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Yancey Strickler: This Could Be Our Future
Yancey Strickler is co-founder of Kickstarter and he’s written a book that’s a manifesto for a more generous world. We’ll talk about his vision for the hour.
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Hello and welcome to Tony martignetti non-profit Radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be hit with Uncle Sir Chi Assis. If you bit me with the idea that you missed today’s show, this could be our future. Yancey Strickler is co founder of KICKSTARTER, and he’s written a manifesto for a more generous world. We’ll talk about it for the hour on Tony’s Take Two Looking for Innovators were sponsored by Wagner C. P A’s guiding you beyond the numbers. Wagner cps dot com Bye Cougar Mountain Software. The Notley fundez They’re Complete Accounting Solution Made for non-profits Tony dahna a slash Cougar Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for non-profits, Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen too DOT CEO. I’m pleased to welcome to the show, and the show is in a different location today. Altum playing that in a second. Yancey Strickler. He’s a writer and entrepreneur, is the cofounder of Kickstarter and author of the book This Could Be Our Future, a manifesto for a more generous world. He’s been recognized as a young global leader by the World Economic Forum and one of Fast Cos most creative people. He’s spoken at Sundance TriBeCa Film Festival. Lots of other places you will know he’s at, Why Strickler and why? Strickler dot com and Nancy. Welcome to the show. Thank you, Tony. It’s a real pleasure to have you. Um, I’m I’m a little intimidated talking to somebody Wrote a manifesto. You know, you could just name your book whatever you want. Just to be clear, there wasn’t the manifesto committee that approved it. I know it. Sze very worldly. Yes, it’s very It’s very big idea. So it’s a little intimidating, but nonetheless, I mean, I had I had to swallow hard as well before bilich being willing to own manifesto being in the title of the book. But I did, Yeah, I mean, that was a That’s a terrifying thing to do, but I I lacked a better word. You know, I wasn’t sure really. What else to say It waas because it’s not a It’s not a legal case. It’s not an emotional case. It’s sort of a mix of feelings of, you know, interpretation of the world and some new ideas like that. Well, I appreciate you think that’s a difficulty with So we are on East 76th Street. It’s a Sunday afternoon, Nancy, Uh, wasn’t ableto come when we had scheduled because of illness, and I didn’t want to lose me getting him. The book is coming out in just a matter of a couple of days. Right? November 1st October 3 night. Okay, we’re just a couple days before that. Um, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. So we’re, uh we’re at a friend’s apartment on East 76th Street on 29th floor overlooking the Hudson River. The FDR It’s the East River. Absolutely. The East River east. 76 Thank you very much. The East River FDR, Um, why would you want to see it? It’s great. It’s It’s a cloudy, overcast day, but still beautiful. Still mean. I love the beach, but I can appreciate concrete on drivers as well. All right, so because it’s a Sunday, we’re doing this unorthodox. Not your average studio experience. So it’s a Sunday so dense and I relaxing. So we’ve got some cheese, got little organic toasts, and we have a bottle of wine And while I open the bottle of sauvignon blanc, I’m gonna ask you, Yancey, tell us about your days of kick starting. The book’s not about kickstarting record spending a lot of time, but you, you, you you talk about it. You know, you talk about some fear, some self doubt, thousands of people relying on you for their projects. Employees counting on you. What were those days like? I don’t start beginning. Start in the middle, but yeah. I mean, what’s it like to do a project like, be a pioneer in something like Kickstarter? Um, you know, Kick kick Starter was in kind of an accidental journey a bit, you know, it’s like for the three of us. He started it. There wasn’t a desire to be entrepreneurial. It was just really being compelled by my co founder, Perry Chins. Brilliant idea for crowdfunding and realizing that executing that idea meant starting a company and all kinds of things that I’ve never thought about before in my life. But yeah, I mean, what the beauty of that is that it let us create kickstarter in a way that fit our image of what we thought a company should be and what it meant. Thio build a product in the service that was very communal oriented and that lead to things like becoming a public benefit corporation and variety of choices that we made in how we structured the company you committed early on, never to sell it, never to take it public. Yeah, yeah. I mean, the idea was just the idea was, just do what’s best for Kickstarter rather than what’s best for us. And you know that that’s those early days. I think that’s what it was mattered. Yeah, but I you know, I write in the book about the challenges I felt as a as a leader. You know, I was the CEO of Kickstarter from 2014 to be into 2017 and, you know, it was a phenomenal experience. Be a very, very challenging one. Like when you’re when you’re the one sitting in the chair, you’re like, never not worried. You’re never not having existential nightmares, you know, it’s just it’s always there for you on. That’s part of being a leader is you have to have to get comfortable with that. I eventually learned to just like I have to make friends with the anxiety I’m always carrying because this is the anxiety carries a leader is a challenge. It’s also helpful to you. You know, you’re probably not wrong about the things you’re worried about. Maybe you’re worried in a more extreme way than reality. But, you know, you have to listen. Listen to that sixth sense that you have, because it’s especially the founder of the head of it. You know, if you started your organization like you’re the one that’s really gonna know what’s what’s right or wrong, like in a deeper level. And then you even had a fear of maybe not worrying about some of the right things. Yeah, like there’s things out there that are not focused on. Yeah, I mean, it’s, you know, no one put it better than Donald Rumsfeld. Bless his heart. But the idea being known knowns and then unknown, unknown And that was always my concern were the unknown unknowns. What air? What are the things coming that are just not even on my radar is a leader, and, um, yeah, that, you know, you could waste a lot of energy on that, but also it’s kind of every organization needs someone worrying that way, because if you’re only thinking about