Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fast Company April Issue: Features on Facebook, Tesla Motors & MLB Advanced Media

The April issue of Fast Company had three different features with solid writing on some tremendously interesting companies.

The cover story was "'Boy CEO' Mark Zuckerberg's Two Smartest Projects Were Growing Facebook And Growing Up" by Ellen McGirt and it included some excellent "then to now" material. McGirt wrote of first meeting Zuckerberg and writing the May 2007 Fast Company cover story "Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg: Hacker. Dropout. CEO." and how he's since evolved as a leader. Pretty remarkable personal transformation and probably more remarkable progress for the company with Facebook going from 19M to 845M users during that time. McGirt notes as well how Facebook in early 2007 opened up to outside developers... a step which for me brings to mind Apple and the transformative effects of its iTunes store.

Another piece from this issue was similar to McGirt's in that it featured a rock-star stature CEO, in this case Elon Musk of Tesla Motors and SpaceX. "Why Tesla Motors Is Betting On The Model S" was written by Jon Gertner and covers the much anticipated and planned for July launch of its $50,000 sedan. Musk is a fascinating guy and the thing that stood out from this piece was his mention of needing iterations (three progressive car models in his view) to reach his ultimate goal of a low priced mass market vehicle. This translates to the Model S sedan as the mid-point between the high priced roadster that's been out for a while now and the planned for the future third model. With this story told, another similarity between the pieces on Tesla and Facebook comes from how McGirt finished off with mention of a circa-2007 Zuckerberg speaking of this same iteration concept and moving towards an end-state.

Finally, a third feature from the April FC issue didn't share the same parallels as those on the companies of Musk and Zuckerberg, but was very interesting in its own right. Written by Chuck Salter, "MLB Advanced Media's Bob Bowman Is Playing Digital Hardball. And He's Winning" is about the innovative and money-making digital arm of Major League Baseball.