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To outsiders, Silicon Valley work culture seems almost like a joke: college kids pretending to be adults in unkempt hair who show up to business meetings wearing wrinkled T-shirts with jeans. But for the people entrenched in it, what could be better?
Glassdoor on Friday released its first report on the companies with the best work culture and values, as determined by reviews and ratings by former and current employees. Not only does Twitter top the list, but tech made a strong showing overall, filling 11 of the 25 spots. Aside from the microblogging service, the list also includes Google at No. 3, Facebook at No. 5, and Apple at No. 15.
What is it that Twitter employees love about their workplace?
Read More>

To outsiders, Silicon Valley work culture seems almost like a joke: college kids pretending to be adults in unkempt hair who show up to business meetings wearing wrinkled T-shirts with jeans. But for the people entrenched in it, what could be better?

Glassdoor on Friday released its first report on the companies with the best work culture and values, as determined by reviews and ratings by former and current employees. Not only does Twitter top the list, but tech made a strong showing overall, filling 11 of the 25 spots. Aside from the microblogging service, the list also includes Google at No. 3, Facebook at No. 5, and Apple at No. 15.

What is it that Twitter employees love about their workplace?

Square just posted the “Top 10 Myths About Square.” Jack Dorsey and his superstar investors respond to the six they really care about.
Lately, Square CEO Jack Dorsey has been binge watching Friday Night Lights. The uplifting TV series, about a high school football team called the Dillon Panthers, is centrally themed around underdog comebacks. And after the week Dorsey has just endured—during which Amazon launched a product aimed at stealing away Square’s customers, a move that compelled the startup to publish a blog post debunking the “10 myths” about Square, including whether its business is struggling—one might think Dorsey is due for a Panthers-style comeback of his own.
Based on the time I spent with Square, including interviews with Dorsey, his investors, and his key lieutenants, here are their flesh-and-blood responses to the myths they really care about:
Read More>

Square just posted the “Top 10 Myths About Square.” Jack Dorsey and his superstar investors respond to the six they really care about.

Lately, Square CEO Jack Dorsey has been binge watching Friday Night Lights. The uplifting TV series, about a high school football team called the Dillon Panthers, is centrally themed around underdog comebacks. And after the week Dorsey has just endured—during which Amazon launched a product aimed at stealing away Square’s customers, a move that compelled the startup to publish a blog post debunking the “10 myths” about Square, including whether its business is struggling—one might think Dorsey is due for a Panthers-style comeback of his own.

Based on the time I spent with Square, including interviews with Dorsey, his investors, and his key lieutenants, here are their flesh-and-blood responses to the myths they really care about:

Read More>

Long a holdout, Apple has joined Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other tech companies by releasing a diversity report of its own. And like the rest of them, the makeup at the Cupertino, California company is largely white and male.
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Long a holdout, Apple has joined Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other tech companies by releasing a diversity report of its own. And like the rest of them, the makeup at the Cupertino, California company is largely white and male.

Read More>

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You probably have not heard of viral sensation James Ellis, “Actor/Fitness Model and follower of JESUS CHRIST,” as he describes himself on his Facebook page, which has over 1.3 million likes and counting. But you may have come across one of his videos in your news feed recently. For reasons that are still a mystery, these sketchy videos have been showing up everywhere—even in the feeds of people who have no idea who Ellis is.

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Here are 2013’s 10 Most Innovative Companies In Gaming:
1. Rovio
The maker of Angry Birds is #1 for making apps the new source for big entertainment franchises.
2. Tencent Games
For leveraging its online distribution network and moving into content.
3. Activision
For elevating physical and digital play with its Skylanders series. Spyro’s Adventure and its sequel, Giants, feature dozens of chip-embedded action figures that interact with whatever happens on the screen, whether it’s a TV, computer, or handheld.
4. Microsoft
For revolutionizing home entertainment. Microsoft has assembled a digital living room. The system connects Windows, Xbox, and Kinect via SmartGlass, a free app that debuted last fall, which turns a portable device into a remote control and second screen.
5. Nintendo
For making the controller just as crucial to the gaming experience as the console and the Wii U.
6. Ouya
For electrifying gamers with a hackable console that features both a compelling design and an affordable device.
7. Telltale Games
For creating affordable appointment gaming. With The Walking Dead, Telltale has given gamers a way to play that’s amenable to busy schedules and with minimal upfront buy-in.
8. Valve
For pushing gaming into the hands of everyone. In 2012, it released its Source Filmmaker moviemaking tool to gamers for free, enabling just about anybody to produce Pixar-quality animation.
9. Imangi Studios
For pivoting into a freemium phenomenon. When sales started to slump (it was originally a 99-cent download), they made the game free to play and reaped about five times as much revenue.
10. Kabam
For turning hardcore gamers into a gold mine. Kabam puts out games that are long, complex, and appeal to players who are willing to devote lots of time to them…
[Image: Flickr user WastedButReady]

Here are 2013’s 10 Most Innovative Companies In Gaming:

1. Rovio

The maker of Angry Birds is #1 for making apps the new source for big entertainment franchises.