what’s right in front of you, you’re you’re gonna get shocked by something at some point along the line. So it’s one of those things where you like you have 99 straight days of existential dread that is like all the waist and then the 100th day, You’re like, Well, I’m gonna not gonna worry about anything today And then that’s that. That’s that happens. That’s that’s always your fear is a leader, and, um and you know, it makes me that experience. It just really makes me respect leaders and feel like we, you know, leaders get a lot of rewards. A lot of financial rewards for CEOs, things like that. Those people are lionized and are idolized in the press. But there’s another way in which I think leaders still don’t quite get enough respect for what it is you take on, especially like mid level leaders, just leaders at every every level. Like we, the world really relies on sound leadership and people who have that, you know, I kind of have it that like burning feeling in their stomach that, like they have something to give. Like they you just feel compelled to serve others like we desperately need those people. Cheers. Cheers. Thanks for coming again. And at the same time, you have people telling you that what you’ve created is, uh, is illegitimate that they want the financial upside of people funding projects are gonna want the financial upside those projects, they’re not gonna do it for altruistic reasons. Yeah, so and you’ve got a little first we first started and we were telling people like there’s gonna be this web site where people propose ideas to make movies and things like that, and fans are going to support them. And then the potential investors we would need would say, Oh, great. So and then the fans, like, get a cut of the box office receipts. You know, like that’s that’s not the idea. The idea is you, like, get a copy the movie first, or you get your name in the credits, you get something else. But we were trying to, you know, replace or create an alternative to, ah, model that’s already based on putting money into projects For reasons of getting a financial return. There’s there’s a lot of negative feedback. And you you need to see the vision and persevere beyond. Yeah. I mean, as an entrepreneur. Yeah, you have. You have to. You have to believe, you know, you have, like, Peter Thiel has the great line about, like, what do you believe in that no one else believes. So you have to have those kinds of things, you know? You also have to have the moment where you’re willing to let something go be like, Well, maybe I am wrong about this, and it’s hard to know where that where that line is. That’s That’s tricky for all of us. But you do need that, too. I gotta stop us for sex because I gotta take care of our sponsors. Sure, And this one is for Wagner. CPS. They’ve got a free wagon are on November 13th. Sexual harassment learned to identify it, which it’s not always clear what harassment is in the workplace. That alone is worth Well, this is free. But that alone is worth worth, learning also what the law requires you to do as an employer and tips for building a stronger team that works together and prevents workplace harassment. Goto koegler cps dot com Click resource is than upcoming events. Let’s go back to, uh, this could be our future. Just a little artificial, but I need to take care of anything. Cover sponsors. So sure, I’m just in transfers. You don’t worry about Don’t worry about me. I’m just enjoying the view. You enjoy the train on floor view of the Hudson River now, um, so that I want to move to the book is that’s why people are listening. And it is It’s It’s a very different way of thinking and expanding our values beyond what has what we’ve created. And you make the point that it can change. We created, we can change it. So now I’m I get the idea that you’re you’re fairly low questions, but we only have an hour, and we only have, like, another 45 minutes or so. Okay, so if I interrupt you sure I’m not rude. There are some things that people Okay, great guy. Please. Right. I’m so apologizing. Upfront. Um, remains will start with financial maximization way. It’s something we’ve created. It’s something you want. Oh, transcend. Go way beyond What’s financial maximization? Yes. The first half of the book Explorer introduces a theory that I have that the world has been overtaken by a belief that the rational choice in any decision is whichever option makes the most money and that this is the default setting that runs the world. And I call this belief financial maximization on this idea is so pervasive around us now that the right choice and a decision, it’s whichever option makes the most money that we think that it’s just always been like this. This is just the natural order of things. But in the book, I make the argument that this idea entered the bloodstream in 1970. The specific moment essay by Milton Friedman was sort of happening in a moment where there was a debate whether businesses had some social responsibility during the Vietnam War, ever all Americans were sacrificing Cos we’re not. Is that right? And an end to this debate? Freedom made this argument that the responsibility of the business is to maximize profits for shareholders, and and this is the moment where the way the world operated began to change. And there’s all sorts of different statistics and things I sight in the book to make that case, but you just gotta get the book way. Can’t ever. But we can’t cover. There’s there’s this. It’s just this belief is invisible, but it’s so deeply lodged in our society that is just answering every question for us and and it’s wrong. It’s wrong. You know that there’s certain sort of decisions where, yes, what what is the best financial dot com makes sense is how to do it if you’re making a budgeting choice or something, by all means. But we’re using it to decide education to decide the future of science that we’re using its reshaping our neighborhoods, where we live like it is. It is an idea that has surpassed human being’s capacity to do anything, and it’s really it’s overwhelming us. And Kick Start is a perfect example off the fact that this does not have to be it does not weigh the way we live in the way we make decisions. People did not get financial maximization from the projects they fund. I give examples of kickstarter of Patagonia of Chick fil A being closed on Sundays. The pop star del I give a lot of examples of people that are notable because they’re making different kinds of choices. And also these are people who are like real market leaders. And I think part of what makes those companies distinct is that they’re operating from a different set of values than their competitors, and it makes him stand out. And I feel like I feel like they they should be a sign of the future of what’s to come, you know, early on in the book. So I’m taking notes, get this page of notes and early on I wrote that. Okay, he says, financial maximization, not the only form of value that we should protect and grow. So I’m questioning. But is it the first? And by the end of the book, we’re midway through the book, I’m realizing, No, it’s not necessarily. It’s not necessarily. First, we’ll get into bento boxes in your individual value systems. But, um, I wondered early on, and I answered my own question. No financial maximization. It’s important. You said you’re not anti money. It’s just propio people. