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Most contact lens users are rule breakers, guilty of wearing their lenses too long. Daily disposable lenses are seen as a healthier option, but higher cost—upwards of $50 each month—means that a majority of people opt out.

Enter Hubble and its contact lens subscriptions, ready to shake up the marketplace like founder Benjamin Cogan (previously at Harry's) helped shake up shaving. Cogan and a friend, investment analyst Jesse Horwitz, decided to steal a page from other direct-to-consumer companies like Warby Parker and Casper by cutting out middlemen and offering daily lenses at a more affordable price. “Lens technology has been good enough for a long time now—it doesn’t need more innovation,” Horwitz says. “By focusing instead on user experience, we can encourage healthier practices among wearers.” - Story by Kim Lightbody [Illustration: @anacuna]
During a coffee break at @Bumble’s office, more than a dozen members of the staff, who are as loose and casual with one another as longtime friends, crowd around a laptop perched on the kitchen counter. @WhitWolfeHerd pulls up a video of Bumble’s first ad. It features the company’s director of college marketing jumping out of a plane shortly after she started chatting with a match on Bumble (the ad’s closing statement: #taketheleap). Wolfe, who enlisted student ambassadors to make Tinder a hit on college campuses around the country, did the same with Bumble. And now she’s applying a similarly high-energy, wide-net approach to marketing @BumbleBizz. —Story by Karen Valby [Photo: @ninebagatelles]
Stella McCartney Is Weaving A New Way Forward “My intention is to create real change in an industry that desperately needs it,” says fashion designer @StellaMcCartney.

Read about McCartney’s latest venture with @BoltThreads for bioengineered spider silk and her focus on sustainable, animal friendly design in our cover story by Mary Kaye Schilling: https://buff.ly/2yrqMIm [Photo: @samanthacasolari; Hair: Eloise Cheung at Kate Ryan using Oribe; makeup: Ralph Siciliano at The Wall Group]
Kevin Durant’s Killer Crossover

Part of a growing cohort of athletes who are looking to tech to expand their business holdings, @KevinDurant’s nascent business empire includes Thirty Five Media and a hefty investment portfolio. This signals a personal transformation for Durant, as he evolves from a fairly straightforward NBA star—one known as either the “nicest guy in the NBA” or a soft “cupcake,” in the parlance of scorned Oklahoma City fans—into a tenacious player-entrepreneur who is wielding his outsize salary and fame in surprising ways. And that means, for someone so accustomed to winning, learning to compete in entirely new realms. -Cover story by Matthew Shaer [Photo: @paridukovic]
Google and Levis Stitch Up a Connected Jacket

Ivan Poupyrev and Paul Dillinger of @Google's Jacquard Project admit the Jacquard jacket and app don’t do much more than a remote control on a pair of Apple earbuds just yet, but they see numerous possibilities for this wearable tech. “Think about the iPhone,” Poupyrev says, pointing out that the first-generation model had limited apps, but later models support thousands. “This is a starting point.” The pair aim to roll out more features over time, which may determine whether the jacket can become the useful tool Google and @Levis believe it can be. Meanwhile, Dillinger believes connected tech isn’t the only selling point for Jacquard’s first product. “First and foremost, it’s a really cute jacket,” he says, “and it also happens to do these wonderful, surprising, and delightful things.” - Story by Diana Budds [Photo: @justinkaneps]
@Microsoft, @Amazon, and @Google have all discovered that the #AI they use to make their own products better can be turned into a service and sold to corporate customers as a value-added service on top of their booming cloud-computing businesses. * * * * * "Our company’s identity is fundamentally about creating technology so that others can create more technology. And it’s essential that it is being used for empowering more people.” - Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella * * * * * "Much of what we do with machine learning happens beneath the surface . . . quietly but meaningfully improving core operations.” - Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos * * * * * Diane Greene, SVP of Google Cloud, has also admitted that enterprise customers had been wary of Google because the company has been so consumer focused; its AI capabilities have played a meaningful role in winning them over.

Read more: https://buff.ly/2ieZbpY [Illustrations: @danielzender]
Can Netflix Slay the Mouse?

In August, Disney sent a missile into the media stratosphere when it abruptly announced that it was creating a pair of digital streaming services: one built around ESPN sports programming, and one devoted to Disney entertainment. This alone wasn’t shocking—Disney has long discussed creating its own streaming apps. But then CEO Bob Iger dropped another crucial detail: Disney will end its lucrative licensing deal with Netflix in 2019. Suddenly, the target became clear. Disney was going to war with Netflix.

Five days later, Netflix retaliated by announcing a multiyear production deal with Shonda Rhimes, whose Shondaland dramas (Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy) have been a centerpiece for Disney-owned ABC for the past decade.

