Giving companies what they want

A friend gave me a bit of wisdom today: companies don’t give a shit if you eat or not. They want deliverables. Something to keep in mind as I ponder this idea: I just want to make enough to pay my rent and have something eat

Seems in line with something Calacanis said at ETech: “You’ve got to produce.”

Which fits in with that old saying that “talk is cheap.”

So it doesn’t matter how smart, how clever, how nifty the things you think or say are; you’ve gotta put those things to work and become a generator — of physical, tactile, in the real results. Something to show for it, yeh yeh.

I dunno, I’m just rambling now. But it’s a stark reminder: your priorities, though nobel and just, probably don’t mean shit to anyone else unless you can impact their bottom line. Hey, reality bites. There was a movie about that. Look it up. Might be something worth knowing in there.

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: (YC W18), Uber, Google.

7 thoughts on “Giving companies what they want”

  1. 😦

    Well, yes, we live in a crappy world that values crap and spits out crap, but it isn’t all that crappy. There are uncrappy moments and companies, etc.

    There is a better way to live. A way to balance production (and not stupid production for the sake of production, but production that you will feel proud of) and passion. You’ll find it. I guarantee it.

    I believe in you.

  2. What do you care what companies want? Being “practical” is all very well and good, but too much of it can suck the life out of your life. Seriously, you’re an idea person and a social catalyst. Those are important things. And you apparantly have a sensible, intelligent person who loves you–listen to her.

  3. Hey Holly — you’re right. I’m not about to just give companies “deliverables”. I’m not really capable of working like that.

    I’m just brainstorming new ways of sustaining my work outside the context of regular employment… like consulting… but distributing the payments across a community. That friend told me that it’s unlikely to work since possible “sponsors” want deliverables.

    Really what I want to do is a community-funded fellowship.

  4. What a fascinating idea! I refuse to believe it can’t work. Have you written more about this online anywhere?

  5. No, not yet. It’s an idea that just came to me a day or two ago — given the work that I’m already doing between many communities. I feel like maintaining my independence is really important to the work that I do and my effectiveness. If I worked for someone like Yahoo or Google (and even Flock) my independence or intentions/goals will always be suspect… So if I spread out my sources of influence over a community, and do so openly, in the interest of divining better solutions, better ideas and better ways to bring people together — I’d hopefully be able to really make some interesting things happen.

    I guess to draw a geeky analogy — I’d like to be more like the glue-code that ties various social community APIs together! 😉

  6. Well, you can count me in. What about a subscriber list, where a basic membership would be so much per month, and then you could have premium and vip memberships for a higher amount each month? I’d think you’d want to keep the basic membership pretty cheap (low bar to entry), but even if it was only $5 or so, if you had a thousand people paying $5 per month, that would cover a bare minimum of rent and groceries. And I bet people could write the monthly fee off as a business expense, if they already itemize their deductions.

    As for what it would cover–well, you’re already making interesting things happen, just in your spare time. Remember the dinner up in the city that Bill and I attended? I got a lot out of that. And the whole Camp paradigm has been great for us, and you were a big part of that. Not to mention the coworking thing (which I would like to get involved in.) It would be interesting to see what you could accomplish if you had the opportunity.

    Hmmm… IANAL, but maybe there is some way to make yourself a non-profit foundation or something? Maybe you could get some kind of grant, the sort of thing they give to artists.

  7. Your support and encouragement means a great deal to me! I’ll see what I can do — if anything, this could make for a very interesting experience in modern economics! 😀

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