[Podcast] Bootlegging tapes, telling stories, and the virtue of questions

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| Last Updated: May 26, 2017 |

Reading time: 40 minutes


Our choices chart unique trajectories, driven by an equally unique collaboration of burning ambition, effort, and luck.

Michael Sacca is the co-host of Rocketship.fm, he also runs two other invigorating podcasts, in Makers and Studio, back at Crew. He has co-founded multiple companies, including Brandisty, a brand-asset management tool.

From being in the ruins of the music industry, in the early 2000s, Michael Sacca’s choices have led him in unusual directions, and he’s traveled with a backpack filled with stories, a grounding in business, and a willingness to question his trajectories, relentlessly.

In this episode, Michael lets us in on his journey, and talks about bootlegging music tapes in Albany, New York, his transition to the tech world, life resets, telling stories, creative expression, what’s inherently wrong with the world that we live in, and of course, the importance of questioning everything.

Humans, books, raw thoughts, and everything else mentioned in the episode:

Smashing Pumpkins

Crew Collective

Tiny Factory

Brandisty

StoryCorps

Rocketship.fm

Makers

Studio

The War of The Worlds (Radio drama)

Ira Glass

Dan Martell

Adii Pienaar

Jory Mackay

Michael on Medium, and Twitter


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Transcript:

Hello, Michael, welcome to the show

Glad to be here

Glad for you to come here as well. Starting off, let’s hit the time machine, and head to 2008. I know things aren’t that linear, in the way they work. But if you could tell us things about 2008, that have somehow led to where you’re now, that’ll be a great start.

Why did you pick, 2008?

Why did I pick, 2008…

Just curious.

Well, I read a post from you that was probably written in 2012. And I remember, you referencing, five years or six years, there.

That was a good year. I was just curious, you nailed it. So, you did your research.

Certainly.

2008. So, right around that time, I had been waiting tables. I guess in 2008 I was in my mid-twenties, we could leave it there, and then, I was waiting tables, I had been waiting tables in LA for probably 5 or 6 years, and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life.

I’d gotten a degree in music. Music business. So I moved out to LA to get in the industry. And it didn’t work. No one actually cares if you have a music industry degree, in the music industry. So, I did what most actors do, and I waited tables.

And then, my roommate, he taught himself PHP. And at the time he was working at a company where you could go in for half a day. He’d wake up around noon. He’d be home around four, and he got paid, you know, a really good salary. Just because they couldn’t fire him, just because they had built some software, they depended on it.

And that was it. And he lived this like… I looked up to the amount of control that he had on his life, and so, we started working together on a couple of projects, he started teaching me CSS, and then, one day I decided I was just going to quit.

Quit the restaurant, and figure it out.

That was right around 2007-2008, I don’t know the exact date. But yeah, so, I quit and I started freelancing that month. But I couldn’t make enough to actually live in LA and afford my rent.

So, I moved to Las Vegas that same month, to get a lower rent and try to make it work. I did though, I paid my rent in Las Vegas that first month off of freelance contract work for credit repair companies.

Let’s go back a little, what got you into music, in the first place?

I had always played music. And then in high school, I was in experimental noise bands. And like just really terrible stuff. I always had a passion for it. And I always collected records.

I had like I don’t even know how many CDs, I had to throw them out, at some point. But yeah, I had large vinyl collection, it was just something I always did.

And in school it seemed to make sense rather being a musician and being broke, it made sense to go into business side, that’s why I pursued it. I went to college in 2000, which is when Napster started, as soon as I got into the music business program the entire industry fell apart.

That’s something. So, what was your favorite band, from the 90s, say?

In like the early 90s, like 92-93, I was a huge smashing pumpkins fan. And I would collect the bootlegged tapes. So, on the web I had a site, and I was part of this tape trading community where I owned hundreds of live concerts.

I almost owned like everyone that was available, on tape and then what we would do is we would copy the tapes, and send them to each other and trade for more shows. Now, all the shows sounded the same in the end. But it was like an obsessive collecting, and so I did that, till I went to college, almost. So that where I got kind of my first pop group that I was obsessed with in the 90s. Starting in middle school. Yeah.

So, it was a community, and a cartel, would you agree?

Yes. It was pretty damn close.

So, you look at this person, and you decide to move into this industry, the technology side of things, were there people, who were surprised by the call that you took, going into the technology world?

