Fast Company CEO John Koten writes in the May issue of the magazine why he decided to make Robert Safian, formerly of Fortune magazine, the editor of his glossy business magazine.
Koten wrote, “All aspects of business appear to fascinate Safian, but what gets him most excited is the drama and conflict that inevitably ensue as new things come along to replace the old. In his first issue, he has chosen to feature a 22-year-old Harvard dropout who had the confidence–or naÃ¯vetÃ©–to turn down an astronomical sum of money for social-networking site Facebook. Safian sees it as a way to explore the frenzy over Web 2.0, the power of new ideas, and the heavy pressures put on new firms by the VC community. Plus, Safian adds, he couldn’t help but be intrigued by a kid who could pass up the temptation of instant riches: ‘If my son dropped out of college and then walked away from a billion-dollar payout, I’d kill him!’
“To write the piece, Safian tapped a newcomer who packed her bags at Fortune to join him, senior writer Ellen McGirt. Her first glimpse of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was when she spied him climbing onto his bike outside the Facebook offices to head home. Earlier that week, McGirt later learned, he’d locked himself out of his house at 4 a.m. and had to call a coworker to let him in. ‘It’s a growing business, in all kinds of ways,’ McGirt says. ‘Zuckerberg is charming and endearing and so supersmart. He doesn’t say anything he doesn’t mean to.’ McGirt got him and the other Facebookers to say plenty, creating the kind of in-depth, provocative, and memorable story that Fast Company has long been known for–and that you won’t see anywhere else.”
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