March 25, 2010
COVER STORY: The Real Smart Phone Revolution, by Anya Kamenetz, page 66
Forget the chalkboard and eraser. iPhones and other handheld devices are transforming the way teachers teach and kids-some as young as 3-learn. Thousands of new mobiles have come into use at schools across the U.S. in just the past year - and are being introduced across the globe, from Mexico to Nepal to Kenya. It's all working, and shaking the education establishment to its core. Writer Anya Kamenetz reports on how technology is making kids smarter everywhere.
Pod Star, by Ellen McGirt, page 78
Call it the podcast that launched 50 million downloads. Comedian Adam Carolla turned a rant about the ills of traditional media, delivered two days after he was unexpectedly fired from his CBS morning-radio show, into the hottest multimedia network in the podiverse. With analysts predicting podcast listernership overall to grow to 38 million strong in three years, Carolla is an accidental pioneer in a medium with surprising commercial punch.
Combustible, by Joshua Hammer, page 84
In the rush to capitalize on untapped oil fields in Kurdish Iraq, dozens of companies-some with links to U.S. officials-have ignited a bitter dispute between the Kurds and Baghdad. Joshua Hammer investigates the players embroiled at the heart of the conflict and the fortunes at stake.
Ford's Big Reveal, by Paul Hochman, page 90
The one American automaker that didn't take TARP money from the government last year has a surprising plan for surviving the downturn: become a consumer-electronics company. How Ford's Sync technology is transforming its cars into rolling, talking, socially networked, cloud-connected supermachines.
Watch Your Back, Barbie! By Kate Rockwood, page 96
The lucre of conquering the girls aisle in toy stores-a possible $400 million opportunity-was hard to resist for Spin Master, the No. 3 toymaker in North American Through tech-savvy storytelling and 21st-century marketing for its Liv dolls, it created a rival that could stand up to queen bee Barbie-and walked off with a sold-out success story.
When Bad Products Happen to Big Companies, by Kate Rockwood, page 22
How could anybody forget the furor over New Coke 25 years ago? We remember the reformulated-product debacle and four others whose launches fell flat.
Fast Talk: From Campus to Commerce. Interviews by Gay Jervey, page 51
Meet five entrepreneurs and academics who make sure that the R&D knowledge nurtured at universities don't get trapped in the Ivory Tower.
The Birth of a Sticky Idea. Made to Stick column, by Dan Heath and Chip Heath, page 45
A highly effective ad campaign says sodas are the new cigarettes. So how should Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other makers of sugary drinks respond when their products are demonized? Our Made to Stick columnists say don't deny the facts; embrace them.
Opening the Black Box, by Danielle Sacks, page 48
Mainstream bankers have earned their billing as the villains of the global financial meltdown. But one Dutch bank, Triodos, dares to become a model for what a bank with a conscience can be-to prosperous effect. Its funds, loan portfolio, balance sheet, and operating profits are up by double digits.
Wanted, page 59
An Yves Béhar-designed motorcycle whose technology can be transferred to electric vehicles, the craziest-looking guitars you've ever seen, and eco-conscious clothes you'll actually want to wear tops this month's gotta-have-it list. Plus a tool that helps you avoid getting ripped off by online ticket brokers and the art of branding in miniature via the hotel key card.
Under Pressure. Numerology, by Stephanie Schomer, page 112
How tense are we? Consider that stress awareness claims not just a month for observance (April) but also a day (the 16th). We present the numbers that give shape to our collective anxiety.
For more of the April 2010 issue of Fast Company, please visit www.fastcompany.com beginning March 24.