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Fast Company

Fast Company inspires a new breed of innovative and creative thought leaders who are actively inventing the future of business.


Three Types Of Employee Recognition That Backfire (And One That Doesn’t)

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:00:36 GMT

Title-only promotions aren’t always a bad idea, but they can quickly go sideways.

The saying that people quit their bosses, not their jobs, is basically a cliché, but it rings true for lots of people who’ve left positions they found demotivating, boring, or stressful. It isn’t that employers don’t realize that, though. More often, managers just struggle to recognize their team members in ways that actually do motivate and inspire them.

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Five Skills You’ll Rarely See In Job Postings (But Definitely Need)

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:00:36 GMT

Employers are terrible at saying what’s actually needed to succeed in a given role, but these soft skills usually are.

The skills you need to land an in-demand job right now might not be so different from the ones that will keep you employable in the future.

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How Facebook Used AI To Make The Trippy Effects In This VR Film

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:00:36 GMT

The idea behind Jérôme Blanquet’s innovative film Alteration was for viewers to experience what it’s like to be an AI.

When Jérôme Blanquet set out to make his new virtual reality film, Alterationwhich, among other things portrays an artificial intelligence diving into a man’s dreams to steal them—he felt strongly that AI should play a big part in the project.

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Long Live Microsoft Paint! It Helped My Blind Grandpa Keep Making Art

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 08:00:15 GMT

After word spread that Microsoft might kill off its beloved Paint program, an outcry of protest convinced the company to reverse course. Here, Ryan Lasko explains why he loves the old-school art software so much.

“Just use the spray paint can.”

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These Are The Worst Answers To The Most Common Job Interview Questions

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 08:00:04 GMT

We asked recruiters and hiring managers what answers make them cringe. Take note.

There’s no way around it–job interviews are nerve-racking. Hiring managers know this, and are generally forgiving of a fumble or two. But sometimes, they get answers that go beyond a mere slip of the tongue. Whether it’s repeating clichés, or being too honest and giving off the impression that they have a me, me, and me! mentality, there are some answers that candidates should never ever utter when they’re in a job interview.

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This Database Tells You Which Bad Chemicals Are Hiding In Your Tap Water

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 06:00:09 GMT

Demand better regulations from your legislators (and buy a filter in the meantime).

In April 2015, Deborah Graham, a resident of the tiny town of Salisbury, North Carolina, received a letter from the North Carolina Division of Public Health, who wanted to let her know that the water coming out of her tap–the same water she used to fill her kids’ water bottles and cook dinner–was chock-full of vanadium, a coal-ash-derived chemical that causes nausea and, later in life, neurological decline. The public health authority also sent notices to 424 other households in the state.

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Amazon Q2 Earnings Preview: 4 Things To Watch

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 18:48:12 GMT

With soaring sales and a Whole Foods acquisition on the horizon, some analysts think Amazon shares could blow past $1,100.

Since its last earnings call, big things have happened at Amazon. One, its stock price eclipsed $1,000 a share. Two, it announced plans to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, a move that speaks to its seemingly insatiable supply-chain ambitions.

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Sam Adams Tries To Raise Up Craft Brewing By Supporting The Competition

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:30:55 GMT

A new 12-pack honors the recipients of Sam Adam’s Brewing The American Dream program, which offers loans to smaller brewers.

Chris Spinelli, the cofounder of Roc Brewing in Rochester, New York, was all set to open his small brewery and taproom in 2011, when he realized it had a built-in buzzkill. To expand his reach, Spinelli planned to contract with bigger brewers who could fill kegs with his recipes that he’d sell to local bars. The place could indeed fill his kegs, but not wash them. So Spinelli needed to invest in an industrial keg washing system—fast.

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Why Would Anyone Let Their Employer Stick A Microchip Into Their Body?

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:15:34 GMT

A majority of employees at Three Square Market, a Wisconsin tech company, have agreed to let it install microchips in their hands, despite the controversy.

If your employer asked your permission to install a microchip in your body, what would you say?

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Work It! How Reebok, Adidas, and Y-3 Will Dress Future Space Explorers

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:00:36 GMT

Boeing’s Starliner and Virgin Galactic don’t just want you to visit space–they want you to do it in style.

What’s a gal (or a guy) to wear—in space?

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Facebook Earnings Preview: Instagram Drives Growth As News Feed Revenue Slows

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 16:51:48 GMT

Ad growth has been down year-over-year for four straight quarters, but Facebook’s stock just hit an all-time high. Will it last?