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I think that, um I mean, it’s documented that without without financial security, the life spans of companies and people are shorter, so I money is rationally important. But there is a point at which its importance starts to diminish and where and where the pursuit of on Lee financial value leads to the degradation of other values that are even more important. Yeah, you list some and and I thought of something Fairness, mastery, purpose, community knowledge, family, faith. And everybody’s got their own. This is where we get to the bento box for immediate and longer term, both for ourselves and for the for the world for society. Um, this was something your dad grew up Is a traveling waterbed salesman. Yeah, Well, how does that work? How do you travel in Sell waterbeds, brick and mortar kind of thing. Yeah, well, he’s sorry. He started in the in like, 74 it started by getting existing furniture stores to have a waterbed section. And so he went to every store in the South and would try to get them to create a waterbed showroom on would also be. And what someone would buy a waterbed from one of those stores. He would go on, install it, and he would, like, help teach that person had a care for the water bed. So the effort. 30 years My father worked as a waterbed salesman. He’s still a bed salesman in the mall. But now you know, this is like the temper Pedic era way gone from water to air in terms of weight. But, you know, as a result, I’m a strong defender of betting Salesman is my thought. My father’s knowledge is extraordinary. And when I hear like Casper ads that are trying to trash on salesman that air like No, these are My father knows a lot. My father could help you get a good night’s rest, but yeah, he’s a waterbed salesman and a country and folk musician. And so, yeah, that’s, you know, that you were a music critic. You grew up in Virginia. Yeah. I grew up on a farm in Southwest Virginia and always dreamed of being a writer and moved to New York after college and got a job reviewing records for the village voice and riding blurbs for radio stations. And, you know, I manage a hack out a living writing about music for about eight years before kickstarter happened. So I already felt like I was successful just by the fact that I I mean, my dream growing up was just to get out of where I waas. And so they come to New York was kind of It was a dream fulfilled. And then having my byline and spin magazine was a dream fulfilled. Yeah, I’ve been very fortunate that these been able to, you know, reach these things in my life. You thank your dad for exposing you to music. Yeah, Yeah, for sure. In the acknowledgements, for sure. Thank you. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, in terms of just your own, um, adherence to what you’re proposing in the book that we look beyond financial maximization, I s I saw as that example kickstarter that you would agreed early on. It wouldn’t it would be for the people and for the projects. Yeah, not for your own financial maximization. Yes. And I, you know, country contrast that to what we’re seeing in the news just this past week or 10 days. We work out of Newman and we work. Um, it’s a The financial maximization is pervasive, but we can’t change it. Yeah, just imagine that we’re going to see Adam Newman’s name. Unlike the list of the 20 richest people, probably for the next 30 years. And we’re gonna have to know And, you know, I never meet each other. I’ve never met him, But just the idea that like that, Yeah, just how that happened. It’s It’s it’s gonna be very emblematic of this era. Um, yeah. I mean, you know, it’s, uh yeah, but you also say, you know, the world is not as solid as we think it is a kickstarter again. Kickstart an example you pioneered crowd crowd funding on so we can make changes. Yeah, all right. Although, um, how do we How do we start to for people in non-profits? So these are small and mid sized non-profits. Fund-raising is a critical task for probably 95% of our listeners and the other 5% of supporting fund-raising. It’s not critical to them, but it’s important. How do we start to move beyond financial maximization? Well, you know, for non-profits, I think it would be about it’s about thinking about impact on. I think maybe it’s having maybe it’s having a different sort of impact story to use to possibly raise raise more money down the line or something like that. But like, um, you know, in the in the first half of the book, I make this argument about financial maximization sort of overwhelming us. And in the second half, I argue that in the past 50 years we had once been a society ruled by values, the idea of what’s right or wrong or what’s meaningful. And then steadily, we switched to being a society run by value and value, really meaning financial value, and that there’s like many practical reasons why this makes sense like financial value is instantly calculated, like before making decisions on moral values. That’s messy. We probably believe different things. There’s a lot of translation that has to happen. And so the world switched to a focus on value and that and that’s what we’ve been stuck. That’s easy. Anything we can calculate about my total very simply and you know it’s undeniable. It’s undeniable, and you can use money to buy anything else on. You know, just the problem is that the conversion fees are hell you know on, and that’s what we’re finding. So what I do is I show like the emblem of the financial maxim Mason maximization mindset, I think, is the hockey stick. Graph a chart of your self interest, where the lines going up into the right. This is like the ultimate. You’ve made it kind of success story, and one day I was just doodling that in a notebook, and I just happened to you draw the lines for the X and Y axes of that hockey stick graph out farther because I realized that both of those extend the X axis of time goes from now all the way into the future. And the Y axis of our self interest goes from me to us. As our self interest grows, so does