On the Fast Track
The magazine certainly delivered with this summer's ambitious "China in Africa" report, which delved deep into China's growing influence and investment in sub-Saharan Africa in the context of a (nominally) postcolonial world of diminishing resources and possible environmental crisis. The report spawned similar stories from several larger news outlets; CNN anchor Lou Dobbs called it the most important magazine story he had read in years.
"It was a risk-taking story," she says of the nearly 20,000-word feature, "because it is so long, and how do you get somebody to spend a couple of hours [reading] it? It was a complete departure from what Fast Company usually delivers, which is pithy, entertaining stories .... [Editor] Bob Safian has the ability to take chances because we have an owner who is really investing [in quality]."
For the September issue, MySpace approached the magazine to break a story about its response to new competition in the video realm (it's adding functionalities in the music area - leapfrogging, to some extent, obvious contenders like Facebook to directly take on Apple).
"These are the stories we are telling that BusinessWeek will carry after the news hits, and maybe Fortune will have covered it," says Osekoski, "but you know what, I will probably have already read that in the newspaper, I will have already read that online - that's where all these media - mix questions come into play."
With Fast Company's growth coming predominantly from print, according to Osekoski, the approach seems to be working.
Steering the Conversation
An important element in Fast Company's strategy moving forward is FastCompany.com, a separate but complementary venture run by Mansueto Ventures' digital division, Mansueto Digital. Print and digital each have their own, dedicated sales teams, but, notes Osekoski, the sales teams often partner to offer fully integrated packages to advertisers.