"What do we do now?" Act II of the new economy is defined by a simple question that has no simple answers. The game keeps changing, and the conditions keep getting more difficult — which means that the job of high-impact leaders keeps growing in importance. In times of turbulence and uncertainty, here's the first task of leaders: Find ways to make sense of the world and to outthink the competition. That's why this issue features definitive thinking from Tom Peters, Steve Ballmer, and Michael E. Porter. Their insights offer smarter ideas for tougher times.
Act II has also officially begun for us at Fast Company. From our very first issue, we've sought not only to write about the changes in the new economy but also to experience them ourselves. Now, once again, we're participating in the changing business landscape: At the end of last year, Fast Company was acquired by Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing, a part of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world's largest and most successful media companies. We regard this change of ownership as the start of a wonderful new chapter in Fast Company's story as one of the most successful magazines of the past decade.
There are at least three reasons why this is good news not just for us but also for our readers, our advertisers, and members of the Company of Friends.
1. We're positioned to grow. Look for more circulation, more issues, more visibility, and, perhaps most important, more impact. At a time when other business magazines are retrenching and consolidating, G+J will help us take Fast Company to the next level of performance: to become the general-interest business magazine of the new economy.
2. We're focused on leaders. With our new ownership, Fast Company will focus even more clearly on the new generation of business leaders — impact players in leading companies whose strategies, technologies, and key decisions will determine what comes next in the economy.
3. We're committed to community. We're proud of the intense relationship that we have with the 3 million readers who enjoy each issue of Fast Company. G+J is committed to helping us make our relationship even deeper. As the economy gets more challenging, we expect to be even more helpful to more readers.
The first five years of Fast Company have been remarkable. Award-winning journalism and design. Spectacular circulation growth. Awesome advertising support. But we've just begun! The rapid and confusing changes in the economy are what Fast Company is all about. No one understands or writes about these changes the way we do. And, with the support of G+J, we're ready to serve you with the best there is in the business — the business of chronicling the new world of business.
A version of this article appeared in the March 2001 issue of Fast Company magazine.