Since 2008, Kenneth Mike Merrill has been his own personal stock product. Through his Web site Kmikeym.com he sells to the public, shares of himself. ITBusiness.ca published an article on Merrill back in June this year. We are linking to this article for small business month because it demonstrates a unique way to use a “corporate” structure to accomplish goals other than the maximization of profit for shareholders.
Merrill is practicing what he calls “community through capitalism.” He has introduced the novel idea of selling shares in himself to the general public and allowing them to have a say in how he lives his life.
His stock goes up and down in value just like any other publicly traded company. The difference is that his “shareholders” are intimately involved with the way he lives his life and the “value” his shares represents is really the value investors see in participating in Mike’s life.
Here is an excerpt from that article:
Lessons learned from the ‘first publicly traded’ man
“Kenneth Mike Merrill, also known as “kmikeym,” the first publicly traded person.
Merrill is also an office manager, entrepreneur, and sometime artist. He has been his own personal stock market since early 2008. People can buy shares in Merrill on his website Kmikeym.com and then advise him on issues about his personal and professional life, fund his ideas, and have a say in which kind of projects he undertakes .
I have to admit that when I first started to research Mike, I thought this was a clever publicity stunt. However, after speaking with him for even a short period of time, I came to realize that this is a serious business for him.”
October is small business month and to celebrate, writers from Aluvion Law will be making daily posts on one of the most common forms of Small Businesses: Corporations! Corporations are particularly popular among the high-tech and IT crowd because of the tax advantages they provide to rapidly growing companies, as well as the assistance they can provide in unlocking capital. The other great benefit recognized by the ‘serial entrepreneurs’ that flock to the IT sector is that they limit the liability of the owners in the event of the business failing.