its. So does our responsibility for other people. And so I drew this and I ended up seeing that there were actually four different spaces that lived there, and I thought of these is all spaces of our self interest. There is now me, which is the bottom left corner of this graph. That’s where the hockey stick is. That’s what I want to need right now. There’s future me the bottom right box, and that is imagining the the grey hair version of yourself that made all the right choices you living in the obituary? You wish you could have. If it’s the gray haired version you’re looking at your future metoo. Yes, we’re talking. Yes, yes. Great Apple Brown. So you’re thinking about Yeah. What? What do I need to live up to? Their Finally, There’s also the now us the top left box. And that is about the people who rely on and who rely on you and then the top right boxes called Future us. And that is the next generation. And so there’s four distinct spaces here now me future, me now us future us. And I argue that every choice we make impacts all of these bases, all of these spaces impact us all the time. But today we operate believing that Onley that now me space of what I want and need right now. But that is the only rational space. Everything outside of that is sort of like emotional, questionable how real it is. And so we struggle to make decisions, considering the future or considering our collective needs. And this is why we’re, you know, sitting on her hands about climate change. This is why loneliness and depression are increasing because these air, not spaces we are feeding. We’re not protecting. We’re not growing value in the opioid epidemic. Yeah, these air, all this is all like, we just we just have his very limited notion of our self interest that has trapped us. And so I call this Bento is, um, like a bento box. And I call it a bent like a bento box. Because the bento the word derives from a Japanese word meaning convenience. And the bento has four distinct compartments or more, each one carrying a different kind of dish. So a bento always has a variety of dishes. It’s a balanced meal in the Bento also honors a Japanese dieting philosophy of Hotta Hachi Boo which says the goal of a meal is to be 80% full. That way, you’re still hungry for tomorrow. So Bento is, um is the same idea for our self interest, our values and even the definition of what is valuable. So in the book, I focus really on its uses, like, just like a framework of making sense of the world also has a personal values tool, a way to make self-funding decisions. And in the long term, the long term of this, I think, is that thes new bento space is being used to tow launch searches for new forms of value. Like can we define what sustainability is as a metric? Can we define the future of space value that suddenly we’re all start to optimize for alongside the now me financial value? And if if we can water down the monopoly of financial value by elevating the communal value, a sustainability value and maybe like a purpose related value alongside them Um, I think very naturally our choices will improve and will become better on. So you can’t. What I’m thinking is that you can’t We can’t rely on the world getting better by everyone getting woke or changing their values to be everyone goody, goody or something. I don’t think that’s a reasonable expectation, but can we have Ah ah, global increase of our self awareness that just permits us to see where our footprints were really being left. And I’m an optimist about human beings where I think that we do the best we can with what we know. It’s a part of my quest for this book was to think what new knowledge could we possess that would dramatically improve our ability to evolve from where we are now. And to me, it’s a new understanding of our self interests in a new understanding of value and not only individual, but you talk about toward the end. You talk about the organizational Benton? Yes. So that can also get concerned. We have value. Non-profits. Yes. Thinking again, not only lower left. Yeah, individual today organization today, but but globally and in the future for the organization. Yeah. So I you know, I’ve been leading these workshops. I’ve done four of these in my house and in l. A where I’ve been teaching people how to build their bentos. How you in each one of these bases there, there’s you can define what that is for you. What is your now me about? What is your future me about? And so I’ve done that for myself. And I’ve used that to make every major life choice for about a year. And I teach people how to do that and give them practice, using it to make decisions. And And I want to do that for organizations too. But the way I talk to people about us. I say this. This is a path to self coherence, right? Because the modern world requires us to compromise ourselves all the time. We do things we don’t want to do for money, because we have to. We think it’s like the more grown up thing to do, and in some cases, maybe it’s true. But I believe that there is an opportunity. If we really look at the whole picture that we can always create a self coherent choice that fulfills who we are that puts us at our best. That and that is like, truly benefiting the world. And not just this very narrow concept of what progresses You sight Konosuke Matsushita, his book not for bread alone. He’s the founder of Panasonic. Founder was founder of Paterson. Yeah, and he talks about some of the five spirits. Um, and if we need to look, I could get the book. Yeah, shoretz like the spirits. Yeah, I didn’t write them down, but, uh, but like you say, you say a little more about what? Yeah, You Why? You like that book? Yeah, Matsushita. He started the first electrical company in Japan. And like 1917 and he’s making lights on, uh, started for, like, bikes. He was a teenager, and, um and he just had. So he wrote that he wrote a book. He started writing books in the seventies and eighties, just reflecting on his life, and they are remarkably wise and humane. And I found this one not for bread alone, just just a collection of, like, kind of aphorisms from his career. And, um, and he’s just really someone that sees the big picture. And even in 1930 he explained, the 200 year mission of Panasonic was to was to eradicate poverty from the world. Like that was the reason why he started the company. Was he saw in his fellow Japanese citizens poverty and thought, This is the way to lift us out of this. Just reminds me of the company. Seventh Generation. Yeah, For every for every decision, we must consider the the impact seven generations. That which comes from Native American tradition, I don’t know. But the company do you know, the company said on all their packaging