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It’s that time again. Y Combinator, one of the most coveted accelerators in the country, is hosting a demo day for its graduating batch of startups.
Expect a marathon of pitches. Eighty-five companies will present on stage for a few minutes apiece, hoping to convince investors to bank on their ideas to transform X, Y, or Z.
The accelerator is best known for its tightly knit network and breakout startups, such as Dropbox, Airbnb, and Twitch—all three of which are in the billion-dollar-valuation club. Earlier this summer, president Sam Altman said Y Combinator’s portfolio of more than 400 active companies exceeds $30 billion in value.
Fast Company’s Alice Truong will report live from the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. The event begins at 10 a.m. PT.
You can submit questions now!

It’s that time again. Y Combinator, one of the most coveted accelerators in the country, is hosting a demo day for its graduating batch of startups.

Expect a marathon of pitches. Eighty-five companies will present on stage for a few minutes apiece, hoping to convince investors to bank on their ideas to transform X, Y, or Z.

The accelerator is best known for its tightly knit network and breakout startups, such as Dropbox, Airbnb, and Twitch—all three of which are in the billion-dollar-valuation club. Earlier this summer, president Sam Altman said Y Combinator’s portfolio of more than 400 active companies exceeds $30 billion in value.

Fast Company’s Alice Truong will report live from the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. The event begins at 10 a.m. PT.

You can submit questions now!

A new website from a couple MIT grads lets customers haggle for high-end, locally made products.
Haggling is an age-old tradition at marketplaces around the world, but price negotiations between merchants and buyers haven’t quite made their way into the world of e-commerce.
Theorem, a San Francisco-based startup headed by MIT grads Ryan Jackson and Adam Roberts, is trying to change that.
Read More>

A new website from a couple MIT grads lets customers haggle for high-end, locally made products.

Haggling is an age-old tradition at marketplaces around the world, but price negotiations between merchants and buyers haven’t quite made their way into the world of e-commerce.

Theorem, a San Francisco-based startup headed by MIT grads Ryan Jackson and Adam Roberts, is trying to change that.

Read More>

A Dutch designer imagines a better way to brand the Korean giant.
For 21 years, the Samsung name as served as the company logo, occasionally superimposed over a wobbly blue oval. It’s the kind of logo that’s fine on washing machines and televisions, but incredibly boring on something personal, like a smartphone. Never is this more apparent than when compared to the branding of Samsung’s arch-enemy in Cupertino, which is simply the silhouette of an apple.
Regardless, Samsung sells more smartphones and tablets than even Apple does. Doesn’t it deserve branding just as good?
Read More>

A Dutch designer imagines a better way to brand the Korean giant.

For 21 years, the Samsung name as served as the company logo, occasionally superimposed over a wobbly blue oval. It’s the kind of logo that’s fine on washing machines and televisions, but incredibly boring on something personal, like a smartphone. Never is this more apparent than when compared to the branding of Samsung’s arch-enemy in Cupertino, which is simply the silhouette of an apple.

Regardless, Samsung sells more smartphones and tablets than even Apple does. Doesn’t it deserve branding just as good?

Read More>

Here’s what’s happening in Fast Company’s September issue!

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(via fastcompany)

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>

Here’s how to get your boss and coworkers used to the idea that you won’t always be available.
Picture this. You’re on a beach in the middle of the Caribbean with no Internet access, no phone reception, and no text messages.
You return from your vacation well rested, and want to continue some of these healthy habits—like not sleeping with your smartphone on your pillow. But how does that work when you’ve been tethered to your phone, and your coworkers and boss expect you to answer 24/7 because that’s what you’ve always done?
Depending on your particular situation, you can broach the topic with your boss. It may not be easy to detach from your smartphone, but it’s certainly not impossible, according to several experts. Here’s what they advise:
Read More>

Here’s how to get your boss and coworkers used to the idea that you won’t always be available.

Picture this. You’re on a beach in the middle of the Caribbean with no Internet access, no phone reception, and no text messages.

You return from your vacation well rested, and want to continue some of these healthy habits—like not sleeping with your smartphone on your pillow. But how does that work when you’ve been tethered to your phone, and your coworkers and boss expect you to answer 24/7 because that’s what you’ve always done?