I don’t think so.

Only because I had been kind of tinkering with computers for a long time. And I think, not to say that there’s anything wrong with waiting tables, but I think, there was an expectation that I would eventually get a real job.

And technology, there was the possibility, at least, of getting a real job. Not that, that’s really happened. There was at least a potential that there is an industry there.

There’s these big companies that we’ve heard of, so then maybe you’d get into getting a real job after paying for college and doing all of that.

I don’t think they were too surprised.

But I did run my own agency. So, I never actually got a job. I ran my agency for 5 years. And I think that started to not concern them, but they were kind of, they didn’t quite know what to think, because there was no company behind what I did.

Why didn’t you take up a job?

I tried. They wouldn’t hire me.

I applied in Vegas, in like every place I could, and no one would hire me. I finally decided. Alright, screw it! I’m going to go in on my own.

I’m going to do it anyway.

And it worked. I Actually, I consulted with some of the companies, years later, some of the companies that didn’t hire me at the time, so, that felt good.

The city in which you traded tapes. And the city in which you’ve been working over the last few years. And the city where you decided to move, how do you look at both these cities, in terms of being important to you?

Yeah. So, Albany, New York was where I grew up.

Not my favorite place. There’s not a lot going on in Albany.

Tell me why?

I feel it’s just kind of hit, not like hit hard times, but like they’re just starting now to have a bit of a tech scene, not like a tech scene but a manufacturing scene. So there’s some good jobs coming in, but it took a really long time.

And a lot of the people that I grew up with, ended up moving down to the city, where else to find opportunity. I don’t know, I go back every couple of years, but yeah, Albany is okay.

But I can’t say that I have a fond connection to it. I kind of just screwed around the whole time I was there, and got into trouble.

I moved around a bit, and then, I guess LA, would be the next major spot that I stopped. LA is great. But LA is hard. It’s just a hard life to be there.

We used to drive like, it was like a 15 minute drive but it would take us an hour and 15 minutes in the morning, and I would have to do like the breakfast shift, so I would have to be there around 6:15, means that I had to leave the house around five, I had to wake up around four.

That, and then you’re only going like going like 15 minutes down the road. So, it was just such a mental kind of…It was very stressful. Not having any money, it’s not a lot of fun to be there. I think it was a very frustrating time.

Although, I had a lot of fun too, I’ve met a lot of amazing people that I still stay in touch with. But on a personal level I was very kind of frustrated.

And then Vegas, which is where we’re today, it’s been kind of a reset point, for my wife and I.

So, we come back here, whenever we needed a little extra help, my wife’s family is here, whenever we’re just kind of like burnt out, and just reset and be around family, this is where we come. You know it’s a good place.

There’s not a ton happening. You have Tony Hsieh. You have Zappos. But outside of that scene, it’s very much like you’re on the strip which is not my scene at all.

And then, you’re kind of in the middle of wherever, which is where I live. It’s kind of quiet. Which is good. But we’re applying to go to Canada. And so, that’s hopefully our next stop.

That’s because Crew is there?

Yeah

That’s interesting, right. You said, reset. So, is it a way of thinking? As in, I live, I don’t know, 2000 odd KMs away from my family, the place where I am right now.

You get to talk to them everyday.

But you only get to be there, once in a while. Maybe, three or four months, at times. How often do you do it? Do you think there’s a routine, that makes you go there every few weeks or months?

Oh no. It’s more like a life reset.

It’s not like “oh we gotta get to Vegas because everything will be okay.” But it’s kind of like when we just…You know like, when we were leaving LA, we were under a ton of burden of bills, our work didn’t pay us enough to live, and while we enjoyed our time together, we were under a lot of stress.

When we came to Vegas, a lot of that, just like life stress, was lifted. Just because it’s less expensive to live here. You can get around easily. It’s an easier life. It’s not necessarily what we want to do long term. But we come here to rebalance and refocus. When we came to Vegas is when I first started.

You know, I switched careers, and I first started working. I was able to do that because our bills were lower, it took a lot of stress away, we could live right near family, so we had that kind of positive influence in our life. We were here for three years, and that was enough for me to get an agency off the ground.

And so then, I could pay my own bills. So, we went down to San Diego, in between, we did that for a bit, until we burnt out. And then, we ended up back here. So, that’s why we’re here now. Yeah, we’re looking to go to Montreal. And kind of start a new adventure.

