Skunkworks: Inside the Innovation Labs of 3 Fortune 500 Companies

Facebook’s AI Research lab, housed in a former conference room that overlooks an entrance to the company’s headquarters, whirs with robot arms, legs, and 3-D printers (to prototype parts and playthings).Photographed by Spencer Lowell for Fortune That’s why Daisy’s stroll along a dusty path is so significant. Introducing the A.I. to “noise”–like bumps in the […]

Sears’ Seven Decades of Self-Destruction

The kindest media attention Sears has attracted in years arrived in April, when the company announced it was opening three small stores. “The start of a new Sears era? The retailer announces openings, not closings,” read USA Today‘s hopeful headline, which echoed others nationwide. But viewed through a longer lens, the coverage was more pathetic […]

The Occidental-Anadarko Petroleum Merger’s Crude Truth About Oil Prices

On the last Friday in April, Warren Buffett got a call from Brian Moynihan, the CEO of Bank of America, asking if he would back Occidental Petroleum‘s underdog bid for rival oil driller Anadarko. Two days later, Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub was making the pitch herself, having flown to Omaha to appeal directly to the […]

It’s All Clicking for Wayfair, a Fortune 500 Newcomer

Not long after graduating from Cornell back in 1995, Niraj Shah and Steve Conine decided to compare their meager bank accounts. Both fresh-faced engineering students who liked talking business, they possessed highly analytical minds and more than their share of pluck and will. But little else. At the time, Conine was up several thousand dollars […]

5 Numbers to Watch to Spot the Next Recession

In June, economists will mark the 10th anniversary of the end of the Great Recession. But even as traumatic memories of that crisis recede, investors collectively have grown more jittery in anticipation of the next one. Market volatility has soared as relatively minor economic setbacks trigger frequent, dramatic selloffs. And over the past 12 months, […]