In the United States we’re celebrating “Labor Day” today, which the Department of Labor politely explains to us was about the collective achievements of American workers, which drives the American economy forward.
I call bullshit.
Collective organizations and large organizations are safe, they are protective and they are largely landlords seeking to collect rent on their existing advantages. This isn’t to say that there’s no value to trade unions or older, larger organizations.
However, that which is new, aggressive and revolutionary comes not from the collective workers but from those of us who strike out on our own to shake things up.
America’s prosperity is a story driven by the coffee lover who saw a country full of welcoming cafes and the man who saw the Internet as a disruptive force for all of commerce, not the collective of workers streaming in and out of offices every day looking forward to the weekend.
To Labor is to Act
The word labor has many meanings and varied uses. If you look it up in the dictionary you find that it has 17 distinct definitions. The verbs, however, are what grab any entrepreneur:
- To perform labor; exert one’s powers of body or mind; work; toil.
- To strive, as toward a goal; work hard.
- To act, behave, or function at a disadvantage.
- To be in the actual process of giving birth.
- To roll or pitch heavily, as a ship.
Building your own company? Then the above probably resonates deeply with you.
We see you, chasing your dreams
We’re fortunate to be a part of TechStars – we get to see many other startups full of passion and love for what they do. To labor at something you love and believe in is truly transformative.
We also see it in the eyes of our customers, many of whom started out dreaming about an app just a few years ago and are now running large and growing businesses. The greatest teams we encounter are full of love for what they do, devoted to creating what they think should exist. These are the people building the future. These are not the collective workers. These are the laborers, those with the spirit that Labor Day was created to celebrate.
Today, we toast to you
In July, we celebrated the Independence of developers everywhere. Today, Labor Day, we celebrate the entrepreneurs. You probably didn’t take today off (nor did we) but that seems right doesn’t it?