Long before there was Uber, 21-year-old Logan Green traveled to Zimbabwe. There, he encountered impromptu fleets of vans that shuttled people around Harare’s chaotic streets. Inspired, he returned to the United States and launched a company called Zimride in 2007. It used Facebook to connect riders and drivers for long-distance trips. advertisement advertisement John Zimmer had nothing to do with the launch of Zimride, despite the fact that it echoes his name, but when he heard about it, it resonated. Zimmer had become obsessed with the idea of ride sharing in 2006 after hearing one of his professors at Cornell give a lecture on green cities. Can you imagine, Zimmer asked a schoolmate over beers, “this future where these pods would come to your doorstep, and they’d get people around, and you wouldn’t have to drive?” A friend introduced the two dreamers, and before long Zimmer quit his job as an analyst at Lehman Brothers to join Zimride. Their … [Read more...] about Lyft To Uber: The Race Is On
When Amy Berg got a call in 2008 from Peter Jackson–the Academy Award-winning director of Lord of the Rings and the upcoming The Hobbit–she had never heard of the West Memphis Three case. But it isn’t every day you get a call from Peter Jackson, so Berg listened as Jackson explained the story and made his pitch for her to direct a documentary about it. The resulting film, West of Memphis, which opens in theaters next week, explains the entire history, context, and significance of the West Memphis Three case, including presentation of never before seen evidence. advertisement advertisement The story begins in 1994, when three teenagers, Damien Echols, Jesse Misskelley, Jr., and Jason Baldwin, were convicted of the murder of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. The prosecution concluded that their actions were motivated by “satanic worship rites,” as evidenced by bizarre marks found on the victim’s bodies, which seemed to indicate sexual … [Read more...] about Peter Jackson-produced “West of Memphis” Aims To Give A Hearing For Justice That Never Was
A recent USA TODAY piece by Chuck Raasch about Rick Smolan’s new book, The Human Face of Big Data, looks at how humanity is impacted by the unparalleled ways we can now collect, analyze, and use data. Perhaps what struck me most was a phrase used by both the article title and Smolan, likening “big data” to a “planetary” or “global” nervous system. Jonathan Harris uses a similar phrase in the article about the Internet in general.) advertisement advertisement Without a doubt, more things can be quantified than ever before. The myriad ways that benefits society is only hinted at in Raasch’s article, and I’m sure the same can be said for Smolan’s book. With the wealth of data we can now collect and analyze in increasingly sophisticated ways, we have only scratched the surface as to the vast number of advances we might find. However, in any era with rapid technological change, it’s easy to start slipping into what … [Read more...] about Without Human Insight, Big Data Is Just A Bunch Of Numbers
Sometimes, you have to laugh to keep from crying. (See: most of the last three years.) advertisement advertisement Every now and then, the fuel for that laughter comes from the very politicians who are fighting against, or responsible for, what we’re crying about. Either these politicians are cracking jokes, which rarely ends well, or everybody else is cracking jokes at their expense. One of the more optimum opportunities for the latter is a presidential debate. These things always end up turning into Political Joke Thunderdome on Twitter, and last night was no exception. Here are the best memes Fast Company noticed emerging from the fourth Democratic debate of this election, which saw a crowded stage of 12 candidates duke it out for viral supremacy. Who is Tom Steyer? Considering that at this point most people would prefer the Democratic field be winnowed down rather than inflated, a lot of viewers were unenthused about seeing a new face on stage. (And Keke Palmer … [Read more...] about 9 funny memes from the fourth Democratic debate to help you laugh and not cry
Earlier this summer, I published a piece here at Fast Company about how, as organizations more fundamentally grapple with how to tackle social media, companies will have to create fundamental new structure and strategy rather than rely on the “one-off” fashion with which they addressed their digital communication presence in the past. At the time, I made the comment that “the need for an integrated response to digital communication may provide the ‘Trojan horse’ for a more fundamental rewiring of the communication of corporations.” This is an issue that I’ve found weighing even more heavily on my mind of late. advertisement advertisement So, I want to return to my earlier statement and revise it: internal communication disconnects are the most substantial roadblock on the path to making brands more dynamic, more responsive, and more open in their communication. And I think the conversations we have about who “owns” digital … [Read more...] about Does Social Media Give Us the “Trojan Horse” to Fix Corporate Communication?