Fast Company

12 Magazines | 275.3k Followers | @FastCompany | Progressive, creative, innovative.

5 Tips For Giving The Perfect Toast No Matter The Occasion

Not sure what to say? Keep these rules in mind and you'll nail it.<p>You're at an awards dinner. Or maybe it's a grand opening, or even a retirement party. You're asked to say a few words, but you aren't sure how to do it. How do you find the right level of mush—not too mushy, but just mushy enough? …

Scholarship

Welcome To 1986: Inside "Halt And Catch Fire's" High-Tech Time Machine

In its third season, the show takes on the Silicon Valley of the '80s—and gets the details right, from plot points to on-set clutter.<p>Tech executive John Bosworth is ready to take my questions. As I fire up a note-taking app on my iPad, he leans back behind a desk at his San Francisco-based startup, …

Halt and Catch Fire

Where Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump Stand On Immigration

Immigration may well be the issue that defines this election, so we're breaking down the extreme contrasts in the candidates' positions.<p>At this point, after over 14 months of relentless campaign coverage, what is left to say about Donald Trump's immigration platform, arguably the cornerstone of his …

Donald Trump

Miami, Your Million Dollar Homes Will Soon Be Underwater

It's a truth that is getting harder and harder to ignore.<p>The graffiti plastered across the top of an abandoned building in Miami Beach had a simple message for neighbors: "Your million dollar houses will soon be under water." The upper-level condos across the street technically won't be submerged …

Miami Beach

How Star Wars Can Teach Kids About the Struggle for Civil Rights

Bill Gates highlights how a great teacher can combine pop culture and history for maximum effect.<p>In honor of back-to-school season, Bill Gates has shared a lecture about how the original Star Wars trilogy can be viewed as a metaphor for the civil rights struggle. Rather than taking place a long …

Star Wars

This Pyramid Sculpture Is An Interface For Brain-To-Brain Communication

This sculpture reads your thoughts and reacts in kind to connect your mind to someone else's.<p>2chn looks like something ripped out of a low budget sci-fi show. Featured recently on Prosthetic Knowledge, it's a pyramid filled with hoses, motors, and screens, and it moans a language no one can …

The Brain

Experience John Lennon's First Acid Trip In This Mind-Bending Animation

A visual walk through John Lennon's description of the LSD trip that inspired Co.Create's favorite Beatle album, Revolver.<p><b>WHAT:</b> An animated depiction of John Lennon narrating his first-ever acid trip.<p><b>WHO:</b> The team at Rolling Stone.<p><b>WHY WE CARE:</b> It is never okay to dose your friends' food or drink …

LSD

Why The UK Is Calling For A Global Ban On A Common Bath Product Ingredient

Microbeads exfoliate nicely, but they are the scourge of the ocean.<p>Microbeads are on their way out, at last. The U.S. already banned them, and now the U.K. wants the tiny plastic terrors to be prohibited internationally.<p>Microbeads are those tiny plastic grains inside exfoliating soaps and shower …

Johnson & Johnson

This Short Film Uses The Most Awkward First Date Ever To Shut Down Casual Racism

"Traction" starts off like a typical first date and then becomes deeply uncomfortable when things get, shall we say, uncinematically racist.<p><b>WHAT:</b> <i>Traction</i>, a short film exploring different levels of latent racism.<p><b>WHO:</b> Filmmaker and actor Rory Uphold.<p><b>WHY WE CARE:</b> "It's just a joke!" is the preferred …

Racism

This $20 Dot Makes Push Notifications Way Less Annoying

Now on Kickstarter, these small Bluetooth beacons contextualize how your smartphone behaves based on your location.<p>I think we can all generally agree push notifications are a design kludge—and an ugly one at at that. They come in a relentless stream of angrily buzzing digital distractions, …

Bluetooth

A Gorgeous Kindergarten Built Around An Old House's Bones

Home schooling never looked better.<p>With their audacious aesthetics and quirky details, Japanese houses are some of the wildest structures on the planet—a byproduct of the country's competitive real estate landscape. Land is subdivided into oddly shaped parcels and there's virtually no resale …

Kindergarten

Did The DEA Just Stream The First 12 Minutes Of "Narcos" Season 2 On Facebook Live?

Netflix promo has some "found footage" marketing fun with livestreaming.<p><b>WHAT:</b> A Facebook Live broadcast after DEA agents Steve Murphy and Javier Pena "stole" the first 11 minutes of footage from the new season of <i>Narcos</i> and decided to livestream it.<p><b>WHO:</b> Netflix<p><b>WHY WE CARE:</b> As marketers still …

Facebook

Mark Ruffalo And The Solutions Project Are Pioneering "Instant" Grantmaking For Activists

Community climate campaigns no longer need to wait months for small cash infusions.<p>When activists in New Orleans needed funding to organize a protest against new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico—and needed the money quickly—they turned to a new type of grant that can be approved in days. The …

Mark Ruffalo

San Francisco Wants Your Help In Redesigning Its Subway System

Play around with this map and dream up your urban transit vision. The city is really listening.<p>People in San Francisco love to complain about the size of BART and the Muni Metro subway. Inside the city, there are a total of eight stations. (New York City, by comparison, has 469.) Since San …

Transit

4 Mistakes Inventors Make When Bringing Products To Market

Tom Gray, who’s sold everything from snack clips to gutter guards, offers young inventors advice that cost him untold sums to learn.<p>In the era of high-profile designers, it’s easy to forget another creative archetype: the inventor. The unique breed with the spirit of an entrepreneur and the design …

