Clockwise from top: Adam Bluestein, Donna Fenn, Bill Pfleging, Minda Zetlin
What innovations do entrepreneurs have in store for the medical industry? Adam Bluestein had the chance to take a peek ("The Future of the Human Body"). Among the marvels: an internal microchip that dispenses medication to strengthen bones and a bionic brace that helps stroke victims regain control of their arms. "Most medical companies are very secretive, so I felt very lucky to see what some of them were up to at an early stage," Bluestein says. Bluestein is working on a book on biotechnology. He lives in Burlington, Vermont.
Jonathon Rosen describes his work as an "ongoing obsession with the medical, mechanical, and carnivalesque." So he was well prepared for the task of illustrating the parts of the human body featured in our story on medical innovations ("The Future of the Human Body"). "It was totally up my alley," he says. "I'm all for spare parts." Rosen's illustrations have been published in The New York Times, Mother Jones, and Time. His work also includes animation and film projects; for the film Sleepy Hollow, he worked with Tim Burton to create the drawings that appear in Ichabod Crane's journal. Rosen, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, teaches at the School of Visual Arts.
While getting to know Luke Skurman, the founder of College Prowler, for a Case Study on the company ("Finding the Right Price for a Hot Product"), Donna Fenn saw his company's product at work in her own household. Her son, now a student at Cornell, used College Prowler's website to research colleges when he was in high school. Though Skurman was struggling to find the right revenue model, Fenn was impressed by the quality of the site's reviews. "I think his company has a competitive edge," Fenn says. Her book Upstarts! How GenY Entrepreneurs Are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit From Their Success was published in September.
Senior writer Max Chafkin usually travels to the West Coast to cover up-and-coming tech companies. For his story on Ponoko ("The Future of Manufacturing"), he went to New Zealand. Chafkin, shown here with a New Zealand fur seal, says the start-up could transform manufacturing by turning its customers' designs, submitted online, into actual products. "It's the most extreme example of a Web company spilling over into the physical world," he says. "Instead of making blogs, they're making things." Chafkin tried out Ponoko's service for himself: He designed bamboo pet tags for his two cats.
Husband-and-wife team Bill Pfleging and Minda Zetlin began their professional collaboration in 2005 with a series of arguments. Pfleging decried banner ads in chat rooms as clunky distractions. Zetlin saw them as necessary tools for turning websites into profitable companies. "He's a geek, and I'm a suit," Zetlin says. Those discussions inspired their 2006 book, The Geek Gap, which explores why business people and tech geeks often don't see eye to eye. They have regularly collaborated on pieces for The Goods ("The Best Printers for Less than $1,000"); in fact, they rarely work apart, even when they don't share a byline. They live in Woodstock, New York.
IMAGE: Pfleging and Zetlin: Dion Ogust; Fenn: Scott Barrow; Courtesy Subject