says we must consider the impact of the next seven generations. That’s fantastic. Yeah, Matsushita, you know, he’s a great writer and this I read this book while I was like having a lot of, you know, existential questions as a CEO, just like feeling so out of sync with the zeitgeist around me. Like that’s just preaching. Ah, hyper aggressive level of kind of leadership that I just know isn’t in me. And and I really struggle with this idea of like, Well, maybe someone like me isn’t can’t be leader. Maybe I’m the wrong person to be a leader. And then I read Matsushita’s book and I felt a kinship and felt like, Oh, here’s like, Here’s a very wise man who is yeah, speaking something that feels very true to me. You say we sort of became a mentor? Yeah, yeah, I would just tryto I would try to imagine I was him because there are all these scenes where it’s like his head of sales comes to him with this problem and, you know, and Matsushita has to, like, help him sort it out and always his answer is he finds a way to sort of like cut through the situation where he’s not. He’s not answering the surface question. He’s able to perceive what is the question underneath this and is able to answer that instead. And, yeah, I think Matsushita would love the Bento. I think Ben Tooism would be. I think he would identify with it very much. And, um, yeah. So, like, you know, the I think we all desire to hold these things in mind to think about our families were choices, But what? We’re trained. And it’s so easy to just fall back to the life of a default. Yeah, to the default. And so the idea here is Can we build a new muscle memory on dhe? Yeah. Just incorporate a new way of thinking. I gotta take a break for a second. I’m concerned I’m drinking more wine than you. So you got about a minute or so men and 1/2 actually. Thio, relax. Enjoy the view, have a little cheese and drink some wine. And this break 61% of Cougar Mountain Software’s customers stay with them for more than 16 years, which I think is terrific retention rate, and it’s no surprise the product is made for non-profits Includes built in fraud prevention, fund accounting grant and Doner management. Phenomenal support. What you’ve heard testimonials about koegler. Mountain has a free 60 day trial. It’s on the listener landing page at Tony dahna may Slash Cougar Mountain. Now it’s time for Tony’s Take two. I’m still looking for innovators and Yancey Strickler would have been one, but he didn’t want to wait until the first quarter when I’m doing my innovator Siri’s so I don’t second week in a row, I indulge in author um, last week it was Leah Garces s. So But you don’t have to have written a book. You don’t have to have been a tech pioneer to be an innovator. I’m just looking for people who tackle problem differently. Then tradition. Conventional wisdom, you know, best practices would would suggest, and you’re being successful at. We need. We need some degree of success to. You can’t just be going off and not really showing any impact. So if you have, if you have a different way of looking at some problem that faces non-profits, then I’d like to talk to you because I’m doing this innovator Siri’s first quarter of 2020. You can get me through the contact page at tony martignetti dot com or just emailed Tony at 20 martignetti dot com. If you’re innovating, let’s talk and that is Tony. Stick to, um, let’s do a little live listener love. I don’t know where the live listeners are cause, like I said, you know, pre recorded. But if you’re there, if you’re listening, live to the this live stream love goes out to you whether you are checks in often Mexico City, Germany, South Korea or your New York, New York. But you get a lot of listeners from get a lot of listeners from California. North Carolina Double wear has been checking in recently. Wherever you are listening live, the love goes out to you and to the podcast audience. The pleasantries you got to the podcast pleasantries. That’s where the vast majority of our 13,000 listeners are. I don’t know. You probably bunch it all together. You may be listening Thio six or eight shows in a row. I don’t know. However you do your podcast listening. The pleasantries goes out to you go out to you because I’m grateful that you’re with us. Thanks so much for listening. Whether it’s live or podcast. Okay, can see. Let’s continue. Amen. The name of the book. I want to remind people that the book is This could be our future, a manifesto for a more generous world Like all the, uh, author’s books. Join me. You just got to get it because in an hour we can’t cover all the depth. Dancing goes into detail about some of the implications of financial maximization for entertainment. Radio movies, Broadway. You talk about Broadway? I see it on Broadway, you know, mentioned Broadway. I I see too many remakes, but he has lots of implications of financial maximization. Um, and lots of good stories like you mentioned Adele Patagonia. A lot of detail about that may well get into one of one of those. Or so you also talk about the mullet economy, which is an implication off the thes whimsical um, ideas. So I want Oh, yeah, I want to explain The bullet economy have grew out of frame maximization. Yeah, when I when I when I think about the impact of four decades now of financial maximization, the image that came to mind one day was the mullet on dhe. I trust everyone remembers the mullet. It’s the forget the height of eighties hair technology with business and front and party in the back, and and it’s got everything you need. And so where we are now is we’re living in the mall. In economy, where for 90% of people for workers, it is business in front with wage freezes, layoffs and Maur job and security than ever before. People working multiple jobs to make a living wage. And this is happening during the most profitable period in human history and the most profitable nation on earth. And right now, at this time, 43% of Americans can’t afford their bills every month. Most proper, most prosperous nation in the history of Earth, 43% percent of its citizens can’t pay their bills every month. So that’s the business in front. For the moment, the party in the back is for the top 1 to 10% um, who have just realized enormous gains over the same time. So since the 19 seventies, the average worker compensation America has grown by about 9% in about 50 years, 9% on the average. Compensation for an executive has increased by 1000% over that same time, and these things are related. The growth of income for the top has come from stopping the income gains for those on the bottom. And it works out because 90% of people are the ones not getting those 5% pay raises anymore. If you take that for 90% of population