Reader's Feedback: March 2012

Illustration by Peter Oumanski

The Apple Option

Should Apple be No. 1 ("The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies")? Maybe. Maybe not. But it's important to keep in mind that Apple makes items that are highly optional. No one needs to buy an Apple product to survive. People choose to buy them because they appreciate the aesthetic, design, usability, quality, and value. If someone doesn't like Apple or its products, he does not have to buy them. In sharp contrast, oil companies are seen to gouge consumers at every opportunity for a product that's essential to everyday life. So which is more evil: the company that creates and sells pretty, shiny baubles that people choose to spend their money on, or the company that has you over a barrel? For folks who are dissatisfied with Apple, they're free to use competing products and services. If Apple wins them over--as it often does--it's further proof of the company's merits.
Jason Scott
Saco, Maine

Most Innovative Feedback

No. 19, Airbnb
Is this a fabulous validation of couch surfing?
Chandrasekhar Kornepati
via Facebook

No. 30, LinkedIn
LinkedIn is continually improving at helping you target results. Even better, unlike Groupon or Yelp, LinkedIn's recommendations are from people you likely know. It's an extra level of authenticity.
Dave Ellis
Mountain View, California

No. 33, Bug Agentes Biológicos
I have been following Bug for quite a few years, and its insect-rearing technology is truly the best in the world, controlling pests in open-field sugarcane farms. From what I've read on Bug's product pipeline for soybean and corn, I think a revolution is on the way.
Patrick Schechtmann
São Paulo

Love (And Hate) For Occupy

When we placed the Occupy Wall Street Movement at No. 7 on our list of the 50 Most Innovative Companies, we expected passionate responses. We just didn't know how passionate.

Occupy broke the law by squatting on both public and private properties, damaged businesses, brought crime to their encampments, and is recognized for being innovative? Fast Company is out of touch with reality.
Chad Eaves
via Facebook

Since Fast Company is playing Mad Libs with innovation, why didn't Tim Tebow make the list?
Chris Schneider
via Facebook

Handouts used to be an embarrassment. Thank God the wealthy continue to be generous and philanthropic while OWS demands "profits" they haven't earned.
Jim Reminga
via Facebook

Who are the idiots that included these losers?
Winston Galt
Walnut Creek, California

Grow up, Fast Company.
Spencer Gilbert
via Facebook

You list a "political movement" as the seventh most influential "company." Seriously? I might expect this from the Huffington Post or Media Matters but not Fast Company. I could have picked up the New York Slimes to read this. How much thought did you give this?
Chris Fredericks
Los Angeles

With the exception of the nonprofits, all the other companies listed on the "Most Innovative Companies" feature are (or want to be) part of the 1% that Occupy considers the enemy. Occupy will utilize their technology, but they don't want to emulate them. Occupy protesters don't want to build; they want to destroy. They don't want to create; they want to ruin. That's innovative?
Bruce Hurwitz
New York

1. Not a company. 2. Not innovative. Whatever else you might feel about the movement is irrelevant.
Robert Greer
Dekalb, Illinois

I like the universal "design" aspects of OWS, as well as the viral communication leverage. It has silenced the Tea Party, moved its game into the local political process, and may even move to the lobbying space. Fast Company made an excellent outside-the-box decision.
Trent Spriggs
via Facebook

"The venture capitalist Fred Wilson has written that entrepreneurs are likely onto something big when they're mocked and misunderstood." "Misunderstood" is a generous word to associate with Occupy. Whether or not you believe in the movement is irrelevant. The point that Occupy's message and purpose are inarticulate undermines any change it's hoping to achieve. It's a fast company that's stuck in neutral.
Katie Cipolla
Philadelphia

Corporations could learn a lot from OWS. It's refreshing to have journalism that questions norms rather than reinforces them. This is why I subscribe.
Jeff Girton
via Facebook

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