What Happened at Fast Company?

I have been a reader of Fast Company since 2001.  Some of their articles have been brilliant, such as the expose on China’s involvement in Africa.  Others, not so much.  I always objected when the annual Masters of Design issue didn’t include the designers of processes.  But the March 2012 issue was the first that was so offensive, so disgusting, so unconscionable that I was actually thinking of cancelling my subscription. In their list of “The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” they had the unmitigated nerve to list the Occupy Movement in seventh place after Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Square and Twitter!  Unbelievable!

I always tell my clients and students that everyone is entitled to make one mistake.  And did they ever make one!  In fact, they owe an apology to their subscribers, readers, advertisers, the 49 real innovative companies – first and foremost Square to which they compared Occupy, and, perhaps most importantly, to the victims of Occupy Wall Street.

What were you thinking?  Occupy Wall Street is an “innovative company?”  They compare them to Square?  When Square started operations did they articulate a list of goals?  (As is noted in the article, Occupy “notoriously won’t list its demands.”)  Did Square occupy private property?  Did Square damage private and public property?  Did Square have to be removed by court order?  Did Square defecate on their neighbor’s property?  Did Square urinate on their neighbors’ property?  Did Square constantly beat drums  destroying their neighbors’ quality of life?  Did Square attack the police?  Did Square want to get arrested?  Were Square’s facilities the sites of rapes?  Did Square ever refer to their competitors as “enemies”  (which is how Fast Company quotes them as referring to the 1%)?  Did Square hinder, and in some cases, stop people from going to work?  Did Square stop people from patronizing local stores and restaurants?  Did Square get people fired because the drop in customers forced business owners to lay them off?   Really?  Occupy Wall Street?  An “innovative company?”  Praised in Fast Company?  Seriously?

Fast Company, and its sister publication Inc., not only laud companies and entrepreneurs trying to get to be part of the “1 %,” they provide valuable insights to help companies grow.  With the exception of the non-profits, all the  companies listed in the “Most Innovative Companies” feature,are part of the 1% (or want to be!) that  the Occupy Movement considers to be their “enemy.”  Occupy will utilize their technology, but that does not mean that they want to emulate them.  They don’t want to build; they want to destroy.  They don’t want to create; they want to ruin.  That’s an “innovative” company?  Shame on Fast Company!

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