Frobark Laboratories increases user wealth by building convenient technologies.
- Users: Any person who adopts Frobark as a brand. This includes supporters.
- Supporters: An internal user and representative of the company who provides services for other users (similar to “employee” but with no “job,” only KPIs). Think of supporters as internal entrepreneurs who WORK under the Frobark philosophy with the ultimate goal of liberating themselves from WORK altogether.
- Wealth: Strong relationships with family and friends, physical health, and personal freedom. (Must have all three to be wealthy.)
- Build: Create an entire process that does WORK with less human effort. “Building” means never outsourcing or otherwise losing control of any critical component of that process.
- Convenient: Requiring the least amount of mental and physical effort on the part of the user, which results in delight.*
- Technology: Inventions that make life cooler.
*Delight: Unexpected happiness. A major portion of delight will be the provision of user support that is unexpectedly good. The law of diminishing returns dictates that the amount of delight will decrease with each contact our user has with the same service. For this reason, a primary goal of Frobark Laboratories is to continually provide new services in order to maintain delight.
Wealth Creation for Frobark Users and Supporters
Creation of Wealth for Frobark Users
Frobark creates wealth for its users by harnessing the power of automated, efficient technologies and leveraging world labor in pursuit of comparative advantages. We reduce user WORK while giving them greater results than they could have achieved on their own. This gives them more TIME and MONEY to spend with their families and friends, more TIME and MONEY to spend on enhancing their physical health, and more TIME and MONEY to devote to achieving complete personal freedom.
This equation is simple and has been used by many multinational enterprises. Where Frobark truly differs is in our philosophy towards supporters.
Creation of Wealth for Frobark Supporters
While most companies worry only about how their employees can return wealth to the company, Frobark insists that our supporters return wealth to the company AND themselves. Only by ensuring their own wealth can our supporters ensure the long-term success of the company, and vice versa.
In order to go about increasing the wealth of both our supporters and the company, we must first understand why wealth is so scarce today for the traditional employee.
Why employees aren’t wealthy, and what Frobark intends to do about it
Enhancing Wealth 1/3: Family and Community
The average adult spends more than half of his waking life working at an ordinary job. Of the remaining time, she will spend approximately 20x longer watching TV than she will with her children. The purpose of this passive entertainment is to dull the agonizing but unconscious harm that results from the relentless exchange of TIME and WORK for MONEY at places called “jobs.”
Parents are strangers to their children. Old friends claim to be too busy to spend time together. People debate the meaning of life, but surely it’s not to spend 4 hours each day preparing for and in transit to a job, 8 hours at the job, and 5 hours watching TV. The weekend is inadequate compensation–not enough time to clean up the messes left from the week nor to reconnect with one’s estranged family.
This leads to problems in mental health. The greatest contributor to mental exhaustion and depression is a lack in the sense of belonging to a community.
The Current (Broken) Corporate Solution
Some companies recognize the mental health problems created by forcing their employees to stay in an office all day away from their families and friends. Their solution is, rather than finding a way for employees to spend more time with family and friends, attempting to construct a fictional corporate “family” or “community”! (“Community” is the word used by companies to mean, “like a family, but with friends rather than relatives.”)
For example, many company handbooks start with the phrase, “Welcome to the [Company Name] family!” or “We are excited to have you join the [Company Name] community.” This creates hilarious, Dadaist sentences like “Welcome to the Chuck Texan Chicken Fried Meats family!” or “We are excited to have you join the Performance Custom Auto Body Parts community.”
A sane person can only either gloss over this ridiculous attempt at linguistic gymnastics or wonder sarcastically if there had been any formal marriage or adoption papers involved in their entry to the “family,” or if their involvement in this new “community” meant that they now had an actual network of thousands of new friends to whom they could confide their innermost secrets.
Companies Should Not Try to Replace Your Family or Community
Since people already have families and friends, a company neither needs to act as nor *can* act as your “family” or “community.” Any company that attempts to artificially construct such things is either stretching the truth or in danger of being branded a cult. True families don’t lay off their members during economic downturns. True friends don’t give you a handbook full of rules explaining how they want you to dress and act, or routinely consider the pros and cons of outsourcing their friendship with you to India. True family and friends don’t ask you to sit in a one-meter cubicle 8 hours a day doing WORK for them, nor do they calculate their return on investment by associating with you, nor do they allow you to be acquired in exchange for cash or stock options.