2. Tencent Games

For leveraging its online distribution network and moving into content.

3. Activision

For elevating physical and digital play with its Skylanders series. Spyro’s Adventure and its sequel, Giants, feature dozens of chip-embedded action figures that interact with whatever happens on the screen, whether it’s a TV, computer, or handheld.

4. Microsoft

For revolutionizing home entertainment. Microsoft has assembled a digital living room. The system connects Windows, Xbox, and Kinect via SmartGlass, a free app that debuted last fall, which turns a portable device into a remote control and second screen.

5. Nintendo

For making the controller just as crucial to the gaming experience as the console and the Wii U.

6. Ouya

For electrifying gamers with a hackable console that features both a compelling design and an affordable device.

7. Telltale Games

For creating affordable appointment gaming. With The Walking DeadTelltale has given gamers a way to play that’s amenable to busy schedules and with minimal upfront buy-in.

8. Valve

For pushing gaming into the hands of everyone. In 2012, it released its Source Filmmaker moviemaking tool to gamers for free, enabling just about anybody to produce Pixar-quality animation.

9. Imangi Studios

For pivoting into a freemium phenomenon. When sales started to slump (it was originally a 99-cent download), they made the game free to play and reaped about five times as much revenue.

10. Kabam

For turning hardcore gamers into a gold mine. Kabam puts out games that are long, complex, and appeal to players who are willing to devote lots of time to them…

[Image: Flickr user WastedButReady]

Here’s why Buzzfeed is #18 on our 2013 Most Innovative Companies list.
When he founded BuzzFeed in 2006, serial entrepreneur Jonah Peretti—who’d previously cofounded the Huffington Post—thought of it as a new-media mad-science lab. Social sharing was the next big distribution channel, he reasoned, and BuzzFeed was a place to create silly shareable content. The site is still brimming with listicles and cat videos, but over the past year, BuzzFeed has undergone a remarkable transformation: It’s now also a serious news site, blending in a high-powered team of journalists covering politics, gender issues, technology, music, food, and pop culture. 
Peretti sat down to discuss BuzzFeed’s breakout year.
 

FC: You don’t run traditional banner ads. Instead you run “sponsored content”—posts that feel like BuzzFeed content but that are paid for by a brand. Why? JP: I wanted our ads to have the same advantages as our content—something that people wanted to click on and share. We think of it as the evolution of advertorial. It’s a return to Mad Men-era advertising, where media buying and creative were the same business, and where you thought about advertising as telling a story. On the web, that changed; banner ads became the dominant force. There wasn’t the sense of craft in it.

Check out the full story here.

Here’s why Buzzfeed is #18 on our 2013 Most Innovative Companies list.

When he founded BuzzFeed in 2006, serial entrepreneur Jonah Peretti—who’d previously cofounded the Huffington Post—thought of it as a new-media mad-science lab. Social sharing was the next big distribution channel, he reasoned, and BuzzFeed was a place to create silly shareable content. The site is still brimming with listicles and cat videos, but over the past year, BuzzFeed has undergone a remarkable transformation: It’s now also a serious news site, blending in a high-powered team of journalists covering politics, gender issues, technology, music, food, and pop culture.

Peretti sat down to discuss BuzzFeed’s breakout year.

 

FC: You don’t run traditional banner ads. Instead you run “sponsored content”—posts that feel like BuzzFeed content but that are paid for by a brand. Why? 
JP: I wanted our ads to have the same advantages as our content—something that people wanted to click on and share. We think of it as the evolution of advertorial. It’s a return to Mad Men-era advertising, where media buying and creative were the same business, and where you thought about advertising as telling a story. On the web, that changed; banner ads became the dominant force. There wasn’t the sense of craft in it.

Check out the full story here.

Here’s why Samsung, #17 on our 2013 Most Innovative Companies list, should be lauded not loathed. 

Samsung built a user interface similar to that of the iPhone but gained its real edge by improving one of Samsung’s core strengths: producing big, beautiful screens. In fact, beginning with the company’s entry into the semiconductor business, Samsung has cultivated an ability to quickly study, imitate, and, where appropriate, improve upon competitors’ products. In an age when information flows freely and contract manufacturers can pump out millions of new devices in a matter of weeks, that skill may be the most underrated in business.

[Image: Stephen Doyle]

Here’s why Samsung, #17 on our 2013 Most Innovative Companies list, should be lauded not loathed. 

Samsung built a user interface similar to that of the iPhone but gained its real edge by improving one of Samsung’s core strengths: producing big, beautiful screens. In fact, beginning with the company’s entry into the semiconductor business, Samsung has cultivated an ability to quickly study, imitate, and, where appropriate, improve upon competitors’ products. In an age when information flows freely and contract manufacturers can pump out millions of new devices in a matter of weeks, that skill may be the most underrated in business.

[Image: Stephen Doyle]