Today in Most Innovative Companies

News of note from our Most Innovative Companies, including Facebook, Netflix, Apple, Twitter, and Google.



Facebook: More than 80 million Facebook users are obsessed with Farmville, and one of the more devoted players is Bulgaria’s Plovidv City Council member, Dimitar Kerin. During council meetings, Kerin would take advantage of the city hall’s laptops and wireless connection to tend to his farm. This caught the attention of the council chair, who many times scolded Kerin’s virtual farming, warning him that the game was not allowed during meetings. Kerin, obviously sensing the Kafkaesque ridiculousness of the “wrongdoing,” kept on Farmville, arguing that he had to catch up with other council members, who achieved higher levels on the game. Kerin pointed out logically that many other members used city hall for their Farmville pleasures, and cited the fact that one councilman had reached level 46, whereas Kerin was stuck at a pitiful level 40. Shockingly, council members voted Kerin off the board, but only in a split 20-19 decision, suggesting that perhaps half the council members in Bulgaria’s second largest city are committed to the Facebook app.

Netflix: The postal service is bleeding money, and naturally we’re more worried about how we’ll get our DVDs in the mail than our tax returns this April. According to a report from MSNBC’s Big Money, Netflix, who turns out to be the USPS’s largest customer, will be significantly hurt by the postal service’s elimination of Saturday service and their heightened postage fees. “Netflix’s finely tuned business model could suffer a serious blow,” says MSNBC. Also of interest: Netflix employees are expected to process a minimum of 650 discs per hour to keep up with the high-demand of Netflix customers–that’s about a disc every 5.5 seconds! And yet somehow, they never mess up my order.

Apple: A report today hinting that Verizon would soon be able to offer the iPhone to its customers sent Apple shares through the roof, reaching an all-time high. While AT&T’s monopoly over the iPhone has not officially ended, some analysts believe Apple will offer the next-generation of iPhones to multiple U.S. carriers, which would destroy most of the arguments made by Luke Wilson, who apparently is growing tired of heading up AT&T’s ad-campaign.

Twitter: The Chicago White Sox are having trouble with Twittering staffers. Manager Ozzie Guillen loves to tweet, no matter if it’s causing a huge strife between the general manager, players, and his own son. But apparently, the White Sox are not the only team suffering from social network in-fighting: ball clubs across the country, from the Cubs to the D-backs, are trying to get services like Twitter and Facebook under control.

Google: Google maps can help you test out your new Porsche or find the perfect bike paths, but now its tools are growing more and more important for emergency response. We’ve already seen how Google provided satellite imagery during the Haiti Quake–now it’s helping localize bomb threats, according to a report today.

About the author

Austin Carr writes about design and technology for Fast Company magazine.