instead, put that money in the pockets of the top 1%. It adds up very, very quickly. So this has been the explicit model for, um, for the brand of capitalism we’ve had over the last 40 or 50 years. And so now we have this enormous mullet, enormous moment of people on top, being extraordinarily wealthy and again a time of incredible prosperity. And most people are are not participating in it. And, um, yeah, it’s it’s, it’s it’s a It’s a colorful way. Do I think, to illustrate what is I mean when I really think about it? I mean, I feel almost ashamed. You know, I feel I feel a sense of like I can’t believe we’re doing this. I can’t believe that we are operating like this is this is okay, like this makes sense. This is not unique to the United States. I think it’s fair. I think it’s I think the U. S is by far way have a larger well, you know, I don’t even know your wealth. Divide them, rise more highest in the world. Yeah, that’s measured through something called the Jenny Coefficient, which is like the degree of difference between average and common. High incomes of the U. S. Is one of the biggest there. I mean, the difference between, say, the U. S. And like a European country is a European country has higher taxes on people who make more money on those higher taxes are used to provide health care and other basic services that we don’t have in the States. So they’re they’re balancing it out not by redistributing wealth, but by using that well to provide the basic necessities of life so that people don’t have to worry about those things. But so in the US, for the 43% of people who can’t afford their bills each month, the things they can’t afford are those same basic safety net. And so you know, So instead, everyone has to pay for those things out of pocket. Um, but they’re doing that while getting paid. You know, like pay has increased 9% and the cost of college is in three years in 50 and 50 years. And during that same time, the cost of college is increased by 19 x Right? Healthcare’s increased by way more than that. And so wages stay down the costs. Stay up. It’s especially this especially screws over college grads, because the cost of university keeps going up and up. But pay is not going into that tell you have almost 50% of student loans now. And for parents in the U. S. Like billions of dollars because people can’t pay, people can’t pay because the jobs don’t pay enough to pay back. You know what it costs to earn the right to get that job. And this is all the mullet, just playing itself out in all kinds of different ways. I want to share some of the encouragement that that you provide in the book, which is which is a good deal of it. Um you say, um treyz, which would I prefer more what we talked about. The fragility of things, how things can change will be on that, uh, you say a good idea. Well, crafted and pursued with passion doesn’t need a gatekeepers stamp of approval to succeed. Yeah, okay, that I believe that came from your kickstarter sort of kickstarter manifesto. And the day after day after we launched, I wrote a book I wrote a blogger posted about hoexter, but goes way beyond that. I mean, we can transcend financial maximization. We can, you know, we can encourage people toe, have their own grow their own ideas don’t need you don’t need a gatekeeper. Well, you’ll be part of part of what You know. I mean, I grew up in a, you know, rural community. I read books all the time, you know, loved school, and I just believe that, like, there was just some committee that was deciding everything on our behalf and one and felt comfort in that idea. And then when kickstarter happened as it was growing, I kept waiting for like, where? Where? Where? Those people that, like, give us approval for this to be happening. And it just dahna me that there’s nothing that, like what What we choose to believe in is like it there. There are no authority figures, and that initially really frightened me it frightens me to think that wow, just us three people can dramatically reorient. How things were working like that makes me terrifies is honestly my first reaction. And then that brought with it a new level of just a different way of seeing the world. And seeing things is being more fragile than I thought. And and the book is trying to put that same feeling and people this notion that a lot of what we are going along with it, it just keeps happening because we’re going along with it. And the day we stop things change like that. Our individual actions actually do have impact. And they have impact not just on now, but the evident backed also in the generation that follows. One of things I talk about in the book is there’s a a survey done by U. C. L. A. Every year since the 19 sixties in college freshman incoming freshmen, about like their goals in life and in 1970 the number one life goal for incoming college freshman in America was to develop a meaningful philosophy of life. 85% of students said that was essential. There’s one of the option that’s about being rich in that year was about 30% of students, that it was essential to be rich. Okay, this is 1917 1970 today, 2017. The last time this study was done, 82% of students said that being rich was essential. And so and it was like 40% say having a philosophy of life is a central. And in 1970 people were looking for their philosophy in life. In 2017 they know what it is. It’s to be rich and this change incrementally year by year. And that and that changed by people’s personal beliefs changing and those things just having these multiplying effects when they get played out across a society. She’s just yesterday on the subway, I was talking to a boy was like 10 years old, sitting next to me on he was he was obviously singing, and but they didn’t have any year budget. He was just sitting on his own, and my friend asked him, You know, what do you talking? What would you like to do and where you wanna be and how come you love singing? And he said, I want to be a big YouTube singer. Yeah, you know, it’s just he must be rich and have tens of millions of views on YouTube. He was, like, years old. Sure, Yeah. No, that’s That’s the world. That’s a word. That’s the world he’s born into. Yeah, right. You know, I mean, we’re all we’re all captives of this, so But I don’t I don’t think that we have to be stuck here. You know, I think the moment, the moment that we believe that this is unchangeable is like, is, uh, you know, that’s kind of what we come to believe part. Part of my inspiration for writing this book was not feeling like I was seeing the where the people trying to optimistically imagine the evolutionary path for our species from here, How can we keep growing and evolving in a way that sustains our way of life, sustains