• 12.31.00

Leaders and People

A letter from the founding editors.

We’ve always thought of Fast Company as a magazine by, about, and for leaders who think big — and who think different. At the same time, the Digital Revolution forces companies and their leaders to revisit first principles: Do you care about your customers? Are you adding value in the marketplace? And, most important, do you have great people?


Let’s be clear: The quest for great people is a test of leadership. Great people are the brainpower that generates great ideas; they are the firepower that unleashes best-in-class performance. Any organization is only as good as the people within it — and the key to getting more than your fair share of great people is to make hiring and keeping those people your strategic priority. How do you do that?

Welcome, one and all, to the Fast Company Peoplepalooza! At Electronic Arts, Rusty Rueff is a Man With a (Talent) Plan. While EA excels at the art of the video game, Rueff must compete in the game for talent, and he has one fundamental rule: Build strong relationships with great people. Which is exactly what Thomas Weisel did when he started his Talent Bank: When he left Montgomery Securities to start Thomas Weisel Partners, he didn’t need to hire a headhunter — because he already had a talent network. Looking for smart, fast, and effective ways to get great people? The senior team at the Bellagio Hotel, in Las Vegas, screened 84,000 candidates, conducted 27,000 interviews, and hired 9,600 people in 24 weeks — creating a Full House of talent that can’t be beat. There’s much more to Peoplepalooza: big ideas, cutting-edge Internet tools, and practical tactics for recruiting and retaining the best people. Our advice simply is to come into the tent and enjoy the performance.

Meanwhile, at Fast Company, we try to take our own advice: As a magazine for leaders who are eager to embrace change, we have to change too. This issue introduces a thoroughly redesigned Report From the Future, the front-of-the-book section that kicks off the Fast Company experience each month. Senior designer Melanie deForest, working closely with design director Patrick Mitchell and senior editor Jill Kirschenbaum, has created an edgier, more urgent section — one that reflects the edgier, more urgent spirit of the times. As you continue to reckon with a changing economic landscape, we promise to keep changing Fast Company. After all, that’s what leaders do.