You may hear people tell you at times their company is “more than a company,” “like a family” or “a community.” Ask them if they would continue going to WORK every day if the company stopped paying them. No? Then perhaps they don’t truly see their company as a family or community.
“My company is truly a family. When my husband died in a tragic accident and I called to tell someone at my office, she gave me all her phone numbers. The company even paid for the catering at the funeral. They also told me not to worry about coming back to WORK as soon as possible.” This is a paraphrased quote from Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness, a book about the company culture at Zappos. (Zappos sits among the top Fortune 500 “Best Places to Work.”) Imagine if you told your brother or sister that your spouse died, and all they did was give you their phone numbers and offer to pay for the catering at the funeral. Imagine if they told you, “I know you’re going through a tough time. Therefore I tell you now not rush you into spending 12 hours a day providing services for me.” Would you consider that to be a positive “family” experience? No. True family will offer to have you come live with them, or come live with you. They will take care of your children while you mentally recuperate. They will not even talk about when you should return to 12 hour WORK days, since it will be assumed you will go back to WORK when you personally decide to do so.
“Our office is wacky! Look at Jim there, he has a gong attached to his cubicle that he rings every time he makes a sale! Andrea in HR collects crystal mice, and we allow her to keep her entire set of 134 right in her cubicle. That’s because we here at the XYZ Company consider ourselves to be more than just coworkers–we’re a family.” This type of office would be considered among the best ones to WORK. However, Jim’s gong and Andrea’s crystal mice are window dressing on the prison walls. These tiny freedoms will not change the fact that they are indentured servants being forced to interact against their will and for no good reason.
Frobark refuses to give people “jobs.” We offer them the responsibility and opportunity to help build or develop our technologies.
This building can and should be done from the location the supporter chooses, on the schedule that he chooses. Thanks to the internet, this is now possible.
Liberation of Space
Unless it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, Frobark Laboratories will never require its supporters to be physically present at an office or other workplace. The benefits of allowing our supporters to choose their time and place of WORK include
- Increasing supporter wealth and psychological well-being due to maximizing TIME with their actual families and communities
- Increasing supporter loyalty to the company
- Increasing company flexibility and competitiveness
- Reducing company expenses by obviating the need for redundancies
- Reducing supporter and company carbon footprint and thus increasing the company’s value via goodwill
Supporters already have a place to WORK–it’s called home. Why rent or buy a separate office? Why set up satellite WORK stations and all the resources associated?
Our supporters already have lights, an internet connection, a power source, a source of potable water, a refrigerator, a microwave, and a parking space at home. If we really want to see our supporters, we can video chat with them.
Liberation of TIME
Unless it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, Frobark will not assign set schedules and positions for our supporters. Instead, we will use key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess their contributions to the company.
- We don’t need supporters to WORK 8 hours a day, or be on time for WORK. We need them to pwn their KPIs so that the users they support are delighted.
- We don’t need supporters to be limited to 10 days of vacation time per year. We need them to create contingencies to free themselves from WORK.
- We don’t need supporters to try and work their way up to arbitrary promotions and raises. We need them to take responsibility for themselves and their fellow supporters. The more value they create for our users, the more the company can afford to reward them.
- The average adult unnecessarily devotes more than 1/2 his waking life to his job
- This results in distant and difficult relationships with family and friends, which limits happiness
- Any corporate attempts to force employees to abandon their families and communities in exchange for an artificial work family or work community is stretching the truth or in danger of being building branded a cult
- Thanks to the internet, supporters can and should choose the location and schedule that they WORK
- This results in benefits for supporters and for Frobark
Enhancing Wealth 2/3: Physical Health
The average adult is overweight and will die at an unncecessarily early age. This death will be due to a senseless illness, such as heart disease or diabetes. The illness will be senseless because it will have been brought on by an unhealthy lifestyle.
