Table of Contents - April 2004

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Features

Into Thin Air
Maybe offshoring is good for the economy in the long run. Maybe it will boost productivity and save companies. But it`s causing real pain to real people. And they never thought it would happen to them. Jennifer Reingold
Web Exclusive: The Responsibility to Retrain
RIT professor Ronil Hira considers the arguments for and against offshoring, as well as who is responsible for the American workers left behind.
Web Exclusive: A Brief (Recent) History of Offshoring
The CEO of Covansys, one of the first American organizations to explore offshoring, considers how Indian government regulation, the Y2K problem, and the widespread acceptance of the Net contributed to the current job loss and economic insecurity.
Web Exclusive: Crunching Monster's Numbers
For Jeff Taylor, founder and chairman of Monster.com and a longtime observer of the employment tea leaves, the hot-button issue of jobs moving abroad ignores what he thinks is a cold, hard fact: The biggest job-related challenge in this country is likely to be too many jobs, not too few. This Web Exclusive offers Taylor's argument on why the aging of the baby boomers means dynamism, not depression, for job seekers.
Fantastic Voyage
Cyberonics` medical implant is the size of a chocolate-chip cookie, and it could--could--be worth $2.8 billion someday. But as this dramatic tale of innovation and entrepreneurship shows, saving lives can be one tough business. Scott Kirsner
Every Move You Make
Calling Margaret Mead: Ad agencies are hiring anthropologists and ethnographers to study and film consumers in their natural environments to see what they really eat, drink, and buy. Linda Tischler
It`s A Blog World After All
Blogs were once the domain of angst-ridden teens and doomed presidential candidates. But the likes of Verizon, IBM, Microsoft, and Dr. Pepper are all climbing on the blogwagon. Turns out, Web logs are a nifty knowledge-management tool. And companies also see them as a promising medium for advertising (naturally). Jena McGregor
Web Exclusive: Professionals, Publishing for the Public
If it`s true that markets are conversations, business blogs might help corporate conversations scale globally. Jena McGregor
Web Exclusive: Post(er) Boy
Robert Scoble, a technical evangelist and active blogger at Microsoft, offers tips and tactics that can help your company thrive and survive on the Web. Jena McGregor
Web Exclusive: Best Blog Ever
When Fred Graver, executive producer of VH-1`s entertainment news show "Best Week Ever" started planning the program, he didn`t turn on the TV for inspiration, he turned to the Web. Jena McGregor
Web Exclusive: A Little Help from Your Friends
Forget online dating. Online business networking is where the really sexy stuff is happening. Alison Overholt
Web Exclusive: Six Degrees of Competition
The author of Fast Company`s social network software Web exclusive takes a look at the complicity -- and competition -- among several company founders. Alison Overholt
Smart Strategies: Putting Ideas To Work
"There have been several great eras in strategy," says one consultant. "This is not one of them." Still, there are signs of a renewed appetite for new thoughts. To get a sense of the enduring power of a big idea, we look at five companies that are putting smart strategies into action. Alison Overholt
Drawing A Life
Executive recruiter and frustrated stand-up comic Tom Stern has found a new outlet for his humor--and a way to exorcise his demons. He`s determined to make CEO Dad, a cartoon based on his memories of his own father, the next Dilbert. Ryan Underwood
A Day in the Life of Work: Whiskey Business
Drinking on the job is only one aspect of Diane Rogers`s new role as a quality analyst for Maker`s Mark. Christine Canabou
Fast Talk: Life Savers
It is the most important industry the world will ever know--keeping people alive. It`s a huge undertaking by physicians, researchers, product engineers, and more. We asked some of the best: How do they save lives? Christine Canabou

Next

Chatter
Virtually Helpful. Nate Nickerson
Awaiting the Prodigal Economy
If we take our cues from hemlines and Porsche sales, the economy may indeed be on the upswing. So why don`t we feel better? Linda Tischler
Where the Heck Is Svalbard?
Welcome to your newly relocated office: fully furnished with some of the widest Internet bandwidth available, one of the lowest tax rates on earth, and spectacular views of one of the largest areas of pristine wilderness in the world. Ian Wylie
CEO See-Ya!
Which CEOs deserve the boot? This month: Robert D. Fagan, CEO of TECO Energy. Jennifer Reingold
Prophet of Productivity
Cisco CEO John Chambers sure showed the chrome-domes in Davos a thing or two. Carleen Hawn
" It`s a matter of will."
Here`s a commute for you: Shanghai to San Francisco, every two weeks, in pursuit of an executive MBA. Carleen Hawn
Are You a Polyolefin Optimizer? Take This Quiz!
Dow Chemicals VP Kurt Swogger has found a way to purify the creative process in R&D. Alison Overholt
What`s Your Creativity Type?
Do you and your colleagues match your job descriptions? This quick exercise can help determine whether you`re right for your jobs. Alison Overholt
Networking Overload
Meet "snam," the junk email generated by social networking. Scott Kirsner
The Anti-Gym Bag
Timbuk2`s Yoga Bag proves that you can go to the gym without looking like you`ve, ahem, just been to the gym. Alison Overholt
Just Don`t Call It a Power Lunch
The power lunch is dead. But that doesn`t mean it`s over. Five ways to lunch with impact. Nate Nickerson; Danielle Sacks
60 Seconds With Gary Baseman
For two decades, Gary Baseman has been priming the engines of an artistic movement he calls "pervasive art." How pervasive? To date, he`s crafted art for TV, books, subs, toys, ads, wrapping paper--and, most recently, for the animated film Disney`s Teacher`s Pet, which arrived to critical raves (but middling ticket sales). Lucas Conley
Web Extra: More Than 60 Seconds with Gary Baseman
An extended transcript of the interview in the April 2004 issue of Fast Company.
Kaos-Think-- This Time, in English
A new book sharing lessons and ideas from the KaosPilots, a progressive business school in Denmark, indicates that business leaders around the world can still learn from the Scandinavian world of work. Heath Row
The Form 1040
The tax return may be the ultimate icon of the nexus of man and state--but how much do we really know about it? Lucas Conley
Office Handbook
Chapter 3: Email. Ryan Underwood
The Corporate Shrink
When a founder won`t name a successor. Dr. Kerry J. Sulkowicz

Playbook

The Wizard, King, and Hobbit of Business
The history of IBM unfolds into an epic trilogy about its three CEOs--the determined father, reluctant son, and enterprising stranger. Jim Collins
Things Leaders Do
GE`s Jeff Immelt on the 10 keys to great leadership.
Readers' Choice
In What Matters Most, an entrepreneur says big business is learning social responsibility.
Avoiding the Superstition Trap
Are you successful in spite of doing things that make no sense at all? Marshall Goldsmith
How to Really Make a Revolution
Why the Internet didn`t fuel a true revolution. Shoshana Zuboff
If It`s Urgent, Ignore It
Smart organizations ignore the urgent and focus on the important. Seth Godin

More Great Stuff

The Faces of the Jobless Recovery
This month`s letter from the editor. John A. Byrne
Between The Lines
The stories behind this issue`s stories.
Moment of Truth?
Report From the Past. Keith H. Hammonds
Feedback
Letters. Updates. Advice.
The Net/Net
A go-to guide of the products and services featured in this month`s issue.