Featured in the April Issue of Fast Company Magazine

The New Face of Al Jazeera, Page 42, by Linda Tischler

The New Face of Al Jazeera, Page 42, by Linda Tischler
With its often strident anti-American rhetoric and penchant for showing al Qaeda-produced hostage tapes, the Arabic news channel al Jazeera is seen by many Americans as little more than a propaganda vehicle for Osama bin Laden. But the Qatari-based news channel has also gotten itself thrown out of Iran, Kuwait Saudi Arabia and countless other Muslim countries – demonstrating an equal animus towards authority. Now, the network with the radioactive DNA is once again shaking things up, with the imminent launch of the English-language al-Jazeera International (AJI). Though it has yet to line up a U.S. distributor, the channel is hoping its innovative structure (news will follow the sun; broadcast live and from independent bureaus, beginning in Doha, Qatar, and on to London, Washington, DC and Kuala Lampur, Malaysia), international perspective and high profile hires will help it reach the planet’s one billion English speakers. For U.S. businesses starting to feel the sting of brand America’s demise abroad, AJI may actually offer a conduit for mutual understanding, where the widening chasm of the “clash of civilizations” won’t seem so deep. Fast Company asks: Could “Terror TV” actually help save brand America?


Record Time, Page 62, by Charles Fishman
The information systems at any McDonald’s are more advanced, and more useful than those in your doctor’s office. In thousands of hospitals, vital medical records are kept on pieces of paper, snapped into a chart that can be read by only one person at a time, that has to be moved around physically if someone wants to see it, and that is often transported on the lap of the patient, sitting in a wheelchair, on the way to X-ray or the lab or surgery. Fast Company explores one company on the cutting edge of digitized medical records that is hoping to bring America’s medical back office into the 21st century.

Moto’s Mojo, Page 50, by Chuck Salter
Motorola is one of America’s oldest and most patent-rich tech giants and has long been an engineering innovator. Now it’s trying to become a design innovator as well. After scoring big with the Razr, the iconic ultra slim cell phone that has sold over 24 million units, Motorola is betting that the new softer, gentler, Pebl will have similar consumer appeal. Fast Company explores how this old line tech company learned to stop worrying and love the power of design.

The Cable Guys, Page 79, by David Lidsky
Entrepreneurs Nick Grouf and David Waxman have already made millions as the brains behind seminal technology companies Firefly and PeoplePC. The duo’s new venture, Spot Runner, is there most ambitious yet, as it seeks to essentially become Google AdWords for television. By opening up a world of microtargeted advertising, Spot Runner could drastically democratize marketing and wreak havoc on the old guard advertising industry.

The Storm After the Storm, Page 88, by Jennifer Reingold
More than six months after Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans, something amazing is happening in its corridors of higher education. With equal parts grit, creativity and optimism, Tulane University President Scott Cowen is resuscitating a school that was once the largest private employer in New Orleans and is now the largest altogether, even as the city remains mired in the literal and figurative muck. But Cowen has also decided to do something more than rebuild the institution as it once was. Using the powers granted him as a result of the school’s financial emergency, he has enacted a bold, controversial, and wrenching “renewal plan,” with which he hopes to make Tulane from a very competitive school into an elite one. Fast Company reports on how Cowen took the organizational challenge of a lifetime head on.

Oy, Robot, Page 112
We’ve all seen the Terminator. Are we doomed to some postapocalyptic nightmare in which robots rule the planet? Fast Company asked two roboticists to square off on our future.

Fast Hits…
Target: Dream Job, Page 103: Andy Samberg broke into Saturday Night Live using his own Web site. Now a new crop of Web marketplaces are helping creatives find their dream gigs.
The Mintz Dynasty, Page 56: How did a guy without a college degree or a lick of Mandarin create one of China’s hottest ad agencies. Fast Company says it’s all about guanxi.