Joy and contentment at work are hard to find. Derek Thompson highlighted the “workism” crushing American workers, and the “great resignation” is well underway among those looking for good jobs as part of a different way of life. The gig economy has been a boon for those looking for flexibility, though it seems also to have limited opportunity for those looking for stability. Indeed, stability, dignity of work, work/life balance, and social mobility are among the highest priorities for workers in roles from the trades to the executive suite.
We’re interested in ventures that have the ideal of good work as their core reason for being—supporting the underemployed, offering group benefits for the gig worker, offering living wages in markets that don’t demand them, and providing training and internal opportunity for those lacking external credentials.
In today’s commercially-driven world people are more likely to be seen and referred to as 'consumers' than anything else. Instead of being met with resistance, this shift has often meant that individuals have formed their identity through a composite of brands, and product purchasing can be guided more by the desire to make a statement about one’s identity and values than strict utility. As a result, the lines between social movement, capitalism, and community are increasingly blurry (see: Nike, Whole Foods, and Patagonia).
Given this reality (which is with us for both better and worse), we’d like to support entrepreneurs with a vision for building brands with a counter-culturally virtuous and optimistic view of the world, spreading hope and beauty, eliminating stigma, and most fundamentally, redirecting our identity away from materialistic consumption and toward lasting contentment.