I’m sure you’ve seen the new building. It looks grand. The pictures that they post, the new office, the new crew office.

Oh man, it’s amazing.

It’s an old bank building. 50 foot ceilings. They put a cafe, so you walk in the building, and it’s built in the early nineteen hundreds, and it’s just like ornate. You walk in, there’s this whole cafe, kind of bustling.

And then, they have a co-working space, on either side of the cafe. Crew’s headquarters are just in the back. You have these three layers of busy, I guess, of just things happening. So, it’s a really good vibe, when you get in there.

Good reason to move. At least, one of the reasons to move, isn’t it?

Yeah, totally. There are a lot of good reasons that we probably don’t care about on the podcast, we can talk about them later.

Going back to the agency days, one of the things that came out of that was this bilingual learning app for toddlers.

Yeah. Bilingual child.

Was that the first project that you started with?

That was the first project that we did outside of client work. A gentleman had come in and he was an iOs developer. And he had built a game before. It was a good, solid, kind of interactive game.

And we just started kicking around ideas about what kind of application we could build together. I did a lot of the design work. And the company did a lot of web apps.

So, we didn’t have the capabilities of doing a native application. It was really exciting.

This was pretty early on. I think, the iPad one was out. And maybe, the iPad two would just come out. This was like five years ago. So the idea of having an application on this new device was really exciting.

But we wanted to do something that wasn’t just a game. That was enriching. I had a son on the way. Andres, the iOs developer, he had just had a son. We kind of had that parent mindset. So, that was along with some of the guys that worked at the agency.

So, we put this idea together, of a language learning app for kids, so we could teach them basic vocabulary. And you know we weren’t really sure what would happen, but we’d put it out. And it started picking up traction.

There was a market for it. Parents who wanted their two and three year olds, to at least hear, and learn to count to ten, in a foreign language.

So, a lot was happening internally. In terms of ideas, and customer development, as you were your own customers.

Andres was born in Chile, he was already bilingual, and he wanted a similar experience for his son, and part of his like the emotional connection of building it, giving his son, who is born in the states, that same experience that he had, growing up, culturally.

So, Bilingual Child, and then you went on to do Tiny Factory?

Tiny Factory was the agency. That was kind of our full consulting agency. And then out of that we built Brandisty, as well. That was the application to help store brand assets for a company.

That’s how I first learned about you. Reading about it somewhere.

That’s when I started writing, because we wanted to make money. So, I just started writing so that we could find customers.

Did you write lyrics, at all?

No. I think, I was more into the production side. I play guitar. I play piano. And I love like textures. But I always worked with a singer. Even in LA, I worked with a singer, and we almost played a couple of big shows. But. Things happen.

The founder of StoryCorps, David Isay, has this thing about, “The soul is contained in the human voice,” and I think there’s truth in that assertion, it’s not because he said that, probably came out of Borges.

I think that you get voice really well, and the stories that it can contain, I did read about you, when I read about Brandisty, but if I’ve come to know you as a person, and if I’ve come to be fascinated by the things that you do, they’ve outgrown as a result of the podcasts that you’ve done.

Rocketship was the first podcast, is it?

Yes, that was the first foray.

Started there. And now you’re doing Makers, and Studio, for Crew. Dealing with a lot of voice. What do you think, it takes, to tell stories with voices?

So. It’s hard. But I also think it comes a little bit naturally, just through creation. So, I think music relates. Because music is a story with builds, and crescendos. You have all of these elements that are concocted to invoke an emotion.

Be it a key that it’s written in, or just the timeline of the music as it comes. It’s built. Especially, like classical music, you have these giant builds, and then down into like, where you can…barely audible instruments, and all of that is a story by a conductor.

I think it’s the same with audio, where you’re looking for the hero, their obstacle and then, how they overcame it, and like makers. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes, it’s hard to get that deep. Just on Skype. It can hard to get deep enough into somebody, where you can actually know the real obstacle that they’ve overcome, you try to feel it out.

I would love to do more long form, where I actually spend more time with someone, and be able to really figure out what makes them tick, and then also, maybe, what are they running from, what are they trying to achieve, why are they trying to achieve it. Are answers that I wish that I could answer even more, that was the idea behind makers, was to try to answer some of those.

One of my favorite things to do is get another opinion on the person, the spouse is always a fantastic person to interview, with Eliot Pepper, I interviewed his wife briefly, and we have a new one coming out with Tom, he was the founder of Macaw, and I got to speak with his wife.

