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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.


How The World’s Biggest Comedy Festival Is Leading The Industry’s Charge

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 11:01:21 GMT

Despite 35 years of being at the forefront of comedy, the team behind Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival is far from complacent.

Few entertainment industries have seen a boom in recent years quite like comedy. One clear indicator has been Netflix’s full-court press on comedy specials with its plan announced a few months back to release a new special every week for the rest of the year. This “diamond age” of comedy, as some would call it, is also translating into the physical space. According to statistics company Statista, the number of people who visited comedy clubs increased from 15.95 million in 2014 to 17.6 million in 2016. And one of the key drivers of comedy’s continual dominance in both broadcast and live events has been Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival.

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This Is Why Your Best Developers Keep Quitting

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 11:00:45 GMT

It’s one thing to hire a bunch of junior developers. It’s another to retain the experienced people who’ll mentor them.

Everyone from college students to mid-career professionals looking for a job change have been told they need to learn how to code. And despite outright detractors and calls for moderation from inside the tech sector, a glut of coding schools has flooded the job market with junior developers.

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This Pickle Company Achieved Zero Food Waste By Turning Scraps Into Compost And Bloody Marys

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 11:00:14 GMT

Getting to zero food waste is very possible: it just takes a little creative thinking.

In the early days of The Real Dill, a pickle company that Denver locals Justin Park and Tyler DuBois founded in 2012, the two friends were tossing around 300 pounds of food scraps in the trash every week. Cucumber cutoffs, raw horseradish, peppers–all of it was bagged up and left for the garbage collection rounds.

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This App Wants To Relieve Americans’ Medical Debt

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 10:00:24 GMT

Better is a new app that simplifies the confusing, time-sucking process of filing out-of-network health insurance claims. Can it help Americans get their money back?

What if filing your insurance claims was as easy as snapping a photo?

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Everything You Believe Is Wrong: There Is No Such Thing As A Male Or Female Brain

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 09:00:44 GMT

Forget all those glowing brain scans, here’s the real science behind the differences between men and women.

If I see someone crying, I cry–without fail. It isn’t purposeful, it’s just how my brain reacts. My husband, by his own admission, is like the Tin Man, just without the quest for greater emotional expression.

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You Don’t Really Know How (Un-)Talented You Are, According To Science

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:00:51 GMT

But don’t freak out–neither does anybody else.

First, the good news: There’s a spate of new technologies to help companies measure and predict their employees’ talents, and it’s only a matter of time before artificial intelligence becomes a normal part of the hiring process. But now for the bad news: Those innovations have to surmount one pretty big obstacle first—human intuition.

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How To Launch A Killer Email Newsletter

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 06:00:17 GMT

Don’t launch your email newsletter blindly–get a head start and learn from my successes, failures, and many experiments over the years.

A few years ago, when I started working on newsletters, most people thought email was dead. Social media, it seemed, was THE way to reach people.

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Inside China’s Plan For A Massive Forest-Covered City

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 06:00:04 GMT

Architect Stefano Boeri designed tree-covered skyscrapers in Milan. Now he’s doing a lot more in Liuzhou, China.

Liuzhou, an industrial city in southern China, looks like a typical modern Chinese metropolis, filled with concrete high-rises and often shrouded in smog. But the city’s newest district, in planning now, will be different: Every building, from schools to office and apartment towers, will be covered in trees and plants.

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Six Words And Phrases That Make Everyone Hate Working With You

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 05:00:55 GMT

Some of the most common expressions carry subtle undertones of resentment when you use them around the office.

In general, it’s smart to say what you mean. In the workplace, people tend to use overwrought business jargon to compensate for not knowing their stuff. But there’s a less-apparent risk to doing just the reverse. If you sound like a walking Instagram comment, you might start to alienate yourself in your own office and lose your coworkers’ trust—even if they use those same kinds of words expressions when they’re texting their roommates.

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Here Are The Trailers You’ve Missed From San Diego Comic-Con So Far

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 10:17:09 GMT

The FOMO-fest at SDCC is heating up.

San Diego Comic-Con is in full effect now, which means that the release of trailers, teasers, promos, and activations for your favorite vaguely superheroic/science-fiction/fantastical movies and TV shows has gone from “faucet” to “firehose.” Trying to keep up with all of them is a challenge, so rather than click link after link seeking every extended 19-second clip of footage, we’ve compiled the releases of every new series or movie here for your convenience. We’re still anticipating some heavy-hitters–perhaps Avengers: Infinity WarJustice League, Aquaman, or Marvel’s Punisher–and there’ve been surprises both in what’s been released (Stargate?) and what didn’t make an appearance (Deadpool 2, any new X-Men footage). But scroll on down to see what’s come out so far.

