Dragon is the only spacecraft I know of currently in use that doesn't need a fairing for launch on top of a rocket. I know there are others in development or in testing like Dragon v2 and CST-100(not sure about this one).
It seems to me that building the spacecraft to withstand the aerodynamic flow would weight less than a spacecraft plus fairing to protect it. So the spacecraft that doesn't need a fairing can bring slightly more payload to orbit on the same rocket.
Why was Dragon the first spacecraft, to my knowledge that is, that doesn't need a fairing for for launch on top of a rocket? Didn't anyone before Elon think about a spacecraft that doesn't need a fairing? And why was Dragon designed like that in the first place, was it because it could deliver more payload?
I'm aware that Dragon has fairings to protect the solar panels, I'm asking about fairings to protect the spacecraft itself. The space shuttle and buran don't count since they were attached at the side and too big for a fairing.
Pictures of Soyuz TMA-16M taken from spacefilght101.