social connections, all these sorts of things and because I think our current path is not going to result in on dso you know, just trying to imagine what could what could be done? What? What is possible. And this has led me to be super optimistic. I mean, I write about how exercise is like a modern idea. We think of exercises. It’s like it’s been here forever. We all wish we could exercise more, right. But in 1968 the segregationist Senator Strom Thurman was arrested for running outside in South Carolina because someone jogging was so weird in the 19 sixties that someone be arrested. They assumed they were fleeing the scene of a crime, and that was how unusual exercise was and those of the 19 sixties. Right in 1992 America had its first exercising president. You know, not that Kennedy was like an athletic person, but it wasn’t exercise as a personal habit. Exercise had to be invented because television was invented. And so we are still actually early on in the life of exercise as a hobby, and it’s still something that’s growing. But we just quickly become so used to it. So I think that there is. I talk a lot about these 30 year increments of time that a generation, a 30 year, a 30 year stretch of time. I think anything is changeable. Anything is changeable. If you have a plan, just the laws of calm, pounding interest show us how a small idea just growing, how it can accelerate and how that last moment, where it tips over and takes over the world kapin so quickly, like hip hop, took 30 years to go from. Not existing, too dominating the world. It took 30 years to create the Internet. It took 30 years for the antiseptic method and safe surgery to happen. Like I write about many examples of these things you use, I gotta take a last break. But you use use. Have a great party analogy. Let me just take this 32nd break and I want you to share your party analogy. This break is four Turned to communications, PR and content for your non-profit. They help you tell your compelling stories, get media attention on those stories and build support for your mission. They do media relations, content marketing, communications and marketing strategy and branding strategy. They’re a turn hyphen to DOT CEO, and we have got butt loads. More time for this could be our future. And Nancy Strickler tell that good, cool party analogy in terms of the 30 years Yeah, generation, I encourage us to think about society is a party that’s just keeps going. And, um, we every day new people enter the party by being born, and you start off by your sort of taught the ropes. You’re kind of a wallflower that’s like ages 0 to 30. You’re kind of learning how the party works from the ages of 30 to 60 you’re in charge of the party. You’re choosing what food gets served. Your it’s your music. You dominate the dance floor. And then, by the age of about 60 you go into another room. Thio. Quiet, quiet, little conversation. Let’s sit. Let’s sit here. And then after that, people disappear from the party. But the way the party keeps going is that there is a constant transition off who is leading it. Yeah, the way that people think about the party is determined by what it’s like when they first get there. What kind of music is playing when you get to the party that tells you what the party is like? And so society is this constantly evolving party. It never stops, were constantly handing off from one baton to the other generations, this sort of evolutionary process of society and, um and so this I think this metaphor also shows how it is. These things can change, like how the decisions that one group makes while being in charge of the dance floor on the sorts of rules they create, how that affects people just entering the party and how that adjust what everyone thinks. Normal ISS. And so, you know, to think about someone who’s born was raised after the iPhone exists, which is only 2008 like they have a very different notion of normal ass. Someone like me who was born in the 19 seventies, who saw I saw the phone enter the party like I experienced. That is a new thing, right? And so there’s this way that, yeah, that we’re just sort of were passengers on this ride and it’s happening around us. But we also have, ah, riel influence on it, that that’s kind of hard, hard to perceive. But this gradual process of how things work is actually a really wonderful thing. It lets it’s what let’s certain ways of life preserve and stay around, and and it illustrates how it is. The world evolves. Yeah, and, uh, yeah, it’s a metaphor, not analogy. Thank you subtly corrected. I do that sometimes. Um, so we have, like, a about another 10 minutes or so left. What? What haven’t we talked about Book waas, Um, that you’d like to? Well, I guess, you know, I guess it’s really a lot of what the book builds to is this is this idea. Ventoux is, um, and trying Thio, usher in this new way of seeing self interest a new way of perceiving our footprint. And, um and so I I see the first step of vandalism as being people. Just learning this individually on dhe getting into it and write your bento I got right your banjo. You’ve made one here. Did did. There’s gonna be there’s gonna be a website that will go up this week, ben tooism dot warg which will be a which will guide you through the process of building a bento Be a path of self coherence to finding your values to doing that. You just answer a question of what I want to need right now. What is future me want to need And so you sort of guide through this. I think this should also happen for organizations organizations should sort of affirm their commitments and who their constituents are and how they want to impact all the spaces where they operate. And then you the book ends with, like, this sort of SciFi future of 2020 50 a man, because the book is sort of built around this notion of where we should be in 25th already 57. I suppose we could accelerate to 2040. Yeah, yeah, we can see more change there might be linked to 100. That’s future made by the way and healthful Living 200 yet. But I think I think I think in, You know, I write about 2050 30 years from now, Ben Tooism being like a real thing, that companies expand their their scope of their self interest to include not just financial values but non financial values, and that there is an organization that I imagine is a non-profit called the Bento Society that is sort of giving grants and guiding the research into new, rational values. It is trying to solve this question of how do we define how do we define sustainability? And I think the way you do that is by trying to look inside the hood of his many organizations as possible to see how they’re answering these questions and trying to find through that. What are those