When You Know It’s Over

The bizblogsphere is full of talk about brands and the relationships they build with their customers. I think there are few brands that achieve the level of truly influencing your life. For me, Fast Company magazine was one of those brands.

When I started reading FC in 1998, it was a breath of fresh air in the corporate life I was living. They were talking about innovative ideas and the interesting people putting them into practice. I could not wait for the next issue to come in the mail. When it arrived, it stopped everything and read it from cover to cover. Reading the magazine planted the seeds for what I has happened since in my work life.

To celebrate their 10 year anniversary, the magazine is looking back at the big issues of the past. This month, they examine the Tom Peters’ “The Brand Called You” cover. The piece is titled “Me Inc.: The Rethink” (you can imagine where this is going). Writer David Lidsky and FC says Brand You was a great idea that never happened and it was a questionable idea to start with. In the list of greatest hits for Fast Company, I would put this article at #2 behind Free Agent Nation.

I feel Fast Company doesn’t stand for what they use to. They even seem to be distancing themselves from some of the things in their past. I think John Byrne and G+J wants Fast Company to be a business magazine reporting about interesting companies and telling stories others won’t. That is great, but that not what made me fall in love with the magazine.

I want the Agenda.
I want the Passion.
I want Fast Company when it was out to change Your Life.

I think we have both changed and it is time for us to go our separate ways.

Thanks for everything.

4 thoughts on “When You Know It’s Over

  1. I always got a kick out of reading FCs Job Titles of the Future sidebar, and also just the simple pleasure of the feel of the texture of the uncoated paper stock they printed on. I can relate to how you feel. I kind of felt that way a couple years after WIRED magazine went public after reading it religiously for about their first 5 years.

  2. Aloha Todd,
    I feel like you went into my head with this post, for like you I miss the old FC. One thing I truly miss are the RealTime Conferences they’d held: at San Diego in May of 2002 I was able to meet Tim Sanders, Marcus Buckingham, and other authors who had a profound impact on my own managing, writing and speaking. However I’ve been reluctant to call it quits yet, for they made such a strong connection with me I refuse to give up hope that they’ll be back. And periodically there are those articles that keep that glimmer of hope flickering, so I’ll be keeping their pilot light on.
    I just read this at Weekend Pundit, and it would be so fitting if FC turned out to be the new journalists in this era of blogging that “get it” and lead the way for traditional journalism and blogging to complement each other and coexist. Link:

  3. This is a great topic. Last August at the Brand Autopsy blog, we discussed whether or not Fast Company was/is still fast. The comments we received were heartfelt and very pointed. I was surprised to read how many folks purposely let their subscriptions lapse. Read below for more:


    And in the post below, FC Editor-in-Chief, John Byrne, defended the direction of magazine. I was disappointed with the defiant tone of his comments.


    So … what magazine is set to usurp Fast Company as the cool, alternative business magazine appealing to a passionate following of forward-thinking anti-Enron/Imclone/Global Crossing professionals?

    I dunno. Do you?

  4. I don’t see anything else on the horizon.

    Business2.0 is not doing it for me yet. They seems to be getting better, but I generally only find one article that I like in each issue.

    Worthwhile is trying, but I am in a wait and see there. They need some work on their layout design. The articles are a little airy.

    My only lust is for Wired right now.

    Blogs are where all the good stuff is happening.

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