The decision to be an entrepreneur because she was right there with him, and she was encouraging him to do it, but yet, there’s implications on that relationship and the family, that we don’t often hear about as entrepreneurs.

We hear about the wins but we don’t always hear about what’s going on behind the scenes and that’s where I get really fascinated. And I think that’s where a lot of the actual struggle comes from. That’s where a lot of the drive to make it worth your time, when you start to realize that there’s other people, they want a part of that time for you.

There’s a lot more risk when you start to put all these factors together. I don’t know. The long story short. It can be difficult to tell an audio story because you don’t get the visuals, there’s other techniques that you have to use to try to paint the full picture, when you interview someone on the screen, you can see their face, you can see their eyes, and see their expression when they’re answering the question, you can see them squirm.

You could see them get excited. Often times, that’s a little bit harder to do in an audio format, try to find other techniques to paint the picture. Restraints are always good. Restraints make you more creative. I think they tell a different story than you could visually.

I also think that there’s an element of bias that can be brought in with the use of video, because of the way someone is dressed up, even if they’re first rate at what they do, your mind starts tricking you in a certain direction about who the person really is.

And, the thing that you’re saying that one has to work hard, when you’re just dealing with audio, is that, if you work hard enough, and just tip the scale on the other side. You’ll have something that you can’t really have with the video.

That’s how I’ve felt about this. I haven’t had the chance, but it’s been on the list for some time. If I can dig out, find out, those recordings. Orson Welles did War of The Worlds on radio, that is something I would want to back to. Definitely.

That would have not worked over video. That story. There’s no way they could have pulled that off, and have the same effect.

It was just impossible.

So, it’s fascinating…You have stories like Serial. And there was a very personal element to that. That probably not have worked on TV. And I think there’s also a…we’re at a point in audio storytelling, where the people we look up to, the NPRs, the Ira Glass, they come from this world.

It’s been almost untouched for the last 10-20 years. And it’s a lot slower, and lot more earnest, whereas TV has taken a complete opposite approach with the big budget advertising. And sharp cuts. The storytelling is almost predictable on TV.

And I don’t think we’ve gotten there with podcasts yet. We will. If the money is there, we’ll get there. I don’t think we’re there yet.

There’s still a lot of room for the human, kind of, soul or element to still shine through in a podcast, because they can be a little bit more raw, and we could take a little bit more risk, where we don’t have that on television today. Maybe it will cycle back, everything is very calculated with eliminates the actual human emotion.

This emotional human element, how do you make sure that it’s there in most shows that you do?

It’s not easy. But I think it’s listening to the person. Especially, when you get to edit, and taking out those parts, and trying to frame them. Like with makers I at least get the opportunity. I don’t think I’m there yet as an artist.

But that’s the goal, it’s to eventually get [there]. You have these snippets that people. And there’s things that I’ll say that I don’t even remember.

But if I went back and listen to it, I could pick it out as something that was earnest. Something that was an honest thought. And when you start to pick those out, and frame the story around those, rather than the kind of prepared speech, that’s where you can find the human elements, and start to bring them into the story.

But it’s really about finding the story, like what is the real story here. Especially in business it can be really boring. You make money. You don’t make money. But there’s always a motivation as to why someone pursued that path, and that’s where usually the actual story lies.

If it’s not something crazy like Dan Martell, who just had an insane childhood that drove him into taking these kind of risks.

You’ve interviewed Dan?

Yeah.

We talked to him right when he was selling clarity, and so he told his backstory about getting arrested, and speeding down the road with a gun, and that kind of incarceration leading him to turn his life around.

But I still think, some of that made him, a little bit, more risk averse as well. Maybe that’s just who he is, that he was able to pursue this kind of career for himself.

One thing that I wanted to ask was, you’ve spoken to so many of these Ruckus-makers and luminaries, in their own world, right, can you trace a conversation that fundamentally reframed how you think about something?

So. We talked to Adii Pienaar of WooThemes, and Receiptful. We talked to him right before he started Receiptful. He was doing about 10 different projects, there was a something beta. This is like two years now. So, my memory is short after having children.

He had just kind of failed on his first venture after WooThemes, and you could tell, he was in kind of an emotional state. But he was incredibly honest about the entrepreneurial journey that he had taken. And he was at the time, even questioning it.

