None of My Business

Uber, Lyft, and Instacart aren’t the only companies that don’t want to be defined by what they actually do.

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Gig companies use the platform myth—that a business is not defined by the service it provides but the technology it uses—to evade treating their workers like employees. Yet this branding switcheroo has spread beyond Silicon Valley. Some of the companies that have embraced the trend of insisting that they’re so much more than their core businesses:

Audi: “We are a tech company that happens to make cars.”

Zappos: “We’re a service company that just happens to sell shoes.”

Big River Steel: “At our core, we’re a technology company. We just happen to make steel.”

Shea Homes: “We’re a service company that just so happens to build homes.”

Wild Alaskan: “Wild Alaskan is a tech company that happens to sell seafood.”

Delta: “We’re a Customer Service Company that just happens to fly airplanes.”

WestJet: “A digital company that happens to fly airplanes.”

Fidelity: “A technology company that happens to be in financial services.”

Sweetgreen: “We want to go beyond a food company and become a platform.”

Metals.com: “We’re not really a gold and silver company, we’re a technology company.”

Facebook: “We’re a technology company. We’re not a media company.” 

Marriott: “We are a media company now.”

Juul: “We’re not a big tobacco company.”

WeWork: “We are not a real estate company…We are a community company.”

White Castle: “We’re not a hamburger company, we’re a slider company.”

McDonald’s: “We’re not just a hamburger company serving people; we’re a people company serving hamburgers.”

Equine Express: “We are not a transportation company who does horses, we are horse people who do transportation.”

(Honorable mention) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, 1999: “We’re not a book company. We’re not a music company. We’re not a video company. We’re not an auctions company. We’re a customer company.”

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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