How Fast Are You?

A letter from the founding editors.

Are you fast enough to compete in Internet time? Find out by speed-reading this month’s cover package.


Can you move your project from idea to market in four months? That’s the estimated time of survival in the fast-paced world of the Web, where startups nest themselves in incubators and hatcheries, soaking up talent and ideas.

Are you slow enough to worry that you’re losing ground to a batch of fast companies that are in hot pursuit, ready to run you down? Maybe you need your very own “speed team.”

Are you fast enough to set a world record in the 100-meter dash? World-class sprinters offer advice in the art of going fast, mentally as well as physically.

Are you slow enough to appreciate the beauty and style that come with taking your own sweet time? Then you’re probably a good candidate for joining the Slow Food movement.

Are you fast enough and slow enough to work in what David Allen calls “weird time”? At a time when everyone has more to do than time to do it, the real trick is to maintain your focus: Speed, it turns out, is a function of how much stuff you let into your life.

How digital are you? These days, so much of work involves the Internet and all things digital that we decided to reinvent the last part of the magazine. Starting with this issue, you can go straight to Net Company for a look at the Digital Revolution: how big companies are reinventing themselves as Net companies, how digital startups are redefining the core competencies of business, and how digital gurus are rewriting the rules of the new economy.


How proud are we? It’s the season for awards: The Society of Publication Designers has awarded our design team with one gold medal, one silver medal, and 23 merit awards. And, for the second year in a row, it has named Fast Company a finalist for its Magazine of the Year award. Once again, the American Society of Magazine Editors has named Fast Company a finalist in two categories: general excellence and design. Adweek, meanwhile, rated Fast Company number one on its “10 Under 40” hot list. Adding to that honor, Adweek designated William Taylor and Alan Webber as Editors of the Year for 1999.

Awards are great. But what really matters is performance: speed to market, excellence in customer service, the capacity to outpace the competition. So, to all of the readers and advertisers who have supported Fast Company, a fast word of thanks. Now we’ve got to get back to work.