Is this a good thing to be throwing at society? At the time we were very much telling everyone. Go be an entrepreneur. This is the future. This is the only way. And he was questioning a lot of that. As he was struggling in his life but also in his business.

He had built this incredibly successful company in WooThemes, but he could, there was no like magic that he had, that he could instantly do it again. And I think that, I mean for me, it also made me kind of realize that these people, these people that we looked up to.

Adii has achieved amazing things. But he can still be fragile. And he doesn’t have all the answers. Even after you’ve built a million-dollar, multi-million dollar company, you don’t have all the answers to what to do next.

So, there’s no, well I’ll just do this formula, boom, boom, boom, and I have another million dollar company. It doesn’t really seem to exist. When you’re, I don’t know. I guess, when you’re dealing with more creative arts. I suppose you could do that in commodities.

But I don’t think even that’s guaranteed. I think that helped me kind of reframe entrepreneurship. And also realize that as much as I was frustrated and struggling, trying to get something off the ground, someone who had done it before, was still struggling.

This was just hard.

That was like the eighth conversation we did, and it was the first time I had realized that I wanted to tell people’s stories, because we had captured something at that moment that actually mattered.

I don’t even know if we’ve done something that was that good since. Because he, we just caught him at a very human point in his life, where he felt very vulnerable.

That is what conversations can do to people. And they’re these potent tools that are relentlessly crafted by people, and at times, we don’t realize what they can do to us.

So, that was eighth conversation?

We’ve done some 250 conversations. That was the eighth.

That’s major. You’ve been doing this for four years?

I think this is the third year. I’m like in the middle of the third year.

I think Jory was right, when he called you the Tasmanian Devil of productivity. Something about prolific in there, right? Three years, I wonder how do you make things happen? Is there a schedule? Is there a routine? What do you do to ship so much?

There’s no hack.

And things don’t happen as fast as you think they happen. You know. It’s like. There’s a ton of work that happens that we never talk about, that leads to a prolific output, even with Rocketship, we recorded twice a week, we’ve interviewed over 250 people now.

But, we figured out a process. And that process allowed us to do that. Where we were only spending two hours a week, but it looks like you’re doing a lot more. Because the perception is that there’s a lot more happening.

I’m pretty disciplined with my time. But that’s just my personality. I don’t use like task management systems. I actually just depend on my brain to tell me what to do. I tend to rely on that gut instinct of what I should be doing today.

Some of that is inspiration. Like I really want to build this. And some of it is necessity, that I need to go do sales for Crew. I kind of just prioritize that way. Some things get lost, but I figure if they’re at the front of my mind, then they’re not that important.

So, even if they were on a task list, I don’t know if that’s important. I don’t rely on that to dictate what I do. I guess, if I forget about something, if it pops up a four weeks later, I take care of it then, but I don’t worry about those things falling through the cracks.

This is just how I’ve always been.

That reminds me of Susan Sontag, the writer, I remember reading one of her interviews, and that is, perhaps, exactly what she said, I was just trying to see if I can get a link here, yeah, she said, “No. I write in spurts. I write when I have to because the pressure builds up and I feel enough confidence that something has matured in my head and I can write it down. But once something is really under way, I don’t want to do anything else. I don’t go out, much of the time I forget to eat, I sleep very little. It’s a very undisciplined way of working and [oh, and in this case] makes me not very prolific. But I’m too interested in many other things.

I see that in you. You’re that. And you’re prolific as well. And then, you’re interested in different things, right?

So. There’s a reason why you do the Studio podcast, there’s another reason why you do makers. And there’s another reason why you do Rocketship. So. Where is the Michael Sacca train headed? Why are you doing this? What’s making you do this?

I think it goes back to the music. I’ve always loved creation, and so the podcasts are just a more mature form of creation for me, because I can actually make money, and a living doing them. Granted, I mean, I still…at Crew I do business development, partnerships, and sales. And that’s another side, that’s not quite as creative.

Although, you could argue that negotiating contracts could be a creative form of work.

The podcasts are really kind of an output. Before the podcast I was doing a ton of design work. And before the design work I was doing music. And so it’s just an extension of needing a creative outlet, and needing a way to express, and get those ideas out of me.

Because if I don’t, I get really depressed.

