Fast Company Lives To See Its Second Decade

Considering that old saw about nine out of ten magazines folding within their first decade of publishing (just ask the staff of Absolute, which barely made it a year) a magazine’s 10th birthday should carry real resonance. That’s why I’ll be toasting Fast Company tonight, especially in light of how half of its ten years of existence so far were spent in the Babylonian Captivity of being owned by Gruner + Jahr (which it actually managed to outlive, ironically.) Scheduled to be toasting with me are Google poster girl Marissa Mayer (who no doubt flew here on the redeye last night) Fast Company editors, a bushel of ad agency executives, and likely every media reporter in town.

In a sign I’m growing old, it seems that all of the newborn magazines that were most important to me in college are turning ten these days. That, and they’ve grown old and a little tired, too. There’s Wired, born in 1993, which wrote its name in neon inks and used to toss Lacanian psychologists and “zippies” on its covers. These days, any movie which skews predominantly geek or uses a ton of special effects is practically guaranteed a spot. (Exhibit A: this month’s A Scanner Darkly cover, which — considering it’s three months too early — would indicate that V For Vendetta fell through at the last minute.)

Then there’s Wallpaper*, Tyler Brule’s delirious vision of a jet-set existence as seen through the eyes of an imperious control-freak. It’s still handsome these days, but where are the Jordi Labanda illustrations? And finally, there’s Fast Company, which between “The Brand Called You” and “Free Agent Nation” is more or less responsible for where I am today: sitting in my apartment in a t-shirt and jeans, blogging.