FastCompany Magazine

The official Tumblr of Fast Company.

"One of the most important things to remember is that these companies don’t happen over night. They’re not an over-night success story, as I think a lot of people view certain companies. It’s really about finding what works and iterating your product."

Danielle Abes, director of Qwiki, a video-sharing app that turns pictures and videos from events you’ve captured on your iPhone into brief, sharable movies.

Qwiki was named one of Time.com’s top 10 startups to watch in 2013, and was just bought by Yahoo. 

Now that Google has reportedly agreed to buy Israeli crowd-powered navigation app Waze for $1.3 billion, many other “Silicon Wadi” startups are daring to dream big. Here are some others that could potentially follow in Waze’s footsteps:

  • Powermat: Battery drainage is one of the biggest problems faced by consumers as they increase their reliance on smartphones. Enter Powermat, whose wireless power solutions help millions charge their devices between home, car, and office.

  • Wibbitz: Wibbitz’s text-to-video platform uses advanced language processing to allow anything published online to be instantly turned into a video clip. Its publisher solution—which boasts a clientele of 50,000 websites and 17 million monthly viewers—will soon be available for iPhone.

  • Parko: Recent studies show that city drivers spend at least 20 minutes on average searching for a parking spot. Parko has developed a crowdsourcing solution for parking in a similar vein to Waze’s solution for traffic: It connects motorists looking for a spot with others about to leave one, while its algorithm identifies parking spots without users needing to remove their phones from their pockets.

6 Israeli startups to watch as Google reportedly buys Waze for $1.3 billion


A new app uses the power of your own positive thinking to create a placebo effect—which works even if you know it’s happening. 
You start by setting a goal: say, more joy or love in your life. Then, you choose someone to give you the placebo (maybe a friend or family member), what you want it to be (a pill, say), and where you want to take it (maybe a forest where you go running with a friend). You then “take” the placebo whenever you want to, following a pre-set ritual built into the app.
The point is to replicate what’s important about the placebo effect, which isn’t the pill itself, but the experience. 
More…

A new app uses the power of your own positive thinking to create a placebo effect—which works even if you know it’s happening. 

You start by setting a goal: say, more joy or love in your life. Then, you choose someone to give you the placebo (maybe a friend or family member), what you want it to be (a pill, say), and where you want to take it (maybe a forest where you go running with a friend). You then “take” the placebo whenever you want to, following a pre-set ritual built into the app.

The point is to replicate what’s important about the placebo effect, which isn’t the pill itself, but the experience. 

More…

How An Ingenious App Hooks You On Drawing Pics Of Strangers

French Girls is a new, free iOS app based on the meme “draw me like one of your French girls”—which you may recognize from Titanic. Its premise is simple. You upload your photo. People draw it.

But what makes it so brilliant—and the content you receive generally amusing—is its simple, well-planned interactions.

Read more about French Girls here.

Why Messaging Could Be Mobile’s Killer App
Could the next big platform fit inside a messaging app? 
Facebook’s new Android integration, Home, groups Instagram, maps, email, and other apps in one drawer. Its main screen has just three navigation options: “Apps,” “Last App,” and—the exceptional stand-alone app in the mix—“Messenger.”
Why has Facebook given such special treatment to a once tangential feature of its service?
Here’s a theory: “I think everyone is realizing that messaging is the killer app in mobile,” says Ted Livingston, the creator of a messenger app called Kik.

"Now it’s just who can wrap a platform around it the fastest."

Read the full story here.

Why Messaging Could Be Mobile’s Killer App

Could the next big platform fit inside a messaging app? 

Facebook’s new Android integration, Home, groups Instagram, maps, email, and other apps in one drawer. Its main screen has just three navigation options: “Apps,” “Last App,” and—the exceptional stand-alone app in the mix—“Messenger.”

Why has Facebook given such special treatment to a once tangential feature of its service?

Here’s a theory: “I think everyone is realizing that messaging is the killer app in mobile,” says Ted Livingston, the creator of a messenger app called Kik.

"Now it’s just who can wrap a platform around it the fastest."

Read the full story here.

"At one level, [Home] is just the next mobile version of Facebook. At a deeper level, I think this can start to be a change in the relationship that we have with how we use computing devices." -Mark Zuckerberg at the Facebook Home announcement address.

Reading Between The Lines Of Mark Zuckerberg’s Vision Statement

Home, Facebook’s new Android app-slash-skin, is worth investigating. It runs along a new axis of user experience, un-cordons the app, and shows how Facebook is becoming less of a product and more of a service.

