Fast Company September 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

2 min
new talent. new methods. new rhythms.

It was my kids who encouraged me to up my Spotify game. They were spending hours each day on the service, using the free tier to listen to everything from the Hamilton soundtrack to Korean pop music to classic rock. I eventually upgraded us to a family premium plan so we could all download and enjoy our favorites, ad-free, without using up cellular data or needing to be near a Wi-Fi hot spot. Spotify is now such a part of my routine—it fuels my weekend run, provides the soundtrack for singalongs in the car, and feeds me podcasts for my daily commute—that I sometimes forget how improbable its rise was. In his revealing cover story, writer (and former Fast Company editor) Robert Safian reminds us of Spotify’s humble origins, and how,…

1 min
the recommender

FARMGIRL FLOWERS Bouquets starting at $48 “This San Francisco florist [which delivers nationwide] keeps it fresh and interesting. Each bouquet is wrapped with reused burlap coffee bags from local roasters.” Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin Cofounders and co-CEOs, theSkimm POLO & PAN “Not enough people know about this French DJ group. They’re a huge part of my weekly listening. Their song ‘Canopée’ is the epitome of their sound.” Ben Taft Cofounder and CEO, Mira SAKARA ORGANIC MEAL KIT $239 for three days “I heard about Sakara and tried their Level II Detox. It’s an amazing all-around cleanse that challenges both your eating habits and mental outlook.” Jenny Fleiss Cofounder and CEO, Jetblack THE PHLUID PROJECT Tops starting at $25 “This clothing store bills itself as the first gender-neutral shopping space, which I think is a really exciting shift in how stores present themselves.” Ross…

8 min
google, you auto-complete me

I don’t like to say “hi.” I’m a “hey” person. But more and more, I find myself greeting friends and colleagues with a “hi” on email. Why? Because Google suggests that I do. In May, Gmail introduced a new “Smart Compose” feature that uses autocomplete technology to predict my next words in gray. I accept them simply by hitting TAB. Words matter to me. I am a professional writer, after all. But then Gmail made it tantalizingly easy to say “hi” instead of “hey,” and Google’s prediction, albeit wrong at first, became self fulfilling. It wasn’t until two weeks after I began using Smart Compose that I realized I had handed over a small part of my identity to an algorithm. This sort of predictive technology is everywhere: Amazon suggests products aligned…

1 min
breaking the habit

1. Delete those apps JAKE KNAPP, FORMER DESIGN PARTNER, GOOGLE VENTURES; COAUTHOR, MAKE TIME “My iPhone had always absorbed my attention, but in 2012, when it started to encroach on time with my kids, I decided to do something about it. I deleted every app that distracted me: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. I deleted the Gmail app, and disabled the built-in email and even Safari. It was a huge relief. I thought this would be a short-term experiment, but six years later, those apps are still off my iPhone.” 2. Supersize your device MICHELL ZAPPA, FOUNDER, ENVISIONING TECHNOLOGY “To develop awareness of when and how I used my smartphone, I tried replacing it with the iPad mini 3G, which has all the features of the iPhone, except calling. Because the iPad was big enough to…

4 min
sizing up the talent

From his late-’90s TV show Freaks and Geeks, which launched the careers of Seth Rogen and James Franco, to female-driven comedies such as Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy, which did the same for Melissa McCarthy, Paul Feig (pronounced Feeg) has demonstrated a knack for eliciting memorable breakout performances. His latest film, out this month, is the comedic whodunit A Simple Favor, which stars Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively as feminist oddballs whose humor is laced with an ominous edge. As he gears up for his next producing projects—the women-in-the-workplace TV pilot Girls Code and the Netflix romantic comedy Someone Great, starring Gina Rodriguez—Feig shares his tips for unlocking creativity and creating a more balanced workforce. GET OUT OF THE WAY To draw the best performances from his actors—and the most laughs for…

2 min
the last (plastic) straw

When Starbucks began developing a new nitrogen-infused coldbrew coffee back in 2016, it realized it had a problem. The allure of the drink was its creamy, frothy top (much like that of a Guinness), but the traditional way of consuming cold coffee—through a straw—starts at the bottom. To showcase its Nitro Cold Brew, the company had to create an entirely new lid: a strawless design that resembles something like an adult sippy cup. Shortly into the development process, Starbucks discovered that it wasn’t just coming up with a solution for its nitro drinks. Today, that somewhat dorky lid is helping the coffee juggernaut eliminate plastic straws across its nearly 30,000 global outposts. Beginning in 2020, all cold drinks at Starbucks will be served with either the new lids or (in the…