The Nine Levels of Work Hell

Dante’s got nothing on the endless loops of interruptions, overwhelming emails and pointless formalities that plague workplaces. Here’s how to break free.

Udacity’s Sebastian Thrun, Godfather Of Free Online Education, Changes Course

He captivated the world with visions of self-driving cars and Google Glass and has signed up 1.6 million students for online classes. So why is he pivoting away from MOOCs? “We don’t educate people as others wished, or as I wished,” Thrun says.

Google’s Creative Destruction

Venture-capital firms have been the engine of the United States’ innovation economy. At Google Ventures, the search giant’s investing arm, Google thinks it can build a better one.

Farhad Manjoo, Joe Kraus

Joe Kraus says that analysts have discovered research that overturns some of Silicon Valley’s most cherished bits of lore. Take that old idea that it pays to fail in the Valley: Wrong! Google Ventures’ analysts found that first-time entrepreneurs with VC backing have a 15% chance of creating a successful company, while second-timers who had an auspicious debut see a 29% chance of repeating their … [ Read more ]

How To…Pitch A VC

As an investor at Accel Partners, Theresia Gouw has heard her share of spiels from entrepreneurs. Here’s her checklist for all the right (and wrong) things to say.

How To…”Yes, And” Your Way To Better Banter

The cardinal rule of improv comedy: Keep a riff lively with “Yes, and. . . .” The phrase fosters funnier creative exchanges through positive reinforcement. Will and Kevin Hines of the Upright Citizens Brigade theater share ways to break out “yes, and”–along with other tools of the improv trade–in business settings.

Jonah Lehrer

We use creativity in the singular, as if there’s one way the brain generates new connections. But there are probably three neurologically distinct forms of creativity. One is when you have these moments of insight that come out of the blue–when you have epiphanies in the shower. Those seem to come from the part of the brain that’s involved in things like the interpretation of … [ Read more ]

Andrea Giampetro-Meyer

Many white Americans have stopped thinking that workplace discrimination is a problem. It’s not malicious. They think that the process works, that people are judged on their own merits. They’re ignorant of their own privilege.

René Magritte

Everything we see hides something else we want to see.

Bill Jensen

If you look closely at how people make decisions, a clear pattern emerges. No matter what the new strategy, initiative, or change program is, people have the same questions: How is this change relevant to what I do? What, specifically, should I do? How will I be measured, and what consequences will I face? What tools and support are available? What’s in it for me?

The … [ Read more ]

Bill Nguyen: The Boy In The Bubble

Bill Nguyen launches startups with haste, never researches the competition, and makes the same mistakes “again and again.” So why do people keep giving him so much money?

Editor’s Note: This is the guy behind Color. I don’t find the portrait of him flattering nor does he seem especially worth emulating, but some of the discussion about Silicon Valley, funding and entrepreneurship is indeed interesting … [ Read more ]

Truvia’s Test: Can Diet Sweeteners Go Natural?

When supersecretive agriculture giant Cargill decided to attack the no-calorie-sweetener market dominated by Sweet’N Low, Splenda, and Equal, it sent its best marketers and scientists to basement war rooms and covert labs. Only now can the inside story of Truvia — and its unlikely success — be told.

Made to Stick: Watch the Game Film

Dan Heath and Chip Heath ask, Have you been looking closely enough at your business?

Don’t Recruit Next Generation Talent, Grow It

Dan Heath and Chip Heath explain why you should grow your next generation of talent, not recruit it.

Made to Stick: Giving Presentations

Dan Heath speaks with Fast Company on how to avoid “that dreaded bullet-drenched PowerPoint that everybody hates”.

Do Something: Let’s Hear It for the Little Guys

We glorify our leaders and praise our visionary entrepreneurs, but Nancy Lublin says we should focus on the followers — the people who get things done.