We launched this magazine five years ago with a clear mission: to chronicle the epic changes sweeping across business and to equip our readers with the ideas, tools, and tactics that they need to thrive. Change was the order of the day. We could see the importance of digital technology as a disruptive force that would erase the boundaries of time and space and reinvent work. The economy wasn't globalizing — it was global. Ideas, business models, talent, and capital — all of the keys to business — had become components of a new, worldwide economic system. A new generation of executives were redefining leadership in large, established companies — or heading off to test their mettle in startups.
Appropriately, change is the theme of this fifth-anniversary issue — from Jim Collins's must-read essay From Good to Great to the case study of How EDS Got Its Groove Back.
But if change is the theme of this month's issue, then recommitment to core principles and fundamental purpose is the higher message of this letter. The economy will continue to migrate, work will continue to morph, and competition will continue to evolve. Fast Company, as the defining magazine of business in a time of change, will remain true to three propositions that guide our work.
First, we have a point of view. Our subscribers — now nearly 700,000 senior leaders and change activists in companies of all sizes around the world — engage with us because we are committed to telling them about what's new, what's next, and what matters. As much as a value proposition, we offer a values proposition: Today, business as usual is not an option.
Second, we are allied with our readers. We inspire our readers to think bigger and instruct them on how to do better. And we ask them to help us deliver a magazine that they can believe in — a resource they can turn to as they grow their companies, change their organizations, and advance their personal success.
Third, we have a unique style: fun meets function. We believe that work is serious fun — that the only way to play this game (and to publish a magazine) is with gusto and gumption.
So as we at Fast Company celebrate our fifth anniversary and look forward to the next five years, allow us to offer a restatement of purpose: We will continue traveling into the future with you, making sense of this epic journey, charting the changes as they come. And we'll continue to do so without compromising the core principles that define the mission of Fast Company — and without altering our commitment to you.
A version of this article appeared in the October 2001 issue of Fast Company magazine.