“You can fake things or you can build things, you make that choice and sometimes people fake it if they can talk real well, or look right, and take it pretty far but in the end they have nothing behind them so it just blows away. Things that have real purpose and foundation, they’re the ones that last.”
Introduction by Adria Leeper-Sullivan
Interview and Photographs by Theo Constantinou
Gallery Photographs by Emiliano Granado
Abe Burmeister is a man of integrity. He spends his life enjoying the luxury of doing what he loves but fights the never-ending issues that challenge his values and the message of Outlier daily. Unfortunately today disposable is thought to be safer, faster, cleaner, and supposedly cheaper. Cheaper is thought to be affordable. Affordable holds the connotations that what is bought at such a price is a good decision based on necessity. There is a lack of consciousness in peoples’ decisions. Grandeur exists as the illusion of more. Houses fill with things that decay quickly; cheap dressers bottom out, electronics short, and worst, the clothes needed to shield the elements begin to unravel. With perseverance and devotion Abe refuses to create products that have not been tested, do not serve a purpose, and that cannot benefit others whether through functionality, price, or ethics. By forming Outlier with Tyler Clemens, Abe wants people to pay attention to how they affect the world, and how what they buy affects their personal wellbeing.
I was in Carlsbad, California two weeks ago and interviewed Matt Hensley of Flogging Molly. Hensley is a professional skateboarder, too, one of my childhood heroes –just a real, real guy. You know sometimes when you meet your hero, it’s not what you expect to happen, but he was just a “cool ass cat”. I had this question for him.
In one of his skate parts back in the 80’s or 90’s, he was wearing Doc Martens when he was skateboarding. It got me thinking about how all the Doc Martens used to be made in England, then they started outsourcing their shit to China and the higher end of their brand was still made in England, but it lost, to me, the allure of what made that brand great. This awesome shoe that was made by this one family in England, handmade stuff. Now it’s made in China and sucks, not the same product at all. So I asked Matt, “What are your thoughts on outsourcing and all those things?” I wanted to read you what he said because I think it is relevant to your company and these things going on, ‘There’s an American company called Florsheim and they make a high end shoe called the Imperial.’ He says. ‘it’s bad ass, it’s all leather, everything in there is expensive. 15 years ago they were $325 and that’s high end, at least in my life, but I run them because they last forever. For me they only fell out because I was too lazy to get them resoled. All of a sudden they outsourced all of their stuff and the one shoe that made them the real deal, the Imperial, now it’s made somewhere else and it’s good, but it’s not great. It’s just upsetting, what do you do? England is known for that high quality stuff like tailors in the sixties on Savile Row; they still have Savile Row, they still make great stuff but it’s irritating how stuff is so outsourced, what made them great, the reason we even go to them, they take that piece of magic and fuck it around. Either just close your doors, call it a day and live in legend for the rest of your humanity, or you can screw it all up.’ Then he says, ‘The shirt I’m wearing right now it’s made by Filson, I love this company. Ten years ago we were touring Oregon and Seattle and their headquarters are in Seattle, you can go to their shop and check it out. I found this shirt, I bought three of them at $150 each and I didn’t give a shit because I knew it was built well. My wife is driven nuts by it, she’s like, ‘will you wear anything other than that shirt,’ not really, this is my gig, I found this thing and I don’t want to mess with it. A few years ago they outsourced it, it was made in Mexico and it was all itchy and made of different juice … I struggled with, even had weird conversations on the phone with people that worked there, but enough people complained and now they remake them in the US. Later he says, “I’m not crazy, I’m in a suit more than I’m not in a suit. Playing music with people, it’s my gig. You can buy a piece of shit suit for $120 and you’re going to look like it, you’re not going to give it to your kid, it will be dead in six months.” So, that idea…
