This week, we look at Mic, a New York City-based media start-up that has a culture of permissiveness. Run by, and targeted at, Millennials (who are now in their early 20’s), the news site admits that managing young, hyper-expressive graduates can be difficult. In this office environment “overshares” are common, and there are few rules, fewer lines of authority and a workplace protocol that baffles older folks. Following their reflections on Mic, Peter and Paul dissect the common theme of “wearing masks” in business, and why it’s sometimes smart to keep people at a distance. As Paul observes, it’s hard to “cut off your own arm” (i.e. fire a close friend). Several profound questions arise out of the discussion: Why do we get uncomfortable when people in professional roles let loose and act out of character? Can’t we accept them as fully-faceted human beings? Why do we take more liberties with people we know than with those we don’t? Next up, the guys discuss the “democratization of media” and how the lowering of barriers to entry has eroded profits for established players, while giving a voice to many previously disenfranchised artists. With such a free-for-all, does the cream really rise to the surface? When we abandon standards, what do we lose? To offer a counterpoint, Paul invokes the Académie française, a French bureaucratic institution that adjudicates on the evolution of the French language.

  • I agree with Paul on the opinion of being choosy of who I hang out with. It’s not that people are a waste of time but I think it’s important to surround yourself with people that are going to lift you up in different ways.

    They say you become the 5 people you spend 90% of your time with. I try to be conscious of who I spend my time with, not minding spending time alone doing something productive for myself over going out for the sake of going out and socializing.

    Why would I want to spend time with people that are going to complain about work, kids, bills etc. or even people who’s main goal is to get as drunk as possible? Or drugs? Or people with no goals in life. None of these things are my scene so it makes no sense to either party to spend time together.

    I’ve read that you should try to spend your time with people that are below/the same/above you equally so about 30% of your time with each. That can be grabbing a drink with someone below giving them some advice, calling a family member to shoot the breeze and texting a mentor some questions you need answers to. It doesn’t need to be done all in person.

    Just being more conscious of this balance I find helps better my life and the life of others as well.


    • jay

      Interesting, the 30% above/below/same level thing. I’ve always thought perpetuating the knowledge you’ve accumulated is just as important as self-growth, and 30s is the decade where a lot of guys feel they’ve finally started to get a good handle on things.

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