Something is happening and it affects us all. A global revolution is changing business, and business is changing the world. With unsettling speed, two forces are converging: a new generation of business leaders is rewriting the rules of business, and a new breed of fast companies is challenging the corporate status quo.
That convergence overturns 50 years of received wisdom on the fundamentals of work and competition. No part of business is immune. The structure of the company is changing; relationships between companies are changing; the nature of work is changing; the definition of success is changing. The result is a revolution as far-reaching as the Industrial Revolution.
We are just beginning to comprehend this new world even as we create it. This much we know: we live and work in a time of unparalleled opportunity and unprecedented uncertainty. An economy driven by technology and innovation makes old borders obsolete. Smart people working in smart companies have the ability to create their own futures — and also hold the responsibility for the consequences. The possibilities are unlimited — and unlimited possibilities carry equal measures of hope and fear.
Fast Company aims to be the handbook of the business revolution. We will chronicle the changes under way in how companies create and compete, highlight the new practices shaping how work gets done, showcase teams who are inventing the future and reinventing business. Most of all, we will equip the people exploring this uncharted territory with the tools, techniques, models, and mind-sets they need.
Fast Company is where best practice meets big ideas; new talent meets innovative tools; the emerging business community meets the emerging conversation about the future of business.
Here's What We've Set Out To Do:
- Accurately, honestly, and entertainingly identify the knowledge workers, management innovators, and idea merchants leading the business revolution. Our new community is waiting to emerge and converge. We mean to have serious fun. All we need is the meeting ground.
- Create the language of the revolution: a new business vocabulary that captures and expresses our common experiences, the common language we use to talk to each other.
- Identify the values of the revolution and the people who are building companies that embody them: a commitment to merge economic growth with social justice, democratic participation with tough-minded execution, explosive technological innovation with old-fashioned individual commitment.
- Debunk old myths and discover new legends — before they're celebrified beyond recognition. A new community needs its own legitimate heroes and heroines, its models and mentors. At the same time, it's open season on pretenders, phonies, and purveyors of business snake oil.
- Start conversations, stimulate debates, provoke arguments, create healthy tension. fast company will be the first — not the last — word in cutting-edge business thinking. If you find something to apply in your work, something to talk about with your colleagues, something to help reframe a problem, something to disagree with, then fast company is succeeding.
One last thing. Throughout the magazine you will find opportunities for follow-up and feedback with our editors, authors, and the people and companies we write about. We hope you take advantage of those opportunities. When you reconnect with us to share your ideas, reactions, insights, and innovations, the community of change grows.
The revolution spreads.
A version of this article appeared in the November 1995 issue of Fast Company magazine.