That’s a lot, there’s a lot there. It’s tricky because most companies used to make clothes, like a 100 to 150 years ago there weren’t even companies making clothes, you’d make them yourself or you’d have a tailor, then it became a factory type process but most companies who made their own clothes, shoes had their own factory. When you run your own factory, you’re really connected to what’s happening there. Some factories were shitty and that was it, they were like, ‘we can do things fast and cheap,’ but most people who did well took control of their factory, and they cared about it. That shifted a lot. Very few clothing companies, including us, own their own factories and that’s not something you can say, ‘oh that’s good, that’s bad.’ It changes game, but it allows you to focus on designing concepts or bullshit, it can be either way, but unless you focus on a different aspect of the business than the production, that’s a huge difference. I don’t know the Doc Martens story exactly, but I’m guessing they used to own their own factory. When you have that change, you get positive and negative outcomes. You can’t just say, ‘oh man it ruined everything!’ There’s up sides to it. But it enabled this negative side to really emerge and then when you add in a lot of the cost factors and the way business has been changing like the Mitt Romneys in the world who would go buy a company, come in and figure out how to take all of the soul out of it. That’s what they did, go into a company, take all the soul … sometimes they take stuff that bothers them, that needs to go out, but usually they take the things that give it character, that aren’t necessarily efficient, and figure out how to turn that into money and that’s a short term gain. Squeeze the money out and throw it away. That’s kind of what’s happening; you get a lot of companies that are just in it for a short term gain, make some money, and the product suffers throughout the whole level because they realize they can pull all of these tricks. They can be like, I can take this Italian fabric that’s gorgeous that I’m using and take to somebody else on the other side of the world who’s going to make a similar fabric but it costs half as much and also only lasts half as long. You have these disconnects that are throughout the system. There are up sides; it means that clothing is a lot cheaper than it used to be, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it means people can afford stuff, but with it came this attitude that stuff became disposable. Instead of spending $100 on a pair of pants, I’ll spend $20, and if it falls apart in few weeks I’ll get another one. I don’t want to buy things that suck, that doesn’t feel good, or doesn’t last. What’s happened now, 2012, for the most part the good stuff is reserved for the super rich, and even then, they get scammed too. A lot of those luxury companies are pulling shit left and right because they don’t care about quality per se, they just care about luxury, about making it seem as expensive is possible, and that’s not the same as quality. Sometimes it will elapse, the quality materials tend to cost more and they get luxury appeal. When we came into the picture and started, I was frustrated not being able to find the quality of good that I wanted. But we learned really quickly that it wasn’t that the good stuff didn’t exist, it was just that nobody was using it. The customers for the fabric we use were actually companies who didn’t even know what they were buying, or luxury companies who were making multi-thousand dollar jackets and they’d buy it because it was expensive and it looked better, had better properties in a lot of ways, but they didn’t really care about the technical side other than being able to say it was waterproof or something. We just kind of came in and were like, we know it’s out there, can we make it accessible? That was our response, to take this stuff, make clothes out of it, and take it directly to our customers. We can chop out all this sort of infrastructure and distribution system and again it’s not a positive/negative 100%, there’s a lot of dead weight built into it. I still love small retail stores, and we do a small amount of wholesale and we like to do it with small businesses where the owner is still involved and on the floor with the business in a day-to-day kind of sense. Where we’re there to provide a service in filtering clothing and in talking to customers and there’s a lot of value in that, but you’re not going to find that in a big store where the owner is just sitting somewhere counting his profit. It’s not going to happen. That’s what we are trying to do, to do it right, and it’s not about patriotism really, or jingoism, or anything. It’s like we make it where it’s best. Sometimes a fabric comes from Switzerland, we make most of our clothes in New York because qualities on par with the rest of the world and because we are close to it so we can control it and we can see it, we can feel it. Same reason we ship all our products out of our office. At some point, if we grow, we are going to grow out of that, something we are scared of because we like being close to that product and being able to see everything that goes in, comes in, goes out. The closer we can stay to those processes, the higher the quality we can deliver.
I just wish more people put more thought into their company. I used to be a corporate guy that exact opposite model you spoke about, taking the soul out of everything and making as much money as they could while loosing the essence of the product …. Not caring about the quality.
