Here are two media innovators I’m thinking about today.
This is Mary Katherine Goddard (1738 –1816). Entrepreneur, newspaper editor, writer, and publisher of the first printing of the Declaration of Independence, which could have gotten her hanged for treason by the British governmental authorities. Goddard was also the first female postmaster of Baltimore, Maryland. She lost that position because the Postmaster General at that time, Somebody Osgood, claimed the job required “more traveling…than a woman could undertake.” I bet she could have handled it, though. I wish she’d had Twitter.
This is social media pioneer Joel Simkhai, the founder of Grindr. Whatever your opinion of the app, SImkhai brought hooking up into the digital age. He worked for two years out of his living room to perfect and promote his app, which now has over 5 million users worldwide. Pretty audacious. He had to overcome uncertainty:, “One of my problems was I thought I couldn’t be as successful,” Simkhai told Inc. “That’s partially because I didn’t have any gay role models who were very successful and in high-profile jobs.” But he followed his mom’s advice: “She’s always said to me, ‘If you don’t ask, the answer is no.’ I use that advice every day. It’s a good mantra to not let anything stop you.” Grindr’s philanthropic arm, Grindr for Equality, fights for the rights of LGTBQ people worldwide.
In addition to a real-time business, I see Go Fisch New Media as an in-progress experiment in multimedia and marketing. On this blog, I’m going to remain as transparent as possible. maybe this’ll encourage other newbie entrepreneurs to avoid mistakes I’ll inevitably make. Also, I want to document how and why I’m doing business, and write about tackling my money anxieties.
My money anxieties:
1. My own finances.
Journalistic writing, as much as I love it, doesn’t make me enough money to live on. I want to earn more, to spend less time worrying about my economic future but feeling powerless to change it, and to spend more time on the creative work I choose – including the work Go Fisch does.
2. That money is inherently evil.
I was brought up (and maybe you were too) that money talk is vulgar and embarrassing. As I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, I embraced (and maybe you did too) a punk rock ethos that “selling out” is the mark of a crass materialist, and that the only real way to live with principles is to own little, ignore commercial concerns… and to fight the power by not owning anything much or understanding money. I spent my youth in crummy, underpaid jobs which taught me a whole lot about adversity, but almost nothing about abundance. I’m glad I can live on almost nothing. But youth is over, y’all, and I’d like to move away from my role as a proud slacker outside the establishment, and acquire some power that changes — for one thing — how women are seen.
3. My internalized gender stereotypes.
Without realizing it, I dwelled in the assumption that money is a man’s prerogative. No man ever told me this, mind you – no man ever had to. And if you’d have pointed this out to me five years ago, I would have had a goddamn conniption. But it’s true. And I think it’s true of other women, too. Recently I had this thought: if women thought about, talked about, and strategized about money just a third as much as we obsess over whether somebody person likes us (either likes, or LIKES-likes), we’d be much further ahead in terms our earning power, our political power, and the self-respect that leads to any power.
This is a list from Wikipedia of the richest persons, I guess ever. Who’s missing here? Oprah and Martha Stewart haven’t made the list? Can’t we at least knock Sam Walton off of it somehow?
I’m not trying to be a Koch brother, here. But I’d like to be able to afford to fix my car, or contribute to my nieces’ and nephews’ college education. So I’m doing business with this in mind. I”m pretty psyched, actually.
Comment below: Are you in the same money re-evaluation boat? Kinda? Have you disembarked from this boat?