As battle lines within the entertainment world are quickly being redrawn, the stakes are high for both Netflix and Disney. Read the full story on fastcompany.com. - Story by Nicole LaPorte [Illustration: @coreybrickleyillustration]
Kevin Durant’s Killer Crossover

Had you asked NBA star @KevinDurant a decade ago whether one day he’d be a budding entrepreneur—he would have laughed. “Truth is, I didn’t think about investing my money,” he says. “I just wanted to stack it. Like, put away enough for my grandkids and family. That was enough.” Durant’s career is the stuff of legend: The young and awkward prodigy left home in 2006 for the University of Texas at Austin, and a year later was scooped up second overall in the 2007 draft. Nike signed him to a $60 million endorsement deal, and he was promptly named NBA Rookie of the Year. Yet the hype that surrounds him doesn’t intimidate him. It makes him better.

Visit Kevin Durant’s YouTube for a sneak peak at the story today, and FastCompany.com on Monday for the full cover story about his nascent business empire. -Story by Matthew Shaer [Photo: @paridukovic]
Despite @matsor Batmanglij’s success working with other musicians, he recognizes that some creative efforts require solitude. Half-Light represents years of personal material that Batmanglij wrote between Vampire Weekend gigs.

The project also allowed him to experience an artist-producer collaboration from the other side; Wet’s Kelly Zutrau and Dirty Projectors’ Angel Deradoorian both provided vocals and cowrote songs. In the past year, Batmanglij has started performing shows under the name Rostam, and incorporating a string quartet and dancers in some numbers. “It’s about building off of one another’s energy,” he says. “There’s a joy I get from collaborating with other artists, and there’s a joy I get from making songs on my own.” —Story by P. Claire Dodson [Photo: @danmonickphoto]
The C in CEO Stands for Culture: @Microsoft’s mind-set for transforming from a place full of know-it-alls to one filled with learn-it-alls "The CEO is the curator of an organization’s culture. Anything is possible for a company when its culture is about listening, learning, and harnessing individual passions and talents to the company’s mission. Creating that kind of culture is my chief job as CEO. "Microsoft’s culture had been rigid. Each employee had to prove to everyone that he or she was the smartest person in the room. Accountability—delivering on time and hitting numbers—trumped everything. Meetings were formal. If a senior leader wanted to tap the energy and creativity of someone lower down in the organization, she or he needed to invite that person’s boss, and so on. Hierarchy and pecking order had taken control, and spontaneity and creativity had suffered." —Adapted from Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella [Illustration: @chadhagen]
With #essentialphone, Andy Rubin's mission is not just to pioneer new hardware. He also wants to unlock the next phase of platform innovation—at a time when smartphones have become the remote controls for our lives. Hardware and services that revolve around the phone are multiplying, especially in the home. Yet they’re hampered by big companies’ urge to own those ecosystems.

Apple, with HomeKit, wants to treat your home like another iOS-based platform, with your smart refrigerator and microwave resembling the apps currently on your iPhone. Google, with its acquisition of Nest, aims to establish an edge by rolling out mass-market home products—thermostats, smoke alarms, security cameras—that connect to your phone. And companies from Amazon to Xiaomi are pushing their own strategies to become the industry leaders in the smart-home space. This is Andy Rubin’s preoccupation as well. “I can’t not be in the phone business and solve the other problems,” he says, “because all of the stuff in your life—the home, the car, the office—orbit around the main screen in your life.” Instead of owning the home, Rubin wants to empower it. Thus, his next release isn’t another Android-based phone—it’s another Android. Called Ambient OS, it is a similarly spongy platform engineered to hum invisibly in the background and allow fragmented products and services to coordinate seamlessly. “Right now, to just unlock your door and turn on the lights, you need to launch three apps,” Rubin says. “I want [Ambient] to rise above all the other products in your home and provide a holistic user experience that bridges all the islands.” —Story by Austin Carr [Photo: @kevinvanaelst]
If you heard an app described as “Tinder, but for humanitarian relief,” you’d probably think you were watching an episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley. But MapSwipe—a collaborative effort by @doctorswithoutborders, the @AmericanRedCross, and other nonprofits—was pitched in just that way to Sadok Cervantes, the app’s lead product designer, by developers at MSF in March 2016. “My initial reaction was, ‘Not another app aboard the hype train, please!’ ” recalls Cervantes, whose freelance design practice caters to humanitarian causes. “But I knew their intentions were in the right place—they wanted the app to be easy, accessible, and usable by everyone. The swipeable-card interface definitely checks all three of those.” —Story by John Pavlus

#fcdesignawards [Illustration: @edfairburn]
Swedish furniture and lifestyle brand @ikeausa is extending its attractive-yet-affordable design aesthetic to technology. In April, the company launched Wi-Fi- and remote-controlled LED bulbs that allow people to create the right ambience for different activities with a single fixture. They’re dimmable, motion-sensor responsive, and color-changeable. And since most of us are accustomed to using a switch—not an app—to turn lights on and off, Ikea also designed a wireless remote control that can be mounted anywhere.
While smart lighting has been on the market for years, it’s been slow to catch on due to price and the perception that it’s complicated to operate. Ikea’s user-centered design, plus the brand’s scale— 390 stores in 48 countries— could be the determining factor in widespread adoption. Plus, the system is now compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. —Story by Diana Budds

