Fast Company

What's your question?

What's your question?

Some fifteen years ago, in the early days of starting up Fast Company magazine, co-founder Alan Webber, shared one of his rules of thumb with me: "a good question beats a good answer." That pithy wisdom sunk in and took hold immediately. In the course of hundreds of reporting journeys and thousands of conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs, thinkers, and doers of all stripes, I've tuned into the questions people ask.

The first thing you notice when you have your ears pricked for questions is that most people (especially businesspeople) are more interested in presenting solutions, making assertions, and sharing their vision. This isn't surprising. School programs us to focus on producing the right answer and the job description of the leader for the last century has basically been "the person with all the answers." » Read more

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Is crowdsourcing the enemy of innovation?

Is crowdsourcing the enemy of innovation? Four panelists shared their experiences in a SXSW panel this morning.

"Crowdsourcing is a blunt instrument," said Robson Grieve, moderator and president of Creature, which recently redesigned the Seattle's Best logo, resulting in quite a bit of customer reaction, similar to many recent logo changes from The Gap to Tropicana to Starbucks. Crowdsourcing encompasses a lot of ideas and practices that have a little bit in common.

Do we work for the crowd now? » Read more

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Open Your World webcast with Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company

A Game Plan for Game Changers: Practically Radical webcast with Bill Taylor and Polly LaBarre » Read more

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User-led innovation can't create breakthroughs. Really?

Earlier this week, Fast Company posted an article by Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen (thanks to Gunnar Hellekson for sending it my way) that may be of interest to folks seeing success with their open source and open innovation efforts.

The article is entitled "User-Led Innovation Can't Create Breakthroughs; Just Ask Apple and IKEA" and here's how it starts: » Read more

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Sitting at the intersection of brand and culture

There's a great new blog post up this week on the Harvard Business Review blog site by Bill Taylor, founder of Fast Company magazine and author of the book Mavericks at Work, entitled Brand is Culture, Culture is Brand.

As I read the post, I couldn't help but smile, as the primary point of the article is one about which I feel strongly. From the article: » Read more

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The government doesn't look good naked.

So 19 months into the Open Government Directive, we seem to have a backlash. The government has spent millions of dollars collecting, organizing, and cataloging its data to make it more available to the public. An unprecedented effort. Some of this data is frivolous, some of it is valuable, but I think we can all agree that more transparency is always — always — a good thing. » Read more

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