Jobs and the Drugs that Kill Us
The primary component of this unhealthy lifestyle is an overuse of drugs: stimulants such as coffee and tobacco, sugar and fast foods; depressants such as alcohol and television; and pollutants such as unclean air, unclean water, and fossil fuels.
People select these drugs because they are most compatible with a life of relentless exchange of TIME and WORK for MONEY.
These drugs provide instant gratification in exchange for MONEY. They can be conveniently acquired almost anywhere.
Walk around your local gas station, and you will find these drugs everywhere. This makes perfect sense, since the gas station is the only place most people can almost always justify stopping between their transit from home to WORK. Most times, the only reason you will find yourself there is because you are obligated to be present at your workplace 2 out of 3 days for the rest of your life. The gas station is a perfect symbol for the scarcity of physical health.
Jobs and Lack of Physical Activity
A secondary component of this unhealthy lifestyle is lack of physical activity. This lack of physical activity is a result of being penned up for half one’s waking life in an office, at meetings, or in a car/subway/bus/airplane on the way to an office or meeting.
Employees are given set schedules that are arbitrarily set between 8am and 5pm–sadly, the times in the day that are the most fun and most beneficial to enjoy oneself outdoors. Amazingly, even unpaid breaks are scheduled for many jobs! Being forced to take an unpaid one hour lunch is an insult. It’s just another way to steal employees’ TIME so that they have no choice but to be subserviant to the company.
The Current (Broken) Corporate Solution
The “best” jobs offer free gym memberships in order to keep their employees healthy and reduce sick days. Why, when given the choice of spending more of their free time in the office exercising or being at home and playing with their children and friends, would someone choose the office?
Employees are drained of their essence by jobs that steal their time and energy while the sun is out, and are then sent home in most cases when it is already dark. Is it any wonder many adults complain that they lack energy?
The Frobark Proposition
Frobark strongly objects to the deprecated use of jobs and offices. We only permit supporters to work at the location of their choosing on the schedule of their choosing. (Read details here.) The obligation of the supporter is to meet her key performance indicators (KPIs).
Supporters vs Employees
We are dissatisfied with the term “employee” and have replaced it with the term “supporters.” An employee works for a company whether she enjoys it or not. In contrast, with Frobark, a supporter is someone who is building/strengthening the company by choice.
If a Frobark supporter wakes up one morning and feels unmotivated to WORK, he should try to figure out why–something is broken and we want to fix it. If both she and the company can’t figure out why she remains unmotivated to WORK, she should quit and give someone else the opportunity to build and strengthen the company. He does himself and the company no favor by staying on when unhappy. In fact, she is harming both herself and the company.
Motivating Physical Health
Frobark is so serious about encouraging its supporters’ physical health that it offers health KPIs with bonuses for meeting them each quarter. Metrics include such things as BMI, ability to run a 10-minute mile on a treadmill, low blood pressure, low cholesterol level, and so forth.
Given the fact that life extension and even immortality may be possible within our lifetimes, Frobark can and should do everything it can to support these measures for our supporters. While TIME will always be scarce–even for the immortal–we will at least try to make it less scarce.
- The current scarcity of physical health is a result of overuse of harmful drugs and lack of physical activity
- Overuse of drugs and lack of physical activity are the direct results of companies forcing their employees to WORK in the place of the company’s choosing on the schedule of the company’s choosing
- The current broken proposition of offering gym memberships at the office only exacerbates the problem
- Frobark’s proposition is to have its employees do their WORK at the place of their choosing, on the schedule of their choosing. The only obligation from the supporter’s side is to meet key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Frobark encourages its supporters to continually analyze their motivation to WORK with the company and fix whatever is broken so that they can maintain that motivation
- We encourage supporters who are unable to find a solution and remain unmotivated to quit for the good of themselves and the company
- Frobark will encourage health by tying incentives to physical fitness. The ultimate goal is life extension
Enhancing Wealth 3/3: Personal Freedom
The average adult wastes 65.7% of his days* at a job in which he has little personal freedom. Her boss dictates when she will work, when she will eat, and where she will be during business hours.
The Tyranny of Jobs Dictating Where You Work and How You Look and Act
The “where” part of this agreement is most harmful, because, in order to maximize employee obedience, the boss prefers to keep her employees in a location physically close to her, even though–for most jobs–the communications technology available make this unnecessary! This outdated obsession of insisting on keeping employees penned up at WORK dictates daily travel to a workplace.