It’s a lot of short term thinking going on in businesses, like, ‘how do we get the numbers for this quarter or this week, this month or this year.’ They almost never think or actually make something that resonates. In clothing, that’s where we’re at. You’ve got one side of it that’s like, let’s make it as cheap as possible, let’s cut the cost down as much as we possibly can. Then you have the other side, the luxury side where they’re saying, let’s make it as expensive as possible, let’s make it this exclusive wear, and the higher price goes better in a lot of ways. What’s really lost is straight up the middle, let’s make the best quality product at the best possible price; this is all we are trying to do, really. It’s a little bit lost, but I have faith in people. People have the ability to solve just a little bit more problems than they create. They’re good at creating problems too … a lot of mistakes have been made, especially in the business world, over the last 20-30 years, but we’re not the only ones. We figured some stuff out pretty early, but there’s other people out there doing great stuff in a similar field. I think a lot more people are going to wake up. If you’re a creator, and you want to start a clothing company, and you’re like, ‘I want to get my clothes out there to a lot of people,’ that’s ok, but the other object though, really … you can try to go the tried and true route, and play the game. A lot of people try and do it, and they realize the game is set up so you basically make the same shit as everybody else. We’ve sat down with big department stores in other countries and at first were really excited, like wow, we are going to get to do this and then they start saying, ‘well, we need this at this price, this at this price,’ and then we do the math. Well, the only way we can do that is to use the same crap that everybody else is using, and then we’re not making what we want to make. I think as a creator, anybody this day and age, wakes up and starts looking at their options … a lot of them are going to be like, ‘What the fuck, why don’t I put it online, why don’t I sell it to my peers.’ We started a little bit before Kickstarter, but what’s happening with Kickstarter is incredible. There are a lot of projects on there that are driven by quality materials, and people being like, ‘I want to make this because I can’t find it.’ Put up a Kickstarter, and like 30 days later you’re in business, it’s crazy. I’m optimistic about that, I think people are going to realize that they’ve woken up, not everyone obviously, but these changes take a lot of time to get through the system, but people get it.
When we first started we were a lot more bike focused than we are now and one of the really frustrating things was that we couldn’t get any traction with the bicycle activists. It was frustrating because we’re doing something, trying to make clothes that change the activity of cycling on a social level. They don’t get if you take away reasons for people not to cycle, that you’re going to have more cyclists, but they just couldn’t get past the price. The same people that would spend thousands of dollars on a bike no problem, they spend more for a piece of the bike than a pair of pants but when they got pants they went to Wal Mart or the GAP, or to some low, mid level place and buy $20 pants, or $40 pants, they couldn’t get past it. If you start breaking down what goes into those, like making them costs that much, you’re buying garbage, perpetuating that decay. It’s fabric that’s made poorly at low quality controls, it’s selling at factories with no supervision, lowest possible cost, smuggled through the borders essentially, done within the law, but they’re basically trying to surf the law the best they can. Once you realize if you want to build something sustainable really, if you want a sustainable environment, our clothes aren’t indestructible you know, but they’re significantly more durable than most stuff out there, they stay cleaner, they don’t need a dryer, but again it varies by garment but that’s what quality enables you to do, to create something that lasts longer, that has more power to it, and over the life of your life, or the life of the garment it ends up being a better value. It’s really hard to get over that initial moment for some people and just be like, ‘I’m spending a little more,’ but I think people are waking up.
I hope so, I don’t know. It’s a double-edged sword for me. I’m pretty optimistic, but I don’t know if I’m as optimistic as you are. My faith in people, I wish I had it. Maybe I’ll find it one day, but I’d like to say that people want to be woken up and maybe your customers, or the people that read my magazine, maybe these people are awake, however, I still think the other five or six billion people still want to perpetuate the system, and be brainwashed.
