and free lunch, but a poll of more than 100 directors and managers in Fast Company’s Most Creative People and Most Innovative Companies communities sheds light on the way businesses—both new and old—are rethinking the art of keeping their employees happy. More than 70% of respondents, from companies as varied as GE to Genius, say that their employees value experiences over things, or at least a combination of the two. Some stick with the tried-and-true—regular happy hours, generous parental leave— and others are getting creative, offering volunteer days and roundtrip plane tickets to anywhere in the world. Here are a few standouts: “We have quirky celebrations when we meet our goals. These have included releasing doves, smashing…

2 min
late arrival

Chris Licht EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, THE LATE SHOW After launching MSNBC’s Morning Joe and reinventing CBS This Morning, producer Chris Licht is steering his career in a darker direction— literally. As the new executive in charge of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Licht has ditched the crack-of-dawn time slot of past gigs for a program that airs when most people are heading off to bed. Since starting in April, Licht has begun retooling how the show operates and has made some tweaks to the format (such as a tighter opening sequence). “My approach is the same whether it’s this show or CBS This Morning or Morning Joe,” he says. “My sole job is to look at where there are roadblocks to people succeeding and do everything I can to remove them so people…

2 min
the recommender

1 Vinyl Me, Please $23 per month “I have always been a voracious music enthusiast, but I don’t always have time to discover new artists. Vinyl Me, Please sends an eclectic mix of records from favorites—and folks I’ve never heard of—straight to my door.” Nicole Portwood Vice president of brand marketing, Tito’s Handmade Vodka 2 FatCo skin care From $14 “I love using grass-fed beef fat from FatCo as my daily facial cream. It’s antiaging and nourishing.” Taylor Collins Founder and CEO, Epic Provisions 3 Inquire app 99¢ “Inquire uses your location to pinpoint cultural hot spots and serve up relevant articles.” Jim O’Hara President, Ecwid Outsource Your Life Diets, parking, and decor made easier 4 E28 by Euphebe plant-based diet Initial cost of $650 “I’m crazy about the E28-day ReBoot real-food diet. You pick up healthy prepared food every week and also get a health…

8 min
run the road

I am in a car that is driving itself on the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway—one of the busiest highways in the country—and I am freaking the hell out. “Hold the steering wheel, but still let it do its own thing,” Michael, a product specialist for the electric-vehicle maker Tesla Motors, gently cautions me, trying to snap me out of the wide-eyed stupor brought on by watching the wheel of my Model S steer around a curve as if guided by invisible hands. As we pass through Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens neighborhood and the waterfront complex of Industry City, my anxiety eases enough to start asking Michael about how the autopilot feature works (the car’s sensors analyze traffic patterns and read lane markers), how frequently Tesla beams software upgrades to its vehicles (as often as once…