“I’m Not a Business Man, I’m a Business, Man.”

Why We’d Like to Invest in “People as a Business”

That’s got to be one of my favorite lines ever:

“I’m not a business man, I’m a business, man.”


And it’s true, Jay-Z, the person, is literally a business. He has a brand, he has a CMO, a PR team, and people buy stuff ‘cause it has his name on it.

But what’s interesting is that not only is Jay-Z a brand, but you are a brand too. And your brand is all over social media, your blogs, your websites, your company’s website and on, and on, and on…

1 | Personal Brands

Social media and the rest of web 2.0 has made it easy for us to all create brands out of ourselves. Blogging, tweeting, posting images to Facebook and answering Quora questions all are public broadcasts of our views.

And while it’s great that people actually read what we post, we’re constantly reminded that everything we say is a part of our brand. It’s our personal marketing.

As a half-Muslim, half-Jewish, American born citizen with a father from Libya, I have a ton of opinions that fall outside of the tech conversation. But I’ve realized we live in a time that unless I want those opinions to be a part of my brand, I can’t write about them publicly.

I’ve realized that I shouldn’t post any pictures of me drinking alcohol, that I should keep “funny” tweets (or at least what I think are funny tweets) to a minimum, and that I should try not to disagree with anyone openly unless I’m ready to write a thesis as my defense.

Because we’ve all become brands (built upon every action we execute in person or on the Internet) we need brand management tools. We can market ourselves in a way that is broadcasted far wider than in the past, and this comes with both positive and negative effects.

Marketing tools have been created for large corporations, but I also believe marketing tools like SumAll, that focus on the individual will become far more popular.

2 | Contracted Work

Being our own brand is useful at a professional level. It helps us earn work—even if that work isn’t coming straight through corporate delegation. We can market ourselves by expressing an expertise in a given area, explaining that expertise and pursuing inbound requests.

This work will often come in the form of contracted labor.

Many members of the working world join companies so that they can “get work.” But if we no longer need to join companies to get work, because we can source that work on our own, a whole new type of working world will soon exist. And that new type of working world will need new tools.

Those new workers will need billing technologies, client management, personal assistants, personal accounting help and legal help (on a budget).

They’ll need office space (WeWork) and healthcare + benefits.

3 | Our Interests

Because we believe this new world of work will exist, we’re interested in finding founders building tools that will help support and create an infrastructure that exists in a basic form today, but will likely evolve into a more important form later on.

Title Photo Credit: flickr