#fcdesignawards [Photo: @mitchpayne]
@Airbus designer and engineer Jason Chua (@chuafunky) argues that giving airlines more control over the number and configuration of seats would enable them to maximize efficiency. For instance, if there are more business-class passengers on a particular flight, the airline could add an extra business-class cabin and replace economy seats with a coworking area. (A study commissioned by Transpose suggests that modular cabins could double profit margins for the airline industry.) Another business model, he says, would allow passengers to choose seating options while booking tickets, paying more for certain arrangements—which could be sponsored by brands in hospitality, food, entertainment, and wellness. A recent Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience study revealed that customers would be willing to pay 35% more than premium economy fares for Transpose’s increased customization. —Story by Katharine Schwab

#fcdesignawards
[Photo: @tobiashutzlerstudios]
As millennials view it, exercise doesn’t just happen at the gym—a day running errands or a night on the dance floor also count. So when @samsungusa approached @rgabydesign to create a month long launch campaign for a collection of fitness accessories called Move, the digital agency came up with a distinctly DJ-inspired idea.
Can’t Stop, released last June, was a web-based app that harnessed the GPS and accelerometer on a user’s phone to play an exclusive mix by DJ-producer @Diplo—but the only way to hear it all was to keep moving for 30 minutes, the amount of activity recommended by the American Heart Association. “Run, jump, do push-ups,” says R/GA executive creative director Tristan Kincaid. “We didn’t care what you were doing, as long as you were moving.” After Diplo promoted the app on Twitter, 4.1 million people used it in the first week, and Move product awareness increased 36%. —Story by Meg Miller

#fcdesignawards [Illustration: @magdiellop]
“A physical product is never done being tweaked,” says Steph Korey (@stephkorey), right. She and @Away cofounder Jen Rubio (@jennifer) respond quickly to customer feedback. —Story by Diana Budds

#fcdesignawards [Photo: @callaway_images]
After opening outposts in 31 cities in 12 countries across the globe, the Italian fooderie Eataly is returning to its birthplace with its newest launch: a $118 million experiential themepark called FICO Eataly World.

When it opens in Bologna, Italy, in November, Eataly World will span 25 acres and feature pastures, more than 40 restaurants and food stalls, and learning centers that allow visitors to explore the country’s agricultural and food-manufacturing processes (while riding chic adult tricycles from Italian bike maker Bianchi). —Story by P. Claire Dodson [Illustration: @muchasgraciasporvenir]
Investors have largely applauded @Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s $26 billion deal for LinkedIn. Combining Linked­In’s 500 million professional users with the 85 million people who use Office 365 gives Microsoft a formidable data hoard from which it can glean insights. “We get very excited about this unique Microsoft AI,” says Harry Shum, executive VP of AI and research at Microsoft. The data Microsoft parses into insights could become as valuable and impossible to clone as Facebook's social network or Google's search engine. —Story by Harry McCracken [Photo: @ioulex; Groomer: Brent Henry]
“People Love That It’s Not Pink”: How @plannedparenthood Built A Period Tracker For Everyone “We wanted to make sure the design-- the copy, the emojis-- had the feeling of, 'We are here for you,'" says Planned Parenthood’s Jenny Friedler (@jeniahtwain). As a trusted sexual and reproductive healthcare provider that's heard every question in the book, Planned Parenthood knew most [tracking apps] focus on fertility and people trying to get pregnant. In the meantime, the average woman will spend about 30 years of her life trying not to get pregnant. So the team set out to reflect that reality. "If you are on the pill, every day it will ask you if you took your pill. In our reviews, the single most impactful piece of praise is 'I haven’t missed my pill once since I downloaded this app.'" [Photo: @englishenglish, Hair and makeup: @christynakay at @artdeptagency]

#FCDesignAwards @fastcodesign
On a mild Sunday evening in September, the @GIPHY folks gathered, tasked by the Emmys producers to “live GIF” the show.

The Emmy's biggest, most controversial moment came when Sean Spicer rolled out a faux presidential podium. The GIPHY crew surveyed the sea of shocked faces, looking for gold, and found Veep‘s Anna Chlumsky. Within minutes, the editors had the clip uploaded to GIPHY. It began to trend almost immediately. A week after the show, it had been viewed more than 13 million times.

GIFs are a kind of social currency, and GIPHY has capitalized on its cultural currency to amass a huge audience. With 300 million daily users and every major media company as a partner, GIPHY's got a feeling it can shake up the internet advertising business. As Cofounder and CEO Alex Chung says, “We think we can grow like probably 3 times what we have now, which is kind of crazy.” Read the new cover story by Nicole LaPorte at fastcompany.com. [Photo: @quesofrito]