Fast Company (magazine)

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Fast Company
Fast Company October 2009 cover.jpg
October 2009 cover of Fast Company
Editor Robert Safian
Categories Business magazine
Frequency 10 times per year
Publisher Fast Company, Inc
Total circulation
(June 2012)
First issue November 1995
Company Mansueto Ventures
Country USA
Language English
ISSN 1085-9241

Fast Company is a full-color business magazine that releases 10 issues per year and focuses on technology, business, and design. Robert Safian has been the editor-in-chief since 2007,[citation needed] having previously worked at Fortune, Time, and Money. The magazine has won numerous industry awards.[2]


Fast Company was launched in November 1995[3] by Alan Webber and Bill Taylor, two former Harvard Business Review editors, and publisher Mortimer Zuckerman.[4][5]

The publication's early competitors included Red Herring, Business 2.0 and the The Industry Standard.[6]

In 1997, Fast Company created an online social network, the "Company of Friends" which spawned a number of groups that began meeting in person.[7] At one point the Company of Friends had over 40,000 members in 120 cities, although by 2003 that number had declined to 8,000.[8]

In 2000, Zuckerman sold Fast Company to Gruner + Jahr, majority owned by media giant Bertelsmann, for $350 million. At the time this was the second largest amount for any US magazine in history.[citation needed] Webber and Taylor left the magazine, and John A. Byrne, previously with Newsweek, was brought in as the new editor.[8] Although the magazine was not specifically about Internet commerce, readership declined sharply following the collapse of the dot-com bubble. By 2003 newsstand sales had declined by half, and advertising pages were one-third the 2000 numbers.[8]

In 2005, Gruner + Jahr sold the magazine, as well as Inc. magazine, to Joe Mansueto's company Mansueto Ventures for $35 million.[9]

Fast Company was named by the American Society of Magazine Editors as the magazine of the year in 2014.[10]

Current activity[edit]


Fast Company currently operates three different franchises: Most Innovative Companies, Most Creative People in Business, and Masters of Design. For their Most Innovative Companies feature, Fast Company assesses thousands of businesses based on creativity, real-world impact, risk taking, and execution to create a list of just 50 companies.[11] The Most Creative People in Business is a list of 100 people from a wide range of industries.[12]

Online[edit] operates as a network of sites with It comprises four sites: Co.Design, Co.Exist, Co.Create and Co.Labs. Co.Design covers business, innovation, and design.[13] Co.Exist covers innovation-related topics.[14] Co.Create covers creativity, culture, and commerce.[15][16] It also features blog post written by Pamela Hawley, CEO and Founder of UniversalGiving. Fast Company also has a section of their site dedicated to 30 Second MBA which focuses on a library of video "curricula" of advice from business personalities. The section features professionals who answer business and leadership questions in 30 seconds.[17]


  1. ^ "eCirc for Consumer Magazines". Alliance for Audited Media. June 30, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  2. ^ Fast Company :: progressive | creative | innovative. Retrieved on April 10, 2012.
  3. ^ Alex French. "The Very First Issues of 19 Famous Magazines". Mental Floss. Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ "A Brief History of Our Time". Fast Company. March 1, 2006. Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
  5. ^ About Us | Fast Company | Co.Design | Co.Exist | Co.Create. Fast Company (October 25, 2011). Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  6. ^ Bercovici, Jeff (February 2001). "Business 2.0 is put up for sale". Media Life Magazine. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ Alex Kuczynski (December 14, 1998). "Cultivating A Cult Audience; Fast Company Magazine Takes 'Community of Readers' Idea To New Extremes". New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b c Carr, David (August 11, 2003). "Fast Company's New Life in the Slow Lane". The New York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  9. ^ Gruner + Jahr sells 2 U.S. magazines The New York Times. June 21, 2005.
  10. ^ "National Magazine Awards 2014 Winners Announced". American Society of Magazine Editors. New York. May 1, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Most Innovative Companies: Top 10 by Industry". Fast Company website. February 18, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  12. ^ Fast Company. Retrieved on May 29, 2012.
  13. ^ "Co.Design website". Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Co.Exist website". Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Co.Create website". Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  16. ^ Krippendorff, Kaihan (2012-10-21). "Leadership". Fast Company. Retrieved 2012-10-27. 
  17. ^ "Co.30 Second MBA website". Retrieved April 10, 2012. 

External links[edit]