Texas’s recent weather disaster is a reminder of how leaders often struggle with understanding very small probabilities — and why that can be so dangerous

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Riho Kroll

By Art Markman

In the wee hours of the morning on Monday, February 15, my house, like many others across the state of Texas, lost power during a winter storm. For the next 48 hours, we wore layers of clothes and huddled under blankets as temperatures indoors dropped to about 40 degrees. Even after the power came on, water supplies were low, and the city of Austin was under a boil-water order.

This cold snap and series of storms were by far the worst I have encountered in the 23 years I have lived in town, but longtime Texans do…

Sure, it’s only been a month, and yes, the transition was rocky, and oh boy was there ever an impeachment, but the lack of urgency on stimulus is unacceptable

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Oscar Schnell

By Joe Berkowitz

The Democrats have a lot of good excuses to explain why they have not yet delivered a third round of COVID-19 stimulus checks.

It’s only been a month. The Republicans haven’t cooperated. The previous president required some seeing-to.

Unfortunately, desperate Americans can’t feed their kids with excuses.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appears to grasp this concept, if mostly while taking digs at her colleagues across the aisle. As bipartisan talks around a proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package collapsed recently, Pelosi declared, “Americans need help. House Republicans don’t care.”

But Democrats have not yet effectively demonstrated…

Our days are filled with all sorts of tiny decisions made on the fly, but what happens when it comes to the big ones? This tech CEO lays out the process that works for him.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: You X Ventures

By Todd McKinnon

Before I was a CEO, I made decisions faster. Now that I have the final call on many critical decisions that will affect my entire company and its future, I spend much more of my time pondering them and thinking about their downstream effects.

I’m often asked about my decision-making process — the backstory behind what goes into every choice, large and small, that I make at Okta. Here’s a look into my tried and true five-step process that helps me delegate, think through, and reevaluate the most important ones.

Identify Which Decisions to Pass Off

My role as a CEO comes down…

As Blue Origin and SpaceX democratize access to space, small companies will get to explore an array of promising new ideas that lie beyond planet Earth

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: SpaceX

By Jared Lindzon

In early February, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and one of the planet’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, dropped the bombshell announcement that he would be stepping down as CEO to free up more time for his other passions. Though Bezos listed a few targets for his creativity and energy — The Washington Post and philanthropy through the Bezos Earth Fund and Bezos Day One Fund — one of the highest-potential areas is his renewed commitment and focus on his suborbital spaceflight project, Blue Origin.

Before space became a frontier for innovation and development for privately held companies, opportunities…

Be careful about what you’re oversharing online, because it makes it easier for (unethical) hackers to target you

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Lindsey LaMont

By Katie Paxton-Fear

Scam emails aren’t what they used to be. Gone are the days of fraudulent emails filled with typos and Nigerian princes promising riches if only we hand over our credit cards. Today’s phishing emails can be quite convincing, often addressed to us by name or with specific personal details. Modern hackers can find everything they need to know about a potential target through Google or social media and use this information to architect the perfect scam. How do I know this? …

The point is to get people to stop eating meat, not fix their diets

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Engin Akyurt

By Brian Kateman

It’s been a few years since the Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat burgers began showing up in grocery stores and restaurants. Despite their popularity, critics note that high-tech meat alternatives don’t exactly deserve a health halo. Perhaps in response, Impossible Foods released its 2.0 version in 2019, with 36% less sodium and 43% less saturated fat. Late last year, Beyond Meat announced its plans to debut a newer, leaner patty with less saturated fat as well.

This seems like a good thing — companies making their products healthier is always a step in the right direction, isn’t…

Toward the end of his life, King turned his attention to eradicating poverty — and argued for a guaranteed income

Image for post
Image for post
“[Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mathew Ahmann in a crowd.], 8/28/1963" Original black and white negative by Rowland Scherman. Taken August 28th, 1963, Washington D.C, United States (The National Archives and Records Administration). Colorized by Jordan J. Lloyd. U.S. Information Agency. Press and Publications Service. ca. 1953-ca. 1978. Photo via Unseen Histories

By Talib Visram

“A second evil which plagues the modern world is that of poverty. Like a monstrous octopus, it projects its nagging, prehensile tentacles in lands and villages all over the world,” said Martin Luther King Jr. in his Nobel Lecture in 1964. “There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it.”

The first “evil,” of course, was racial injustice, and King was aware that poverty and economic exclusion of minority groups served as another avenue of discrimination. From his graduate school days, he’d been concerned with…

The two tech superpowers could indeed “inflict pain” on each other. But beneath the drama, there’s an honest debate about how the web will be paid for in the future.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Tyler Lastovich

By Mark Sullivan

While the PR and media layer of Apple’s dispute with Facebook over user tracking by apps may still be going, at a strategic level the drama’s pretty much over, and it’s looking like Apple won.

In a nutshell, Apple will soon require apps that want to track user’s movements within other companies’ apps or websites to get explicit permission to do so from the user. Facebook’s apps have long done this without such explicit permission.

When the new feature, which Apple calls App Tracking Transparency, was announced earlier this year, Facebook complained loudly that the loss of…

Climate change means more randomness, which makes it harder for grid operators to plan how to keep the system running smoothly. But we can build a more resilient grid.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Art Wall — Kittenprint

By Adele Peters

The temperature in Dallas dropped well below the temperature in Anchorage, Alaska — with a wind chill of minus 16 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, possibly the result of climate change, as Arctic warming weakens the jet stream that usually traps cold air in the north.

The extreme cold took out power for millions of people in Texas and in other states. And it’s only one example of the ways that the extreme weather spurred by climate change can impact the electric grid. Extreme heat makes power demand surge. Extreme drought increases wildfire risk in states like California…

The CEO of Merchants Fleet explains how to put fear in its place and focus on your goal instead

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Silvan Arnet

By Brendan Keegan

We’ve all experienced the fear of failure whether in business, relationships or with personal goals, That doesn’t mean we all look at it the same way, though. Some of us associate it with the consequences of failing. We stress that we won’t get the job we want, or that we won’t measure up to someone’s expectations — and those may be our own.

But there’s another way to look at the fear of failure, and the stress and anxiety that inevitably come with it. We can remember that these feelings have been the source of some of…

Fast Company

Official Medium account for the Fast Company business media brand; inspiring readers to think beyond traditional boundaries & create the future of business.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store