Furthermore, bosses require their employees to look and act in a manner that symbolizes her subservience. This requirement for adopting a daily ritual of travel and appearance reduces personal freedom in a way many employees never consider.
All told, it is not uncommon for an adult to spend, each WORK day, 1-2 hours traveling to and from the workplace, plus 1-2 hours donning and shedding work appearance. This requires an extra 2-4 hours * 5 days per work week (50 work weeks per year), which represents an additional 500-1,000 hours of *unpaid* TIME and WORK per person each year. This brings the total TIME spent doing WORK to acquire MONEY for the average person to 2,500 to 3,000 hours per year. If a person sleeps 8 hours per day, he will have 5,840 hours of waking time per year. Therefore WORK has become an activity that takes roughly half of our waking lives.
Jobs own our freedom and make us indentured servants. The result of this is a mania that saps employees of their energy and decreases the quality of their lives.
The Current (Broken) Corporate Proposition for Building Personal Freedom
Most companies give their employees a weekend off in return for their 5 days of work. This represents a 60% loss on investment in terms of TIME.
While companies also give roughly 20 days of additional “TIME off” in the form of sick days, vacation days, and holidays, this is still insufficient TIME for an employee to recuperate from the mental harm done by their indentured servitude.
Employees attempt to mollify this harm by rewarding themselves with little trinkets: iGadgets and motorcycles, job-hopping, nights out partying, and one vacation a year (after which they set photos from the vacation in their cubicle so that the other 51 weeks of the year they can attempt to mentally escape from the drudgery of indentured servitude).
The pension is another corporate innovation that fails to redress the harm done from jobs. By the time the employee retires (age 65, but that age is getting higher and higher), due to 45 years of indentured servitude he often lacks the physical health to fully enjoy his “freedom.” Moreover, pensions represent a relatively small, fixed income. This reduces the pensioner’s potential for freedom.
Clearly there must be a better solution!
The Frobark Proposition for Building Personal Freedom
There is a better solution: entrepreneurship. Frobark encourages supporters to become entrepreneurs from within the company by innovating efficiencies that make their TIME redundant.
If a supporter can reduce his WORK TIME through automation, abstraction, outsourcing, and management, he can cut the relationship between WORK, TIME, and MONEY. In this way, she can create a source of passive income that will continue to generate revenue even while she is not working.
All the company requires is that KPIs are met. By innovating efficiencies, Frobark supporters allow the company to reduce the workload of other supporters and thus save costs company-wide. Frobark serves itself by rewarding supporters for this cost-saving because it keeps the innovator motivated and acts as a positive example to other supporters.
The Abolition of Offices and Schedules
Even without reducing WORK through efficient innovations, as mentioned in 2/3, Frobark supporters should have vastly more personal freedom than the average employee. This is due to the company’s strong objection to the deprecated use of jobs and offices.
We only permit supporters to work at the location of their choosing on the schedule of their choosing. (Read details here.) The obligation of the supporter is to meet her key performance indicators (KPIs). Therefore, even those supporters who cannot reduce their workload through efficient innovations will still have vastly more personal freedom than the average employee.
Being an Entrepreneur and Retiring Young
Overall, the ultimate goal of all Frobark supporters should be to find a way to make their TIME redundant while continuing to earn a recurring income through the use of their innovation in the company. At that point, our supporters will have the option to stop working and begin enjoying his wealth full-time.
In other words, we want to help our employees become entrepreneurs, make their TIME redundant, and retire at as young an age as possible.
- Jobs own the average employee’s personal freedom, turning her into an indentured servant
- The current (broken) corporate proposition of giving employees weekends, sick time, holidays, and pensions is insufficient to eliminate the harm endured by being an indentured servant
- Frobark encourages supporters to become an entrepreneur from within the company–automate, abstract, outsource, or otherwise increase the efficiency of their WORK so that they can earn passive income
- The end goal for any supporter should be to eliminate the necessity for her to spend TIME to earn MONEY, allowing her to retire at an age young enough to fully enjoy her freedom