Issue 96

July 2005


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  • Customers Don't Grow on Trees

    How do you strike a balance between customer needs and the bottom line? A new way to balance two potentially contradictory demands.

  • Engaging the Enemy

    From Tuesdays With Mantu: My Adventures With a Nigerian Con Artist (2005), Rich Siegel's tale of stringing along, by email and phone, a dogged but dimwitted spammer.

  • Sunrise, Sunset

    This month's CEO See-Ya!: Scott G. McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems.

  • Hoop Schemes

    Mark Cuban is the rare sports-team owner who acts like a fan. Do his on-court antics merit a technical foul or the game ball?

  • Uniformity

    Baseball is more than round balls and base runs; it can also involve branding, design, and typography.

  • Nearly Being There

    A business trip offers a break from the daily office routine. After a night's peace, though, you start missing everyone at home, and they you. Small dynamics — the excited chatter on the drive home from soccer practice, or the way Dad can exactly explain the math homework — help maintain household equilibrium. So how do things stay in balance when one parent is missing?

  • Free Lunches

    When companies offer us, of all people, something for nothing, we wonder: What's the catch — or, for that matter, the business plan? So we asked actual experts — Ben McConnell, author of Creating Customer Evangelists (Dearborn, 2002) and Jennifer Rice of Mantra Brand Consulting — to assess a few high-profile giveaways. How do we know they're working?

  • Bluetooth Killers

    Get rid of that headset! Three new wireless technologies will render Bluetooth obsolete.

  • 60 Seconds with Evan Williams

    Evan Williams's Pyra Labs helped kick-start the personal publishing revolution with Blogger, the first user-friendly software for running a Web log. In 2003, Pyra was snapped up by Google, and Williams became the search giant's blogger-in-chief. Now Williams has founded Odeo, aiming to do for podcasting — think of downloadable radio programming for your iPod — what Pyra did for blogs. His bet: Your neighbor might be the next Howard Stern.

  • The Gadgeteers

    Gadget bloggers supply early adopters with quick gizmo fixes and a view of the tech horizon. Here are four of the best.

  • China: The Next Big Bling

    After Lenovo bought IBM's PC division, it learned that the Chinese treat their gizmos like your grandmother treats her furniture.

  • Datebook

    Critical calendar listings for July 2005.

  • The $8.59 Selfless-Service Lab

    The pink-stucco and red-tile building, once home to a Red Lobster, blends easily into the urban sprawl of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A truck dealership is on one side, a nail salon across the street. But there's something different going on here at California Fresh Buffet.

Fast Talk

  • Fast Talk: Dream Jobs

    They'd do it for free. They don't get discouraged by the inevitable hassles — at least not for long. Four of our favorites tell you how to get a dream job, grow with one, and make it your own.

From the Editor

  • Working for the Boss From Hell

    Your boss summons you to his office. Once you're inside, he races behind you to slam the door shut. Then he fires a chair across the room in your direction.

More In This Issue…

  • Flipped to Last

    With our November issue, Fast Company will celebrate 10 years of publication. Each month until then, we'll review one of our favorite editions from the first decade.

  • Design Minded

    Dan Pink examines some of the causes of the rise of the creative class.