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Table of Contents | October 2005


The Art of Service
Meet the winners of our second-annual Customers First Awards, the folks who really know what it takes to keep customers happy--and coming back.
Private Screening
A Web exclusive Q&A with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, winner of Fast Company's Customers First Award.
Behind the Awards
Take a look at the numbers behind the winners.
Sweating In the Hot Zone
Ride along with the computer-virus hunters at Symantec, whose product is never finished, whose work is never done, and whose market changes 30 times a day.
Oxo's Favorite Mistakes
The company behind some of the best-designed kitchen tools learns the most when it does something wrong.
Fast Talk: The New MBAs
Remember when MBAs ruled? No more. Creative thinkers are in demand for their flexibility. Meet five leaders who have parlayed their "useless" academic degrees into business success.
High Fliers
Two buddies from Long Island came up with the idea of offering (relatively) cheap access to private jets. And with the help of folks like Warren Buffett, Derek Jeter, and J. Lo, they turned the Marquis Jet card into one very cool brand.
The 10 Faces of Innovation
In an exclusive book excerpt from the general manager of Ideo, we meet the personality types it takes to keep creativity thriving--and the devil's advocate at bay.
Is Mad. Ave Ready to Go Naked?
These brash Brits say they have the cure for what ails the ad business these days. Is Naked Communications a real revolution, or just Brand X in a new box?
Tilting at Windmills
Naked isn't the first agency to try to develop a new way to create advertising. Here's how such attempts by one innovative shop, Chiat\Day, ultimately flamed out.
TV Guider
Susan Whiting, the president and CEO of Nielsen Media Research, on the changing face of television, coming full circle in your career, and fighting Rupert Murdoch.


Obsessive Branding Disorder
Corporate America is obsessed with branding. But minus the hype, branding is really just commonsense strategy, rebranded.
The Future's So Bright
No one know what tomorrow will bring, except for these bold seers. They have seen the future--and it belongs to them.
A Lovefest for an SEC Nominee
The Senate's confirmation hearing for the man named to run the world's most important financial regulatory body was quite a softball game.
CEO See-Ya!
This month: Richard Thalheimer, CEO of Sharper Image.
Be Heard Above the Electronic Din
Even as technology expands the way leaders can communicate, it's gotten tougher than ever to be heard. Here's how to get your message across.
Heavy Metal
New duds for the Buds--the aluminum bottle proves to be a hit with beer-guzzlers.
Hey, Lady! Women and the Art of Product Development
It's one thing to say a product is for women, and quite another thing to mean it.
Cool Runnings
Cool hunters are more than just streetwise fad spotters. Here are three blogs from arbiters of cool that offer insights and inspiration for innovation.
A Really Customizable Keyboard
A new keyboard promises the ultimate in customization, with tiny screens instead of keys.
The Anti-PDA
In an increasingly electronic world, it's no small irony that the hot new data-entry and storage accesssory is microchip-free.
What Does Green Mean?
Can we keep "green" buildings from going the way of "organic" food?
Critical calendar listings for October 2005.
Learning to Love RSS
Geeks know that RSS is the Web's hottest technology. Don't look now, but it's quietly seeping into the consumer mainstream.
One Smokin' Jacket
A hot new jacket built with sportscar-like engineering.
Title Shot
For a peek into the creative process, we take a frame-by-frame look at the opening for Fox's Emmy-nominated House.


Cracking Your Next Company's Culture
That new job looks great--on the surface. Here's how to delve deep into your next employer's culture to see if it's really a good fit.
This Time With Feeling!
Going in to negotiate a new job's details? Don't leave your emotional barometer behind.
Commercial Success
Dany Lennon places the hottest leaders in advertising. Here, she talks about what she looks for in candidates for creative jobs--and why you should be watching the same movies as your 8-year-old.
Diplomatic Relations
Wharton's relationship-building course puts you in control of your contacts.
Reading List: Bait & Switch
The author of Nickel and Dimed takes on the white-collar world.
Other Recommended Reading
The Trader Joe's Adventure and Clapton's Guitar.
The Incredible Shrinking Peripheral
New space saving minigadgets free up room on the road.
The Corporate Shrink
How do you cope when you've been passed over? How thick is your skin?

More Great Stuff

The Customer Connection
This month's letter from the editor.
Circle of Life
With our November issue, Fast Company will celebrate 10 years of publication. Each month until then, we'll review one of our favorite editions from the first decade.
Letters. Updates. Advice.