And that I don’t like. If I don’t get to do something, where I’m able to express myself, then I just feel really crummy. And so, I’m almost running from that happening by staying busy, and having an outlet for creativity.

Sometimes, I wish it was even a little bit more. I would love to be able to tell actual stories. Like even fiction. If I ever have time, I’d love to do a fictional podcast, and I don’t know where it goes.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to stay this spread out between doing like business development and more sales functions, and also being able to have a creative voice somewhere.

I would want you to do War of The Worlds, if you ever take up fiction.

I have an idea that’s close. But yeah, we’ll see if I ever had time. But I would be worried if I didn’t have a grounding in business. I would just end up lost, drunk in an alley somewhere on an artistic trip.

And so I think, I do need that grounding of business, and, I think, that’s why business is always has been the root of my creative endeavors. Versus like having music work out where you can be indulgent a bit more.

I think, business keeps you a little bit less indulgent as an artist and gives you different parameters. I’m kind a thankful for that, otherwise I’ll definitely go off the deep end. If I was able to solely be creative all the time.

That is perhaps the reason why you too up, to study, music business, back then. Were you thinking the same way, 20 years ago, 15 years ago?

Yeah. I realize like I don’t always make the best choices.

Who does?

So. If I can figure out how to do what I want, but also make money, then, I’ll be able to do more of what I want. For a longer time. Rather than kind of burning out. Doing just the fun, just the pleasurable things like just playing pop music.

So, which is fun, but it can be a very indulgent activity. Writing and concentrating on yourself all the time. I think. I don’t know if I did. But I think, I realized that probably wouldn’t be a great path to pursue long term.

Okay. Right. We’re headed towards the end. Now, I have a few questions that I’d like to ask you, because I think they’re important, and I would love to hear your thoughts on these.

So, in a way you’re sort of climbing the technology ladder or at least the tech business ladder, and year on year, you’re a different person, at the same time, you’re the same person. With same interests, you had 15 years ago.

You also talk about this grounding that business brings to you. Do you make it a point on the previous year? Do you have this routine of reflecting? Do you let things be the way they are? Is there a method of reflecting, and getting better?

I’ll relate it back. You can cut it, if you want. When I collected music, and I think part of the obsession was always having something new. That’s how I ended up with hundreds and hundreds of these concert tapes. Right?

And I would listen to every single one, but they would have slight nuances in it, although they were largely all the same, but I wouldn’t go back and listen to the old ones.

In fact, there were years when I wouldn’t even listen to the album. Let’s say, the Siamese Dream, that was the album that they were touring with, I would just be listening to the next time.

And I think I’ve always done the same with life, I tend not to look back. I don’t know why. I tend not to look back, and I don’t know, like reminisce or even appreciate. Which is probably not a good thing, but appreciate the progress.

I constantly kind of look forward and maybe put too much pressure to do so, but to keep pushing forward and create what’s the next thing. I wish I had a better habit of appreciating the story for myself. But I don’t.

I try not to kind of look back, and I guess, reminisce. Or think like, “oh, that was a nice time.” I don’t know why. This is kind of a miserable existence, I’m sorry.

I know this is something that gets asked around a lot. From people who’re somewhere. It’s not that you’re a different person. It’s just that people who’re not there yet, feel that it’s easy to look back, and just traverse, and hop on this time machine, and go back to this particular time, and come up with something.

So, for someone who is trying to contemplate…I’m sure moving into technology was a big decision. Of course, we don’t make the best choices. Keeping that in mind, for someone who is just starting out, a twenty year old maybe, and what would you tell this person?

They have their interests. They have their obsessions. They have a drive. They have no idea where they’re going to go with this drive. So, as someone, as a peer from the future, what would you tell them? If you would tell them anything.

It’s a really hard question. I mean, there’s so many generic answers I could give. Like just get started. It’ll all work out. Like people will show up when you need them. And all that is true, but I think the question is, it depends. It depends what options you have.

One of the things we do with technology, we’re incredibly disruptive with technologies. We don’t realize the implications of the world that we’re encouraging. And the effects that that has on the world around us.

You know when you look at the kind of libertarian, Uberification of everything. Is that the right thing to building? It’s disruptive. It makes a lot of money. Is it the right thing, though?

Often times, when we’re starting out, we pursue things that either make money or they’re things that could potentially hurt people. Not on purpose. But there’s unintended consequences to everything.