Management

What Happens When You Commission A Magazine From The Gig Economy

The latest issue of Elsie is fantastic, but still raises questions about whether sites like Fiverr liberate or exploit creatives.<p>Whatever you think of the gig economy—a way to exploit people who don't know what their talents are worth, or a way to let them monetize their true passions—you've got to …

South Africa

Tiger Beer's Air Pollution Ink, Lil Dicky's Trojans: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Wind Mobile hits the feels, Nike stays Unlimited, and Canal Plus scores a day-long GOOOOOOOOOOAAAL.<p>There are a few things we're conditioned to expect from beer advertising—laughs, partying, and 'MURICA are just a few, but art created with air pollution is most certainly not on the list. And that's …

Advertising

The School An Entire Town Designed: Rebuilding Sandy Hook Elementary

The first students will pass through the doors of the new Sandy Hook Elementary School on August 29.<p>Heading back to school is a familiar fall ritual for most kids, one that's filled with excitement for the year ahead and lament for the end of summer vacation. But at the newly rebuilt Sandy Hook …

Architecture

Texas Has The Worst Maternal Mortality Rate In The Developed World

On the whole, the U.S.'s maternal mortality statistics are tragic (and may be worse than we know). But a project in California may have solved the problem.<p>The maternal mortality rate in Texas—at 23.8 deaths out of 100,000 women—is worse than in Iran or Croatia. And at the same time that the rate …

Texas

Automated Fact-Checking Would Improve Democracy—And It's On Its Way

A number of companies are creating programs that can help call out politicians' lies, contortions, and self-contradictions in real time.<p>Our collective ability to sift truth from untruth is obviously important. If we can't agree on the barest facts, it makes it harder to do politics, business, or …

Democracy

This App Will Help You Declutter Your Piles Of Unused Stuff

Stuffstr wants to help you escape the inexorable pull of holding on to useless things.<p>Americans are hoarders: There are now more self-storage facilities in the U.S. than Starbucks and McDonalds combined. Roughly a quarter of garages are too full of stuff to hold a car. The average home has $7,000 …

Startups

3 Overlooked Reasons Why Gender Equality Is Being Held Back

Women's Equality Day celebrates the 19th Amendment, but we still have a long way to go to achieve a true balance.<p>Ninety-six years ago today, the United States adopted the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote. In 1972, August 26 was declared "Women’s Equality Day" in …

Feminism

Frank Ocean, Apple Music, and the Headache of Streaming Exclusives

Exclusive albums are an increasingly potent weapon in the streaming wars. But are they good for artists and fans?<p>This weekend, I had a brief, uniquely modern conversation with somebody as we both stared into our phones together.<p>"The new Frank Ocean is out."<p>"Oh damn, really? Let me pull it up."<p>"It’s …

Frank Ocean

Jeff Goldblum Goes Full Max Headroom For Apartments.com

Rolling eyes and stuttering voice cuts are sooooo 1986.<p><b>WHAT:</b> The newest Apartments.com ad featuring Jeff Goldblum as "Bradley Bellflower," who has traded in rooftop BBQing with Weezy for a strange imitation of ultimate '80s TV fad Max Headroom.<p><b>WHO:</b> Apartments.com, RPA<p><b>WHY WE CARE:</b> We may have a soft …

Jeff Goldblum

Trump Campaign Continues To Send Illegal Solicitations To Foreigners Despite Warnings

Back in June, complaints were filed with the FEC over such fundraising emails. But they're still being sent to non-U.S. lawmakers.<p>The emails signed by Donald J. Trump or his children come at all hours. Sometimes in the middle of the afternoon, Sir Roger Gale looks down at his iPhone and sees that …

Clinton Foundation

Hillary Clinton's Dark New Ad Connects Trump With White Supremacists

A new Clinton campaign ad sounds off on who exactly Trump's campaign is emboldening.<p><b>WHAT:</b> A new ad against the unlikely political campaign of Donald John Trump.<p><b>WHO:</b> The Hillary Clinton campaign.<p><b>WHY WE CARE:</b> Just ahead of her speech about the radical fringe movement taking over Donald Trump's …

Hillary Clinton

An SRO In San Francisco's Tenderloin Is Getting A $3 Million Zero Net Energy Redesign

The William Penn Hotel, built in 1907, could prove a model for how to make affordable housing sustainable and more pleasant for residents.<p>"Zero net energy" buildings, which generate as much power as they use, are becoming more common in high-end developments or single-family homes. A new site is …

San Francisco Bay Area

Matthew McConaughey Says It's "Our Turn To Help" Louisiana Flood Victims In New PSA

The devastation in Louisiana requires our attention—and our resources—as this new Ad Council spot makes clear.<p><b>WHAT:</b> A 30-second spot directing viewers to OurTurnToHelp.com, which offers statistics, information, and a number of ways to help to people concerned about the flooding in Louisiana.<p><b>WHO:</b> …

Matthew McConaughey

Samsung's Note 7 Pen Functions Are Still Searching For A Raison D'être

The newly added pen functions are interesting, but overall the pen seems to be searching for clear use cases.<p><i>This is the third in a three-part series reviewing Samsung's important new Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. The first part concerned the device's design. The second concerned the device's new iris</i> …

Samsung

Topshop Throws Its Weight Behind Wearables

A heated blazer won Topshop's first design competition aimed at smart garment technology.<p>This week, the mass-market fashion retailer Topshop—which is based in London but has stores in select cities in the U.S.—selected a heated jacket as the winner of its first annual wearable tech competition, …

Style