Sunday, December 25, 2011

Fast Company Dec/Jan Issue: Toms Shoes, Louis C.K., General Assembly, Bluefin Labs, Nest

Several short pieces of interest from the Dec '11 / Jan '12 issue of Fast Company magazine.

In the Now section of the magazine was Toms Founder Blake Mycoskie's Fashion-Forward Childhood. Nothing terribly new in the short piece, but Toms Shoes an interesting company given it's practice of giving away a pair of shoes for each sold.

Also notable for the subject was Louis C.K.: The Next Steve Jobs Will Be A Chick. As this CNN story details, C.K. has been selling online for $5 a self-produced standup special and after a few weeks is now at $1M in revenue. Very interesting approach taken by C.K. and also cool given the $280K+ in charitable donations he's already dispersed from the proceeds.

Two longer, but not feature length pieces from this issue were on augmented education and utilization of Twitter for business intelligence...

Anya Kamenetz penned General Assembly Provides Entrepreneurial Skills To A Chosen Few about the New York-based startup which offers classes and education programs in the fields of "technology, design, and entrepreneurship". Seems a solid concept for a business as education certainly can't stop with the traditional receipt of a college diploma.

On a company working to aggregate and make accessible some heavily fragmented information, Rachel Arndt wrote Bluefin Mines Social Media To Improve TV Analytics. Selling services to "brands, agencies and TV Networks", Bluefin Labs works in an interesting area.

Finally, this issue of Fast Company had a short piece on the company Nest and it's smart thermostat. Fascinating product designed with user experience in mind from former Apple exec Tony Faddell.