sort of like universal? What is universal properties that we can identify? If we look at enough examples of this and through that, maybe we can define an equation that produces, like, a metric, you know, in the same way that safer the climate crisis, we have the metric of CO two parts per 1,000,000 the atmosphere is like the way to track things. But how can that be something that we’re all aware of and that all of our is incorporated into all of our decisions? And and so I see the the long range that the long term path adventurism is being justifying the research into new forms of value, creating a framework where these things make sense and and in that I believe evolving capitalism into something else, I think, almost like a post economic kind of model where, um, the money remains important. But we see money as a fuel towards the creation of hyre values. Money is not the point on its own like that, what we’re doing right now is we’re climbing like the second rung of the ladder of Maslow’s hierarchy were achieving security. And we’re celebrating like we’re on the peak of Everest and really were, like, barely climbing. We’re barely climbing and we think we’re there. So can we raise up? Can we raise our bar? Can we raise our sights and subsumed in In all this really is, I think of empowerment. Yeah, we are each capable of changing ourselves, being introspective, seeing a different path and taking that path and then institution you say, you know, incrementally, it becomes, becomes cluster of friends that becomes institutional. And then it’s communal. And it’s xero How nation, you know, that’s how organic food happened was exactly that same way, like they’re they’re adding that exam that is a model that is a that is a replicable model for change. And, you know, it just requires people to commit. It requires, you know, me making arguments that that reach people on that build this community. I mean, I my hope for this book is it’s like the It’s the first brick and a new kind of institutional way of thinking. You know, I there’s a follow-up book to this. I think more about Ben Tooism, but I feel like there are ways this idea needs to be conjugated and evolved that my brain is not equipped to do. But maybe listen to this podcast. Maybe they maybe they have a mind that can really take some of these ideas much farther than I could ever imagine. And you know what I’ve seen with kickstarter like that? Like real success is when things outgrow you and outrun you on dhe when other people are teaching you about the thing you made. And that’s already happening with Ben Tooism for me. Like I’ve done these workshops, there are now probably 60 practicing bento us in the world, right? And they and they write me and they write me with questions saying, Hey, I face this choice to my dentist said I should do it too, said I didn’t like, How would you encourage me to think through this? And he’s using it in their daily lives? Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. And so, you know, I try to provide some wisdom, you know, try to help them think of these things, but people are encountering things that I hadn’t considered, you know, on Dhe. So that is how that is, how ideas go from just ideas, like living, breathing things that operate independently of us. And that’s that’s what I hope, whether Ben Tooism is the literal word used, I care less about then these new spaces off future me now us future us that we can, that we can come to an agreement about the importance and rationality of those spaces and that those convey be put on the front burner rather than the back burner and that we can have really smart conversations with, like, you know, the the amount that human beings have achieved trying to grow like just through the pursuit of financial growth is incredible, like human beings are amazing. What weaken? D’oh! So what do we what can we d’oh with a different kind of target? And so that again just makes me feel so excited, so excited about our potential. And, um and you know, my feeling is that these ideas are like touching on a raw nerve that a lot of people feel and that I think a lot of people are open to some of my early readers of the book that I asked to give me feedback are like conservative economists and partners that on Wall Street and like friends who work in those worlds really financial maximize. Yeah, who I really respect. And I want them to read this and be like, Well, I disagree with you on X y Z things, but I you know, I think what you’re saying also has merit, you know? And I want I want to be credible to those people because like, those folks were super talented and need to be a part of the solution. You know, I don’t want to blame or shame anyone like we’re all on the same ride. And so, to me, it’s the ability to just expand that perspective. And, you know, again, I just have all kinds of optimism and faith about human beings, and and I really think will step up if given the chance. I see your glass is empty. Yeah, which is good with the bad. Bad with passion about homes. So let me because we’re gonna toast one more final time. I don’t know what you’re doing with an empty glass. Cheers, Years. Congratulations on the book comes out in two days. Yeah. Thank you. Congratulations. My pleasure. If someone wants to go a little further with the Bento is, um what should they do? But they should go Thio portals. They should goto either. Why? Strickler dot com They could send me a message. Or by the time this is up, ben tooism dot or ge should be a real functioning website. Okay, I’m quite excited about that. Walks you through the whole concept. Thanks. Thanks a lot. Especially for doing it on a Sunday afternoon. Yeah, is the answer Strickler? The book is This could be our future. A manifesto for a more generous world again. Why strickler dot com And at why, Strickler Next week it’s gonna be the buy-in bitches Carrie Lewis Carlton and Laura Koch getting your boss’s buy-in when you get it, and they don’t the buy-in bitches. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tony martignetti dot com Responsive by witness e p a. Is guiding you beyond the numbers record cps dot com koegler Mountain Software Denali Fund Is there complete accounting solution made for non-profits? Tony dahna may slash Cougar Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for non-profits, Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to dot CEO. Our creative producer is clear. Myer off Sam Liebowitz is the line producer shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy and this music you better be hearing it by now in postproduction. Better be on by now. This music is by Scott Stein of Brooklyn. 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