Re: April 2011

Your comments, tweet and, yes, gripes about the April 2011 issue

Re: April 2011
Inbox | Re: April 2011


Brand Loyalty

Kudos to Fast Company for having the courage to buck conventional publishing norms to explore a vital issue facing businesses in the digital age: the integration of branding and marketing communications within traditional settings, such as a magazine’s editorial pages (“I’m With the Brand”). This story has given increased attention to the need for consumer awareness of how branding and communication impact their lives, and for a far better explanation by marketers of the positive value of that outreach. Thus, Morgan Spurlock’s efforts to create the most absurd case of product placement in a movie is actually quite noble. When marketing and public relations help consumers understand how products and services can enrich their lives, it adds real value to society and should not be vilified. All communicators need to understand and respect where brands are willing to draw the line between making a profit and upholding their ethics and integrity. Otherwise, we risk continued erosion of consumer trust.

Rosanna M. Fiske

New York

An excellent article in an exceptional magazine. I think Morgan Spurlock’s logo-embroidered jacket would sell like hotcakes if mass produced — can I get a cut of the advertising revenue for this idea?

Dennis Allen

Pittsford, New York

Flipping through the pages of the April issue, I stumbled upon Morgan Spurlock, naked, twice. It scared me the way clowns scare little kids. Please do not ever show naked pictures of Morgan Spurlock again. To be clear, I am not opposed to stories with someone baring it all, just Morgan Spurlock.

Thu Vu

Alexandria, Virginia


I’m a fan of Morgan Spurlock and the topic of advertising is of interest to me, but I couldn’t quite follow and stick with the narrative of this article, which makes me feel lukewarm about seeing the film or checking out the trailer. There’s a marketing lesson in there somewhere.

Wallace J. Nichols

Davenport, California

Fast Company Feature Article Issue 155 'Why Larry Loves Google' Re: April 2011

The Power of Page

Thanks for writing such a great article (“Google: The Quest”). In recent times, we seem to notice only Google’s failures, not the company’s successes. Will Larry Page become the greatest inventor of all time? Steve Jobs, in his own way, has redefined innovation; perhaps Page will leave us with a definition of his own.

Udayan Banerjee

Bangalore, India


Social networking is a big challenge that needs to be taken care of, but not in the ways of Facebook and Twitter. Some company — most likely Google — has to introduce a social network that really makes sense. It will take the company time to get it right, but Google has the ability to create tools to improve human efficiency, collaboration, and organization, giving us better methods to meet new people instead of simply being stuck with old Facebook connections.

Nicolas Charbonnier


These are very simplistic assumptions about Page, who is a really bright guy. The only thing we can assume is that Google is a meritocracy, and the best idea will win.

Rahul Balyan

Mumbai, India

Good to Be Green

I applaud Bloomberg’s efforts in corporate sustainability (“Making the Bottom Line Green”). It’s worth noting, though, that in many senses, the train has left the station on sustainability reporting. Corporate scorecards, voluntary reporting to the Carbon Disclosure Project and the Global Reporting Initiative, and various countries’ compliance legislation are compelling a growing number of businesses to do something about the numbers they report in terms of reducing risk and operational costs.

Robert Clarke



So glad to see businesses at all levels embracing the opportunities associated with environmental, social, and governance policies (ESG). From entrepreneurs to Wall Street, the business community is finally coming around in a big way. Hoorah!

Brooke Farrell


Carbon is one of the best business tools to determine efficiency across the board, from processing to services. Why spend more when enviro-economics shows that businesses could spend less, and better? With increasing carbon legislation and taxation, ESG may have its day, but we first have to recognize that sustainability can play hardball economics.

Mark Clayton


Water World

I was pleased to find and read “A Sea of Dollars.” I have long been interested in water as a greatly overlooked concern for both of the reasons presented in this article: ecology and economy. In the years I spent managing a large retirement community, I was shocked to learn of the enormous amount of water lost to evaporation in the cooling tower of air-conditioning systems. What a waste and what a huge cost. On a more profound level, there are a host of sound theological reasons to be more conscious and supportive of water conservation. It is encouraging to see notions of economy consider waste and the freewheeling habits of taking humanity’s common treasure for granted.

Samuel M. Stone

Raleigh, North Carolina


Artificial Intelligence

The brilliance of the Watson team’s attainment in developing what is arguably the world’s most advanced inference engine (“Robo Force”) was unfortunately tarnished by the fact that in its Jeopardy appearance, buzzer control — Watson’s unbeatable reaction time when both he and human competitors knew the correct response — was the basis of an ultimately unbalanced comparison of human and machine problem-solving ability. As a Mensa member, a past Jeopardy contestant, and a former product manager for IBM supercomputers, I’m more curious about how Watson might score on something like an SAT or a GRE, compared to the best human performance.

Fred Bothwell

Georgetown, Texas

Veggie Tales

I think this new baby-carrot campaign is onto something (“The New Junk Food”). If we’ve got vending machines that refrigerate, why not use them to sell fresh veggies and fruit? And why not make baby carrots look just as cool as Doritos? It can’t hurt. Yes, it’s a sad commentary on the state of our immense, crinkly, shiny, vacuum-packed, all-American diet, but if kids start choosing carrots over Cheetos, it’s worth a lot.

Annie Happel

San Francisco

Making baby carrots an enticing side for fast-food restaurants will add another vertical to the company’s growth. Kudos to Jeff Dunn for giving healthy food a new look.

Rosangela Santiago

Altamonte Springs, Florida


Child’s Play

Imagining, conceptualizing, realizing — bravo! I hope these children enjoyed themselves (Big Bang Design). They have much to be proud of.

Stuart Bogue

Huntsville, Alabama

This is inspirational. I look forward to more people getting on the brain train that transforms our spaces to address the needs of the many, rather than the bottom line.

Casey E. Palmer




Send us an email at Submission of a letter constitutes permission to publish it in any form or medium. Letters may be edited for reasons of space and clarity.


Voice your opinion on Become a fan on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter @fastcompany.