Our deep dives into innovation stories in 2013 ranged from the tale of a secret menu item at Chipotle to life-and-death leadership lessons from Afghanistan. All day today we’re highlighting some of our favorites.
Revisit Fastcompany.com throughout the day for our curated tour, or check out the list below.
- How High Can Fab Climb: The design-for-everyone site went from zero to a billion-dollar valuation in two years. Inside a precariously constructed retail upstart (on the eve of what turned out to be its unraveling).
- Why This Vintage He-Man Action Figure Still Smells Bad 30 Years Later. And how, in some small way, it resists the forces of obsolescence.
- How 500 Years Of Weird Condiment History Designed The Heinz Ketchup Bottle. From a 17th-century fish sauce, ketchup evolved into a patent medicine, a carcinogenic health hazard, and eventually, a non-Newtonian fluid. Here’s how ketchup’s rich history is reflected in the design of a bottle of Heinz.
- How Jenna Lyons Transformed J.Crew Into A Cult Brand. See how Jenna Lyons has taken J.Crew from ugly duckling to fashion arbiter.
- An Oral History Of Apple Design: 1992–2013. Fast Company set out to remedy that deficiency through an oral history of Apple’s design, a decoding of the signature as told by the people who helped create it. A longer version of the story that includes material not published elsewhere is available in the Byliner original ebook, Design Crazy.
- The Mystery Behind Chipotle’s Secret, 1,500-Calorie Super Burrito. Chipotle, Starbucks, and In-N-Out don’t see their “secret menus” as secrets at all, but they represent a sea change in fast-food philosophy.
- Lead Or Die: How One Marine Changed The Course Of The Conflict In Afghanistan. Lt. Col. Phil Treglia concluded that the U.S. way of advising the Afghan National Army was hurting more than helping. So he came up with his own solution.
- How A Company Gets Away With Stealing Independent Designers’ Work. Upon the back of cheap tchotchkes, design pirates build an empire.
- Inside 23andMe founder Anne Wojcicki’s $99 DNA Revolution. The $126 million genetic-testing company can tell you how to live smarter, better, and longer. It can also tell you what might kill you.