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Four Work-Life Questions To Ponder On Vacation This Summer

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 05:00:28 GMT

Print this out and take it someplace without any Wi-Fi.

You packed your favorite journal and a couple of pens. You planned some time on the beach, or left an afternoon empty to find a table at an outdoor cafe where you can grab an ice-cold drink and just think. This vacation, you’ve told yourself, you’re finally going to be able to take a break and get some clarity.

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Is Your Country Ready For A Catastrophe?

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 16:00:47 GMT

The Change Readiness Index compares the world’s countries on how resilient they would be in the face of radical change.

When earthquakes strike, or thousands of refugees mass at the border, some countries take unexpected events in their stride, while others fall to pieces. Disasters reveal underlying resiliency: the patchwork of government, business, and civil systems that either hang together in a crisis, or cause people to flail about ineffectually.

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Why Telling John McCain To Beat Cancer Feeds A Dangerous GOP Narrative

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 16:00:28 GMT

Positioning cancer as a “battle” demonstrates implicit support for “personal responsibility” narratives that are driving GOP efforts to take health care away.

It’s always hard to find the right thing to say when someone shares frightening health news. The announcement of Senator John McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis this week showed that even the world’s greatest speakers and thinkers can get it wrong.

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Open Letter To SNL: Please Let Melissa McCarthy Do Spicey On TV Right Now

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 14:46:40 GMT

With today’s news of Sean Spicer’s resignation, I humbly request a special summer edition of “SNL” with Melissa McCarthy

Like a hall-of-fame athlete hanging up his jersey, Sean Spicer–the Michael Jordan of scream-lying–has just resigned as White House press secretary. No more will Americans be assured (lately off-camera) that the president’s incendiary garbled tweets “speak for themselves.” Do you know who hasn’t retired, though? Melissa McCarthy.

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The Philanthropy World Is Frightened That Trump’s Tax Plan Is Going To Slow Donations

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 14:30:22 GMT

The proposed plan would lower the tax benefits of charitable donations.

There’s new evidence that a Trump presidency may present a serious threat to future philanthropic funding: A recent survey by Schwab Charitable, the country’s 4th largest nonprofit behind Fidelity, United Way and Feeding America (according the research by the Chronicle of Philanthropy) reports 45% of its current donors and financial advisors are likely to reduce their annual giving if Trump’s proposed tax reforms—which reduce charitable deductions on taxable income–take effect in 2018. In total, as many as 60% of Schwab’s givers would either decrease donations or aren’t sure how they’d proceed.

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Kicking These Three Habits Made Me A Better CEO

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 13:00:44 GMT

One startup founder explains why he’s done asking his teams to give “110%.”

Pretty much nobody sets out to be an entrepreneur because they’re excited about becoming someone else’s manager. Usually, you start your own company because you’re passionate about an idea you have–and maybe also partly because you’re tired of having a boss yourself.

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4 Life Insurance Startups Asking Millennials To Face Their Mortality

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:30:54 GMT

No one likes to contemplate the end. But for millennials starting families, it’s a necessity.

Nineteen million Americans are interested in buying life insurance, but have gotten stuck somewhere in the process. Clunky forms, fine-print PDFs, inconvenient medical exams, seemingly high costs—the list of headaches is long and frustrating. Perhaps as a result, the individual life insurance market has been roughly flat in the U.S. for over a decade, with total premiums landing around $120 billion each year, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Since the 1980s, sales of individual life insurance policies have plunged over 40%.

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The 30-Minute Master Plan For Giving Your Personal Brand A Makeover

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:00:19 GMT

You don’t have to spend lots and lots of time on it.

You’re ready to make a career move–maybe you’re looking for a new job, launching a side business, or eyeing a promotion. In all of these instances, boosting your personal brand can help you achieve your goal.

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“Fairy Lives Don’t Matter”: Will Smith’s Fantasy Cop Movie On Netflix Is a Racial Allegory

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 11:58:33 GMT

Watch the trailer for “Bright,” a film in which Will Smith plays a cop in a Los Angeles populated by orcs and other fantasy creatures–metaphors abound.

WHAT: The trailer for Netflix’s upcoming film, Bright, which puts fantasy world elements in a modern L.A. cop movie.

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