Scott Hodge

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The Future of Fast Company

Jun 16, 2005
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In case you aren’t aware, the innovative business magazine, Fast Company, is being sold.  According to a blog post by John Byrne, Editor-in-Chief of FC, the air in their offices is thick with uncertainty and hesitated optimism.

From Byrne’s post yesterday:


It’s a strange wait-and-see game at the magazine these days.

Some bidders clearly have little, if any, interest in Fast Company. So the staff is quietly and obviously rooting for an acquirer who believes in what we do and wants to support us. The most difficult part of this process is working through the uncertainty with focus and purpose.

Huh?

Isn’t FC all about taking big, bold risks and inspiring others to hop on board with your mission?  It almost feels like they are just sitting back waiting for someone else to decide their fate.  This doesn’t sound very FC’ish to me.  (Hey FC folks…people are watching you!  Do you really believe the stuff you publish?)

I love the comment written on Byrne’s post by a guy named, David Newman:


John:

Dude, FC totally rocks, but I sense a tone of learned helplessness about the "big, bad acquirer" or the "white knight who believes in FC."

Don’t you realize that your fate is in NO ONE’s hands but your own? Imagine if Alan Webber and crew were sitting there wringing their hands at the Harvard Business Review hoping that their magazine would become cooler, hipper, and faster, and waiting for someone ELSE to make that happen.

Look to the roots of the pub, my man… Started by wild-eyed entrepreneurs, with a bet-the-farm attitude and a vision of "HBR meets Rolling Stone." I doubt Webber paid much mind to ‘the man.’

Yes, yes, the economic times and financial environment ARE fundamentally different today. And I also understand that your skills and strengths are your own and possibly different from those of the founders. And all of that is OK.

Point is, you’re wearing the captain’s hat, John. You’ve got the map, you’ve got the crew, you’ve got the North Star in your pocket.

What’s stopping you from kicking ass and taking names? I’ll back you up. Hundreds, no thousands, of us would gladly help out any way we can. Raise money. Donate in-kind expertise and services and contacts. We’re here for you…

… but it’s YOUR move.

Well said David.  I’m ready to see FC practice what they preach and stand for what they believe in.  Tell me John Byrne – what can I do to help?


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