But beyond being immersive, low-friction, and whatever other buzzword descriptors you’d like to attach to it, Home is a recognition a subtle and profound paradigm shift.

See our Takeaways from his address here.

Crowd Sourced Dating?
Have you ever desperately texted your friends for advice during a date? “He just complimented me on my embarrassing beauty mark, what do I say now?” 
Artist and programmer Lauren McCarthy is working on a solution for us less confident daters with an app called Social Turkers.
McCarthy used her phone to broadcast her dates live.

The video stream is viewed by the task-rabbits who take part in Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, the crowdsourcing service where you can post small tasks requiring human intelligence that people around the world complete for just a few cents.
Turkers have been asked to transcribe podcasts, search satellite maps to find missing persons, or to rate the emotions expressed in Tweets—but probably never before to help someone’s date go better. For each of McCarthy’s dates, over the course of January, Turkers could earn up to $0.25 for tuning into the live video and audio stream. Throughout the date, the “social Turkers” answered polls, wrote reviews of what they are seeing, and sent text messages to her iPhone suggesting what to say or do next—advice came quick enough for McCarthy to actually put it into action.

So someday you may not have to go on that awkward date alone. And maybe, with the help of your global network of ‘Turkers,’ it won’t even be awkward.

Crowd Sourced Dating?

Have you ever desperately texted your friends for advice during a date? “He just complimented me on my embarrassing beauty mark, what do I say now?” 

Artist and programmer Lauren McCarthy is working on a solution for us less confident daters with an app called Social Turkers.

McCarthy used her phone to broadcast her dates live.

The video stream is viewed by the task-rabbits who take part in Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, the crowdsourcing service where you can post small tasks requiring human intelligence that people around the world complete for just a few cents.

Turkers have been asked to transcribe podcasts, search satellite maps to find missing persons, or to rate the emotions expressed in Tweets—but probably never before to help someone’s date go better. For each of McCarthy’s dates, over the course of January, Turkers could earn up to $0.25 for tuning into the live video and audio stream. Throughout the date, the “social Turkers” answered polls, wrote reviews of what they are seeing, and sent text messages to her iPhone suggesting what to say or do next—advice came quick enough for McCarthy to actually put it into action.

So someday you may not have to go on that awkward date alone. And maybe, with the help of your global network of ‘Turkers,’ it won’t even be awkward.

Are there any other app icons that have been made into real objects? Angry Birds plushy toys and…
bobbycaputo:

nevver:

Instagram Socialmatic Camera

I’m not quite sure how I fell about this. I mean, I’m an avid user of instagram and all, but I don’t think it’s necessary to make a camera specifically for the purpose of making “instagram” style photos. What’s wrong with the way it’s being down already on a phone.,And let’s not forget you could just use a REAL vintage camera.  And yes I know this is only a concept.

Are there any other app icons that have been made into real objects? Angry Birds plushy toys and…

bobbycaputo:

nevver:

Instagram Socialmatic Camera

I’m not quite sure how I fell about this. I mean, I’m an avid user of instagram and all, but I don’t think it’s necessary to make a camera specifically for the purpose of making “instagram” style photos. What’s wrong with the way it’s being down already on a phone.,And let’s not forget you could just use a REAL vintage camera.  And yes I know this is only a concept.

Hipstamatic is set to unveil a partnership with Instagram that allows photos taken on the camera app, which enables users to snap professional-looking pictures with stylized films and vintage-era lenses, to be ported directly into Instagram’s network with just one click. It represents the first time Instagram has opened up this platform API to third parties, and marks a move toward letting photos freely flow into Instagram’s network from outside sources.

"When we launched, it was all about Facebook and Flickr and Twitter, and now we’re seeing a huge shift in our user base toward Instagram," says Hipstamatic cofounder and CEO Lucas Buick. "We’ve never been a social networking company, but we clearly benefit from social networks. So this will be the first app outside of Instagram that lets you into their network. That’s pretty cool for us."

Read on->


Khan Academy, the wildly popular Youtube lecture series, is slated to launch its iPad app any minute now in Apple’s store. The enhanced version of Khan Academy will include time-syncing between devices—no Internet connection required—an interactive transcript of the lectures for easy searching, and a handy scrubber for moving between parts of the lectures. 

Learn more->

Khan Academy, the wildly popular Youtube lecture series, is slated to launch its iPad app any minute now in Apple’s store. The enhanced version of Khan Academy will include time-syncing between devices—no Internet connection required—an interactive transcript of the lectures for easy searching, and a handy scrubber for moving between parts of the lectures. 

Learn more->