Stop…And Sell the Flowers

    April 29, 2003

Two fast-track Dutch consultants decide that there’s more to life than travel, presentations, and nonstop meetings. Their business plan for sanity? Selling tulip bulbs. Online. At a profit. Don’t sneeze at the idea: The business is taking root.

When Pim Bouwman’s friends learned that he was leaving his lucrative post at Arthur Andersen Business Consulting in Amsterdam during the billing boom of 1999, they thought he was nuts. How could you turn your back on all of that money? Then, when they heard that he planned to launch an Internet-based flower-bulb business during the dotcom implosion of 2000, they feared that he was downright self-destructive. How could you start that kind of business now?

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Launched in November 1995 by Alan Webber and Bill Taylor, two former Harvard Business Review editors, Fast Company magazine was founded on a single premise: A global revolution was changing business, and business was changing the world. Discarding the old rules of business, Fast Company set to chronicle how changing companies create and compete, to highlight new business practices, and to showcase the teams and individuals who are inventing the future and reinventing business.

Today, the business world continues to change, and Fast Company continues to evolve as well. In this note from the founding editors, Alan Webber and Bill Taylor discuss how the magazine continues to serve its readers: