IPO: Initial Person Offering

Somewhere between joke, art project and odd sincerity is Mike Merrill’s life as a publicly traded person with his very owner investors and stock exchange.  Kottke or Baio linked to this Motherboard profile of Merrill — it’s weird, fascinating, basically a compelling read.  Let’s put some context on this story upfront: Merrill lives in Portland. Sorry Portland, but Portlandia has given me the notion that weird things do happen there.

I guess Merrill has raised some money from this but I’m not sure that’s really the point of it.  Is there a point? I’m not sure there needs to be.  Check out this list of shareholder votes where various rules and questions for his life have been put to a shareholder vote.  He’s a vegetarian (plus fish) because of a vote.  Sometimes shareholders don’t always make the best call though.

The one that caught my attention was the establishment of a Romance Board — which is basically letting his stockholders vote on his romantic life.  Is he really going to roll with this?  Granted I get the sense that the majority of his stockholders are actually friends and acquaintances but probably not all of them are.

Again, weird, fascinating. The whole thing has the slight feel of a crash bound to happen at some point.

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