Depending on your particular situation, you can broach the topic with your boss. It may not be easy to detach from your smartphone, but it’s certainly not impossible, according to several experts. Here’s what they advise:

Read More>

Don’t let them get you down. A guide to the kinds of people you’re forced to work with, and how to deal with them.
If you’re like most people, you like most of your colleagues most of the time. Generally speaking, the workplace is a community. People are friendly, and there is a shared goal. And that makes work a fulfilling place to be, and hopefully you feel as though you are part of something bigger.
Unfortunately, all that goodwill generated by your wonderful coworkers can evaporate completely when a few jerks appear. Just a couple of negative interactions with a colleague can be enough to overcome a host of other positive conversations. And those negative interactions may stay with you even after you leave work.
Here’s a field guide to some of the biggest jerks at work and a few things you can do to keep up your positive mood.
Read More>

Don’t let them get you down. A guide to the kinds of people you’re forced to work with, and how to deal with them.

If you’re like most people, you like most of your colleagues most of the time. Generally speaking, the workplace is a community. People are friendly, and there is a shared goal. And that makes work a fulfilling place to be, and hopefully you feel as though you are part of something bigger.

Unfortunately, all that goodwill generated by your wonderful coworkers can evaporate completely when a few jerks appear. Just a couple of negative interactions with a colleague can be enough to overcome a host of other positive conversations. And those negative interactions may stay with you even after you leave work.

Here’s a field guide to some of the biggest jerks at work and a few things you can do to keep up your positive mood.

Read More>

Networking in a new industry can be daunting for even the most socially adept. Here’s how to dissolve the nerves.
Networking is research-proven to be the overwhelmingly best way to land a job, better than job board hunting and recruiter services.
But for most of us—introverts, especially—selling oneself as a “brand” doesn’t come naturally. Something as small as fully owning the skills section of your resume feels like pulling your own teeth; shoving yourself out the door to walk into a room of strangers feels like a root canal.
Here’s how to calm the nerves and awkwardness that come with wading into a crowd of industry pros, in search of your next big break:
Read More>

Networking in a new industry can be daunting for even the most socially adept. Here’s how to dissolve the nerves.

Networking is research-proven to be the overwhelmingly best way to land a job, better than job board hunting and recruiter services.

But for most of us—introverts, especially—selling oneself as a “brand” doesn’t come naturally. Something as small as fully owning the skills section of your resume feels like pulling your own teeth; shoving yourself out the door to walk into a room of strangers feels like a root canal.

Here’s how to calm the nerves and awkwardness that come with wading into a crowd of industry pros, in search of your next big break:

Read More>

They aren’t waiting around or keeping their heads down, no matter what anyone says.
Young, hopeful entrepreneurs are never at a loss for free advice from those who have “been there, done that.”
The best companies have millennials and women in charge, so it’s no surprise there are countless well-meaning people ready to dole out their two cents.
But how do you separate the distractions from truly valuable advice? These five women in the tech and business industries made their own ways, but sifted through their share of unsolicited chaff in the process.
Read More>

They aren’t waiting around or keeping their heads down, no matter what anyone says.

Young, hopeful entrepreneurs are never at a loss for free advice from those who have “been there, done that.”

The best companies have millennials and women in charge, so it’s no surprise there are countless well-meaning people ready to dole out their two cents.

But how do you separate the distractions from truly valuable advice? These five women in the tech and business industries made their own ways, but sifted through their share of unsolicited chaff in the process.

Read More>

Ignoring an in-office conflict won’t make it go away. Here’s how to get things back on track.
You’ve had an interaction with a coworker during which you felt hurt, angry, misunderstood, and wronged—clearly it was an upsetting and difficult situation.
As you regroup, you review what happened, what you heard and experienced. Replaying the conversation is painful and you begin to plan what you’d like to say as a follow-up. Of course the other person is taking stock and regrouping too, and he or she likely has a very different take on what happened.
Revisiting and repairing a difficult interaction in the workplace is a complex process. Here’s how to get started:
Read More>

Ignoring an in-office conflict won’t make it go away. Here’s how to get things back on track.

You’ve had an interaction with a coworker during which you felt hurt, angry, misunderstood, and wronged—clearly it was an upsetting and difficult situation.

As you regroup, you review what happened, what you heard and experienced. Replaying the conversation is painful and you begin to plan what you’d like to say as a follow-up. Of course the other person is taking stock and regrouping too, and he or she likely has a very different take on what happened.

Revisiting and repairing a difficult interaction in the workplace is a complex process. Here’s how to get started:

Read More>