The Recommender: Chris Dannen, Tech Editor And Foosball Fanatic

The three best things Fast Company‘s technology editor found on the Internet this week.

The Recommender: Chris Dannen, Tech Editor And Foosball Fanatic
Our tech editor gets a taste of nature.

Name: Chris Dannen
Role at Fast Company: Technology Editor, Digital. Chris edits Fast Company’s software and media experimentation site, Co.Labs and recently announced the finalists in the Target Retail Accelerator, a challenge to build an awesome mobile shopping app for Target. Check it out.
Twitter: @chrisdannen
Titillating fact: Chris plays (extremely) competitive foosball in the New York City foosball club, which calls the FatCat billiards hall in the West Village home. The highlight of Chris’s summer so far? “Beating the editor in chief of MLS Digital on their office table–his home turf,” he says. “But maybe I got lucky.”


Things he’s loving:

1. The “McDonald’s theory of bad ideas”
This isn’t entirely new, but I love how Jason Jones recasts it to apply to group collaboration. We probably know what we’d all want in an ideal world. But the hardest part is establishing a floor–what suggestion sucks so much that we’d never do it? Let’s start there and work our way up. The by-product is that we all reveal what we consider to be “self-evidently bad,” a process which, in and of itself, can help everyone question their assumptions.

2. Julian Assange’s take on the new book by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt
The book is, he says, “an attempt by Google to position itself as America’s geopolitical visionary,” a notion I find alternately horrifying and inspiring. The piece strikes at the core of my ambivalence about Google, which is a subject of something I’m writing this week, two weeks after my trip to their big developer conference. I’ve never come across a company with such vision in some areas–try out a Chromebook Pixel–and such a sad lack of humanity in others–ahem, Google Glass. Never has such a bipolar company had so much power, so much money, and such an uncertain future as they wean off display advertising.

3. ElectroFur
I spotted the founder of this company at Google I/O wearing a full-length, multicolored glowing faux-fur coat that absolutely blew my mind. We’ve been covering the right (and wrong) way to design wearable technology, and I’m convinced this sort of thing–while obviously a little ostentatious for everyday use–is hinting at the most inspiring future for fashion design and software you wear.

If you want to learn more about Chris, check out his recent interview in Nieman Lab. He’ll also be presenting at the June 27 Hacks/Hackers meetup. Come and say hello!

[Image: Flickr user Bill Selak]

About the author

Jessica Hullinger is a London-based journalist who covers science, health, and innovation. She currently serves as a Senior Editor at