Co.Labs was founded as a sandbox for testing new ideas.
It was a place to experiment with new editorial approaches, while also writing about the technology–specifically software–that is changing our lives. We created article stubs that grew into deep-dive reports, pushed the limits of native content collaborations, and broke news.
The things we learned were ported to Fast Company and across the Co. network sites, an upstream R&D cycle. There were fails, too.
One of the biggest lessons is that a sandbox is hard to support within the dominant web advertising framework. Experiments are, by nature, often slow and usually interesting to only a handful of people. It’s not very scalable, and that makes it difficult to support when you’re only getting paid for every thousand eyeballs that see an ad.
That’s why Co.Labs became mostly a technology site in the waning months of 2014. Although the site grew to over a million page views per month, most of the stories could just as easily have been published on Fast Company. And that’s why the Co.Labs archive will be migrated to Fast Company‘s Tech channel, which is where you’ll continue to find in-depth tech analysis and news (sign up for the weekly technology newsletter).
Now it’s time for Co.Labs to begin a new phase of life, by going back to its origins. This site will be a platform for writing about some of the experiments going on across Fast Company as we continue inventing the future of business media. It will be updated only when we have something new to share, and it’s no longer going to be dependent on advertising.