Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Fast Company Magazine - Oct 2009 Issue

Some interesting stuff (for various reasons) from the latest issue of Fast Company Magazine...

The NextTech feature "OnLive Goes Online--And It Could Kill the Game Console" chronicles serial tech entrepreneur Steve Perlman and his latest venture... OnLive. The company itself is about streaming video games over the Internet, but I was struck by the piece not so much because of OnLive, but because of Perlman himself.

After hitting big by co founding and then selling WebTV, he created the business incubator Rearden (which I think was originally named Rearden Steel). Yep, he named it after the main guy in Ayn Rand's manifesto/book "Atlas Shrugged". Onlive is actually the third venture to come out of Rearden, with the first two being a set-top box maker and motion capture company that provided technology to help make "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"... a most excellent film with stellar effects.

I suppose my only data point is that he named his company after an Ayn Rand character, but out of that, I'll say he's an interesting guy... whose companies definitely work on interesting stuff.


I also found of note the cover story on Coca-Cola VP of Design David Butler. While I have to admit personal envy of Butler's cool (at 43) look and job, I also appreciated his interest in and ideas around systems and platforms.

Additionally, I found interesting Butler's commentary around the role of design not just for the sake of design itself, but to put things in place to sell more stuff. As evidence of this, Butler's big step forward after arriving at Coke was his three page memo "designing on purpose" about the overarching role of design within the company.


The other design piece I really liked this this issue was that on information architect Lisa Strausfeld. The whole idea behind her area of interest is information and how it tells a story to the people who interact with it.

I also found interesting her mention of her late mentor Muriel Cooper and how she "wanted to do hard-core information design rather than entertainment-oriented work." I love things that entertain, but even more so completely get what Strausfeld finds appealing about this concept of working on something lasting with teeth.