What Are Matthew Weiner, Wendy Kopp, and Anna Maria Chávez Loving This Month?

The Recommender: May 2015

What Are Matthew Weiner, Wendy Kopp, and Anna Maria Chávez Loving This Month?
David Lee Chief creative officer, Squarespace [Photo: courtesy of Squarespace]

“The double-screen smartphone Yotaphone is on the top of my wish list. It features electronic ink, making it incredibly easy to read no matter where you are.”
— David Lee
Chief Creative Officer, Squarespace

SmartThingsIllustration: Scott Chambers

SmartThings are devices that let me automate my home based on my daily routines.”
— Netta Samroengraja
CFO, CPO, ZocDoc

“I am always reading, sometimes four or five books at a time. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is one I’m reading now.”
— Anna Maria Chávez
CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA and Fast Company MCP

“I love Zuvaa for unique pieces that help me stand out from the crowd. It’s a global marketplace for African design where I can find standout designs in a flash.”
— Nicole Sanchez
CEO, Vixxenn

Opinel folding knivesIllustration: Scott Chambers

Craft Coffee delivers three 12-ounce bags of beans every month from small independent U.S. roasters. It’s a great way to learn.”
— Victor Samra
Digital media marketing manager, MoMA and Fast Company MCP

The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, contains Ford’s personal collection. He collected the important artifacts of innovation in his era, everything from the first farm machinery to Thomas Edison’s lab.”
— Robin Petravic
Owner, Heath Ceramics

“French-made Opinel folding knives date back to the 1890s and have been used by world-famous artists and adventurers. I always pack mine for day hikes and long vacations.”
— Alon Salant
Founder and CTO, Good Eggs


An app for everything

1. For Dining

Matchbook keeps track of the restaurants I love, and restaurants
I want to try. They have a cool ‘inspiration’ ­feature, which shows restaurants that are trending.”
— Laura Michalchyshyn
Cofounder, Sundance Productions

MindsnacksIllustration: Scott Chambers

2. For Creating Photo Magic

Phhhoto is essentially an animated photo booth. It captures a moment in time through a series of looping stills, which you can share with people as a GIF.”
— David Lee

3. For Teaching

“I’ve learned my numbers in Japanese using Mindsnacks. And so has my 2-and-a-half-year-old!”
— Maria Teresa Kumar
Founder and CEO, Voto Latino and Fast Company MCP


Staff Pick

Getting There: A Book of Mentors

“In this amazing book, a wide range of successful people—including Leslie Moonves and Jeff Koons—tell the story of their careers. Unlike most such books, the tales in Getting There ring ­authentic—so they’re actually useful. We asked three of the mentors what they’re loving today.”
— Rick Tetzeli
Executive editor, Fast Company

Mentor Picks

Matthew WeinerPhoto: Brad Swonetz, Redux

Angels in America, the HBO show that Mike Nichols directed and Tony Kushner wrote, just blows my mind. It feels like the experience of your imagination completely untethered.”

“When you’re in my business, a performer at the top of their game is exciting to see. With the Jerry Lewis box set, you’re watching a performer do everything that he wants to do, and pull it off. It’s very inspiring. I’ve been showing him to my kids and laughing a lot.”
–Matthew Weiner
Creator, Mad Men

Wendy KoppScott Eells, Bloomberg via Getty Images

Destiny Disrupted by ­Tamim Ansary is world history from an Islamic perspective, and it revealed to me the limitations of our point of view as Westerners. It helped me gain a greater understanding of the history, cultures, and values that shape the challenges we’re up against as we seek a world of greater peace.”

— Wendy Kopp
Founder and chair,
Teach for America

Helene GaylePhoto: Ben Baker/Redux

The Business Romantic by Tim Leberecht reminds us to ‘create something greater than ourselves.'”


“Our hometown basketball team, the Atlanta Hawks, had a franchise-record winning streak this year without a ‘superstar.’ It proves that the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts.”

— Helene Gayle
CEO and president,