June 23, 2010
COVER STORY: The Invincible Apple—10 Lessons From the Coolest Company Anywhere, by Farhad Manjoo, page 68
Apple has unseated Microsoft as the world's most valuable tech company-confirmation of its central place in American business and America's culture. From corner offices to college campuses, we are all part of Apple Nation, aspiring to emulate the success, cachet, and cool of Steve Jobs's unique creation. But just what gives Apple its distinct Apple-ness? Farhad Manjoo breaks through the generalities, hyperbole, and knee-jerk assumptions, uncovering 10 distinct attributes that companies, executives, and entrepreneurs can all learn from.
Doctor Love, by Adam L. Penenberg, page 78
What's behind our compulsive Facebook and Twitter addictions? According to neuroeconomist Paul Zak, the answer lies in oxytocin-the generosity-trust chemical in our brain. His study results, about financial relationships and social media, are a wake-up call for any company that wants to build a devoted following, online or off.
From Big Oil to Big Algae, by Anya Kamenetz, page 84
Cynthia Warner was the highest-ranking woman executive at BP when she left in 2009 to join an algae-biofuels startup. Part of a "Beyond Petroleum" generation of BP execs disillusioned by over-aggressive exploration efforts, Warner explains what the Deepwater Horizon spill means to the future of Big Oil-and why she's betting on pond scum instead.
Take Us to the River, by Michael Fitzgerald, page 90
Warner Music Group's Lyor Cohen is on the verge of cracking the media world's most pressing business riddle: how to successfully replace analog dollars with a river of digital nickels.
Get What You Want for Nothing, by Nancy Lublin, page 96
There's plenty of power in zero, writes Fast Company columnist Nancy Lublin, if you simply follow the practices of the most successful not-for-profits. Lublin shows what she calls "ginormous corporations" how to do more with less-and thrive.
EXCLUSIVE: The Best-Designed Stuff of 2010, by Linda Tischler, page 102
A look at products that won top honors from the Industrial Designers Society of America, from eco-friendly consumer electronics to the coolest backyard barbecue to the wildest roller skate ever.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE JULY/AUGUST 2010 ISSUE
National Drive-Thru Day, by Stephanie Schomer, page 28
The grab-and-go lane inspires us to spend $110 billion each year-not just on fast food. How the drive-thru has enabled us to eat, pray and even mourn on the go.
Cable Comes of Age (Thanks, Conan!), by Austin Carr, page 36
Cable TV revenue has eclipsed broadcast television's-up 14% over the past two years, to $48 billion, versus broadcast's 4% slump, to $16 billion. The reason: a surge of scrappy newcomers, from Conan on TBS, to Oprah on her own lifestyle channel (OWN), to midget wrestlers on Spike-and much more. Our snapshot of an industry on the move.
Stimulating Eco Bets, by Camille Rickerts, page 38
The Department of Energy's version of DARPA has made a string of stimulus-funded grants.
Next-Gen Airport Security, by Irin Carmon, page 40
Israeli company WeCU's new technology surreptitiously measures passengers' rapid eye movements, body temperature, and breathing and heart rates to identify potential terrorists.
"Freemium" Pays, by Dan Macsai, page 42
For Evernote, a "freemium" model-giving away a service with the hope that users will shell out for additional features-is a numbers game that works.
Fast Talk: The Recovery Business. Interviews by Stephanie Schomer, page 51
Voices from the bleeding edge of disaster-relief efforts talk about the challenges-and innovations-that come when you're getting people and countries back on their feet.
Wanted, page 61
A street bike from the founder of Design Within Reach; a curated meal via the Internet; golf balls suited for the average duffer; skateboards that bring marketing to new heights.
Numerology: Comic Books, by Austin Carr, page 120
The megaconvention Comic-Con and its 125,000 attendees hit San Diego in July. We sketch out the multimillion-dollar business that inspired the event.
For more of the July/August 2010 issue of Fast Company, please visit www.fastcompany.com beginning June 23. The July/August issue of Fast Company is on newsstands beginning June 29.