By most meaningful measures, Facebook is flying. It reached the milestone of 2 billion active users a month ago, and its stock is currently trading at near-record highs of $165.12 a share. But there are a lot of signals coming out of Mark Zuckerberg’s social media behemoth that its phenomenal growth is starting to slow.

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Rick Perry Is Fighting Historical Forces In The Energy Market–He’s Going To Lose

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:30:01 GMT

Physicist and environmentalist Amory Lovins is concerned the Energy secretary is planning to hobble the country’s move to renewables.

In his 2011 book Reinventing Fire, the renowned physicist and environmentalist Amory Lovins laid out how the U.S. could power itself largely with renewables by 2050–and save money at the same time. By tripling investment in energy efficiency and quintupling the use of solar, wind, and other clean energy sources, he says we can cut carbon emissions by 84% while growing the economy 2.6 times over. What’s more, he argues, we could make the transition without any major new inventions and without any acts of Congress.

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This New Documentary Shows The Struggle To Help People Coming Home From Prison

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:00:49 GMT

It used to be that there was nothing: no treatment services, no job training. But the film, Returning Citizens, documents the efforts in a Washington, D.C. community to build up re-entry programs and reduce recidivism.

Growing up in southeast Washington, D.C. in the 1970s, Charles Thornton was never told he could or would contribute positively to society. Instead, “as far back as elementary school, I can recall being told by different counselors that we were going to Lorton, which was the District’s prison system at the time,” Thornton recalls in a new documentary, Returning Citizens. “There was a seed planted before I even walked through that door.” Thornton was first arrested in 1979 for a minor drug-related offense; that began what he describes as an 11-year “revolving-door odyssey in and out of jail.” In 1983, Thornton was among the first wave of offenders to be sentenced under the new mandatory minimum law, and received a three-to-nine-year sentence for possession. He was paroled in 1988, but within another three months, he was back inside.

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Inside The Dumbest First Amendment Battle Of 2017

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:41:26 GMT

The guys behind Found Footage Fest have been innocuously pranking local news stations for years. Now they’re being sued for it in federal court.

When the so-called strongman duo appeared on WEAU’s Hello Wisconsin last November, clad in chef pants and too-tight tops, they looked absolutely ridiculous, an obvious folly. Not everybody got the joke, though.

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My Ambitious Personal Goal Cost Me My Job Performance

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:00:23 GMT

Luckily, everything got better.

Finding the right balance between role performance and personal development is not easy.

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This Ex-Googler’s Predictive Search Tool Could Change The Future Of Networking

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:00:26 GMT

Node founder Falon Fatemi wants AI to one day give the best-connected people in our networks a run for their money.

“Google has had a major influence in terms of my DNA and how I look at the world,” reflects Falon Fatemi, one of Google’s youngest employees when she was hired, at age 19, in 2005. Her experience there–and in the years since leaving her final role as a Googler, at YouTube, in 2011–laid the foundation for her newest venture, a search and discovery tool called Node.

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Julia Michaels Is Exactly What Pop Music Needs Right Now

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:28:46 GMT

She has more than 10 billion streams worldwide under her belt through writing songs for other artists–now she’s ready to break out on her own.

At just 23 years old, Julia Michaels has established herself in the music industry as one of its most preeminent songwriters. To date, Michaels has contributed to more than 10 billion streams worldwide with her work on chart dominators like Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” Selena Gomez’s “Good for You” and “Bad Liar,” and Hailee Steinfeld’s “Love Myself.” But back in January, Michaels dropped “Issues,” her first single as a solo artist that marks her transition from just a songwriter to a performer as well.

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7 Funding Alternatives For Women Entrepreneurs

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:00:26 GMT

Until the culture and demographics of the VC industry changes, here are some places that female founders can pitch.

More often than not, pitching VC firms means pleading your case to white men. This is no easy feat for women entrepreneurs who, at best, may be easily dismissed or, at worst, may be taken advantage of. The solution, of course, is to overhaul the culture and demographics of VC firms—but as is the case with male-dominated tech companies, that’s a tall order.

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We’re Trolling Ourselves To Death

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 09:01:28 GMT

The common denominator in all this white noise is the logic of the insult: Whoever insults hardest wins.

Last month, the New York Times took on the seemingly impossible task of counting the lies of Donald Trump. To make this task manageable, they counted all the lies over the course of his first six months in office. They arrived at a grand total of 100 lies. And that’s without even including in their count such categories as the president’s “dubious statements” and “careless errors.”

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