Hey kids! I have the privilege of investing with the company Legion M, who operates off individual investments in order to make movies and other cool things! If you haven't heard of them, check out their info here.
I received an email from them that I felt was really important, especially during the times when Wall Street is pushing for higher returns from listed companies. In today's reality, many companies prioritize profits over people. This is why we have had so many job layoffs around the world recently and we are facing some hard economic times in the coming years.
Supply and demand dictate that no matter how much supply there is, if the demand isn't there, you won't succeed. Many companies have made the decision to offer supply of their services and products at a higher cost, whilst at the same time cutting their workforce. This creates more unemployment or underemployment, which then stifles the growth of the economy because citizens can no longer afford the products and services, lessening the demand. The traded stocks will go up in value when layoffs happen (Wall Street loves hearing that), but it will go back down because the company won't have the sales they used to. So the temporary glory is starting to lessen now and companies are seeing stock prices drop. It's a simple concept, but many C-level executives seem to miss the economic basics that they are creating by paying themselves and no one else. We can't afford to buy your product, so enjoy that yacht while it lasts, boo-boo.
Anyways, so back to Legion M!! The reason for the short economics lesson is that this email was so refreshing and I wanted to share it! We, as investors, are stockholders for the Legion M company. Therefore, Legion M gets our opinions from time to time on how to proceed with company decisions.
This was an email sending the results of a poll taken regarding how the company should handle the recent strike of the Writers Guild of America. Due to the nature of the Legion M business, they work directly with writers and actors. I wanted to share the email sent along with the poll results where Legion M asked its investors if they should push to make more money or support the creators and workers.
Email as follows:
Hollywood is in the midst of a massive earthquake. Not only are the writers and actors on strike, but the overall industry (as measured by metrics like box office sales, cable TV revenue, etc) is being rattled to its core. Like all earthquakes, this isn’t the result of a single event but of large scale tectonic movement over the past decade that fundamentally changed the way we all watch movies and TV.
This is an extremely challenging time for those who work in the industry. Not just the writers and actors, but everyone from crew members and caterers to the rank-and-file employees whose livelihoods are at risk of becoming collateral damage in these battles.
Like most labor disputes, the strikes are about money. Specifically, how to allocate the billions of dollars generated each year by film and TV. And while endless ink has been spilled about the relative arguments from either side, it’s worth remembering that every single one of those billions of dollars originates from us – the audience – that pay for the subscriptions, buy the tickets, and decide what to watch.
This gives us power. The fundamental premise of Legion M is that we can unite fans to harness this power and create competitive advantages for the company. But we can also use that power to help steer the industry in the direction our shareholders believe is right.
How should Legion M respond to the strikes? We asked our shareholders. They own the company after all – we work for them. The response was overwhelming:
This is the opposite of what you’d expect a company owned by Wall Street to say. Not because they are inherently evil (at least not that we know of…), but because they are responding to what their shareholders – the institutional traders and large corporate investors that own the vast majority of publicly traded shares – are telling them. And all those shareholders generally care about is the latest quarterly earnings report.
Legion M is a new breed of company built on a partnership between the two essential elements of entertainment – the creator and the audience. As such, we represent a new paradigm – an alternative to the “zero sum game” that pits the needs of creators and audience against those of the middlemen that stand between them.
Does this mean Legion M doesn’t need to make money? Absolutely not. As a company, we NEED to make money to survive. And when it comes to impacting the future of film and TV, the more money we make, the more impact we can have.
But unlike a company owned by Wall Street, Legion M is owned by shareholders willing to take a long-term view that considers the entire ecosystem rather than focusing solely on short-term gains. We strive to generate alignment that shares the risks and rewards with our partners so we're all incentivized to win together.
And the best part? With Legion M, making money and doing good aren’t mutually exclusive. Steve Jobs once said, 'If you do the right things on the top line, the bottom line will follow'. As a startup focused on long-term growth rather than short term gains, we believe we’re building a company with potential to create ENORMOUS value for our shareholders. We’re still small, but we’re growing faster than we ever have before and if we’re successful it will be those getting in early who have the most potential to gain.
The industry may be in crisis, but the flip side of “crisis” is “opportunity”. We intend to make the most of the world we live in today to create the future we want to live in tomorrow. You can help make that future possible by joining over 43,000 investors who own stock in the company and a seat at the table. Even better – help us get the word out by sharing this message with people you know feel the same way. The larger we get, the more influence we have.
While it may appear that Hollywood is ruled by massive players who have all the power, just remember that every dollar they earn comes from us, the audience. Together, we have the power. And when we unite, we can do anything!
Onward & Upward,
Paul and Jeff
Co-Founders, Legion M
I am THRILLED by the results of this poll. This is how the public feels about the value of people against profit. Outside of Wall Street, I do believe that the majority of people value people over profits.
Want to invest? Please do!! Go to their website and find the 'Invest' tab at the top. Side note for my fellow nerds out there - Legion M is promoting a new movie they made 'You Can Call Me Bill' with William Shatner. I'm pumped to see it!! Any of you Trekkies should be too!
I hope that the greedy people at the top can stop their 'profits over people' thinking, and consider the value of the people that do the work and their value. Because Mr. CEO, it ain't you.
Faith in humanity restored