Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fast Company Magazine - Jul/Aug 2009 Issue

Couple of interesting articles from the most recent Fast Company Magazine.

First and foremost is an investigative report titled "Beyond the Grid" by Anya Kamenetz. It looks in great detail at the concept of small-scale household or business power generation and it's potential. Not surprisingly, this idea of a "micro-grid" is being fought by large power utilities looking to prevent this competition by either installing and controlling it themselves or by simply making it go away. What's also very interesting in the piece is the mention of clean-energy advocates such as Al Gore trumpeting the idea of an "electric super-highway"... which is much less efficient and more costly than the micro-grid. Fascinating piece.

Also from this issue is the cover story "Amazon Taps It's Inner Apple" about the company's dominance of the online book market and impact on the larger brick and mortar based publishing industry. Closely tied into that is the speculation of how Apple might get into the fray with a larger version of it's iTouch / iPhone that could compete with the Amazon Kindle.

Another interesting piece is "Why Walgreens Is Building Its Own Universal Health-Care System" about the clinics that Walgreens operates in both it's retail stores as well as onsite at various companies. The retail-based side is interesting from it's ability to offer quick and easy (read: affordable) health care to the uninsured, but the corporate located side even more interesting in it's goal of keeping a company's employees healthy and productive.

Last story to note is titled "Why America Is Addicted to Olive Garden". As someone who doesn't find appetizing the idea of eating at Olive Garden, I was interested in this story not so much from being about the food, but rather about the corporation and how it's run.