I think I’ve struggled with where I would fit in. Because I don’t always want to get involved in industries. And I’ve struggled with tech. Just the moral implications of tech. And being part of the industry.

Whether it’s always the right thing to be doing for the future and for the people around you. Like, we benefit, you could make a lot of money, but is it good for, when 50,000 people lose their jobs, and can’t feed their family. And one person can now feed themselves very well.

Is that the right thing for humanity?

I don’t know.

There’s so many different angles. I don’t have an answer for it.

But it’s something that, when we push entrepreneurship, when we push disruption, there are reasons why some things exist, and when we stop just following, when we start pursuing money and we don’t always think about the implications of our actions, it can be very dangerous.

And, I think, it’s a lot easier to do when you’re young. It’s easy to break things. I did.

I did a lot of stupid things. But now, with technology you have access to a lot more people, and you can do a lot more harm a lot faster, and we’d often don’t think about it.

Especially being young, when I was 20 I did horrible things, but if those horrible things could be magnified like they’re today, I could’ve done a lot more damage.

I don’t know. I don’t if that’s what you’re looking for.

Yeah. I was. You got to look for hope in dark times. And you could say that it isn’t that dark, people are better. There are statistics that say that life’s better for most people. You cannot fall into a state of despair.

There’s this need for media to push certain archetypes of human beings to exist, and certain others not to exist. As you said, pushing entrepreneurship, or pushing the Uberification of the world. What do you think is the right thing to push? Is it the will to question everything? What would you push?

I think it’s amazing to question, right? It’s amazing to say “Is there a better way to do this?” But, we also, I mean a lot of it comes from our, like you said, it’s our media, it’s our leadership, it certainly lacks good direction for people.

We worship selfishness. And we worship the self. And I think that leads to what we have today. The people that we write about are not the archetype that creates a better world. It creates a selfish world.

A world where we have wealth distributed at the top, and the bottom, and nothing in the middle. It creates a world where it’s all or nothing for people, and that only people that can achieve extraordinary things, deserve anything.

If you’re not the type that’s going to be an entrepreneur. Then, you’re not good with anything. And that’s basically what we say in these stories. But, yeah, we need a full society. We need all kinds of people.

But we don’t promote that.

We don’t give a lot of value to the employee. It’s all about that single person.

And yet, Steve Jobs couldn’t build Apple without the thousand people that worked there with him. He just took all the credit. He just got all the credit. I don’t if he took all the credit, but he got all the credit. But he approved the designs. He didn’t make the designs. He influenced the design. He pushed people to be there best, which is great.

But there’s other people involved in that story that we’ll never know. And because of that, we don’t allow people to feel proud in those positions where they’re making a huge impact, but maybe they’re not the one who gets all of the credit.

So, we consolidate all of the credit, and all of the money at the top. And that’s what everyone is striving for. Everyone wants to be this egomaniac leader who gets everything, all the money, all the credit. But yeah, it takes an army to actually achieve that, and so I don’t know. I don’t have any answers.

But I do think the way that we tell stories is important, in the way we communicate what’s happening, and giving a different voice to that. That’s important. And stories are the only way, we could ever change it. Because that’s how we’ve gotten to where we’re today.

Absolutely. We like imagining. Yeah. We’ve taken quite a fancy to it, over all these thousands of years. Few of us are obsessed with it. Few of us are okay consuming it. Yeah. It does shape a lot of things.

What you’re doing is, vested into stories a lot, especially the podcasts. You’re affecting how things work. And changing them as well.

I’m going to go back to that conversation you had with Adii. Right after this. Just to see, first of all, why did I miss it…I’m going to do that. Where can people find you? Is that alright, for somebody to email you? What’s the best way to get Mr. Sacca?

Yeah. Shoot me an email. If you want to link to it in the show notes. That’s fine.

You can find Rocketship, at Rocketship.fm. Makers is on makers.crew.co. I’m on twitter @MichaelSacca, you could read my writing on medium @michaelsacca.

Michael, keep telling stories. I’m all ears. I’m looking forward to more of them. Even, if you don’t get to fiction, anytime soon. I’m still around.

I think, we could collaborate on it. We could do it together.

Yes. That’ll be a privilege . We’ll take that offline.

Well, thank you so much.

Thanks for doing this, Michael. Thank you.

Author of the post

Akash Sharma

Product Marketer at Chargebee. An Avid Reader, Seeking Cerebral Turbulence

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