There’s definitely a level of people who don’t want to rock the boat too much, but that’s why you have to operate on a social level. It’s not easy for a culture to change, but it does change, and it actually changes relatively quickly. If you look at the difference between now and the sixties, there are tons of issues in the world but they’re different issues, they’ve evolved, they’ve changed. Women able to work, run companies, no segregation … for the most part, 80% of those issues have shifted …
So it’s that level where ideas take a long time, and they come in and they’re going to change and they’re not going to be perfect. People are going to try and find ways to exploit them for their means, but keep at it. I’ve got faith in the system I guess, there are people out there who get it, there are people that don’t, but you educate them slowly, steadily. Nobody is going to turn overnight. You’re never going to hit people with the truth and this moment of clarity is instantly going to occur, but if you’re persistent keep at it and be like this is going to be better for this reason, this reason, and then one person turns and then another person turns, then a person gets part of it and doesn’t get part of it, and somebody else gets it but uses it for a slightly different purpose, but that’s evolution. That’s how culture evolves, it’s tricky though, you never know what’s going to happen.
I came across this quote “You all laugh because I am different. I laugh because you are all the same.” I’m curious about your thoughts as a whole, and I keep having this conversation with friends and people in my circles and this lack of originality that exists on the internet specifically, upload this, and post this, tweet this, Facebook shit, whatever, what are your thoughts about what’s going on creatively on the internet, also in clothing as well, but specifically what is actually being created on the internet?
It’s a tough one right because we definitely have gone through a period where it appears that some core levels of creativity have been compromised, like aesthetically, twenty years have been poor from an aesthetic standpoint from 60’s, 70’s, 80’s the beginning of the 90’s there was constant aesthetic change and sound change too. Music and crazy sounds and different approaches and now there’s a lot of regurgitation but I think that the space of creativity does shift and there’s ways, whole new means of creating things and what people can do with video is incredible. Movies aren’t really changing the way they used to, but there are kids who are like twelve who understand how to edit videos like a professional video editor 20 years ago. Things shell out of different spaces then there is a whole level of communication. Things filter. How do you learn about things? When I was a teenager I’d learn about things by finding magazines from other countries. Digging zines and dig, or hanging out in a record store, digging in these weird corners where someone is bringing something, physically like bringing a magazine, a record, a piece of clothing, whatever it is across an ocean, like physically printing it out, photocopying it and then mailing it somewhere. A lot of those people were teaching about things I could have never learned about before, and it was cool but they also went away like controlled it. With zines you could get in and make an alternative system. There was a media class that controlled the flow of information, and there is like a counterpoint to it, and there’s, on a zine level, deeper counterpoints to it, and you have your mainstream magazines, your counter culture magazines, then you have kids photocopying shit, but now things just flow on the internet. Things can move fast and the filtering becomes…there’s just so much access to all these things it’s harder, and harder to filter and that’s what these people who are repeating and looping shit around, that’s what they’re doing, they’re acting as a filter. A lot of them are probably redundant, but when you find a really good one, like somebody who’s really out there and finding and bringing you stuff that you would not have access to yourself, then that’s really valuable. It’s really an issue of velocity …
When people tell me that they know about the magazine, it’s weird, like how do you know it, but it’s one of those things where I just do it out of sheer passion and interest in learning about people and their thoughts, and articulating it in a way that’s creating knowledge to wake up. I’m just trying to figure it out, just like everybody else. But is the filter distorted when people are deemed tastemakers just because 10 million people care whether they’re taking a shit?
At different levels. The filter is there and it’s crazy cause we’re in this overflow and ten years ago even that kid in wherever, Lexington, Kentucky or something has a huge Tumblr and I wouldn’t even have a way of getting in touch with him, or knowing he existed really unless I accidentally met him and maybe he’s adding value, maybe he’s not but it’s cool that it’s there but there’s always going to be people that go deeper and that takes a slower process. You’re operating on a different speed level and it can be frustrating to people who are operating in the flash, it’s like they’re operating in the light part of the flame not the heat part of the flame. So it’s flashy, you see it, but it doesn’t have much substance to it so it’s gone. Most of them will have no followers or they’ll have a thousand, or a million or whatever unless they build a foundation from substance. You can fake things or you can build things, you make that choice and sometimes people fake it if they can talk real well, or look right, and take it pretty far but in the end they have nothing behind them so it just blows away. Things that have real purpose and foundation, they’re the ones that last.
One of my favorite authors is Andre Gide. He has this quote, ‘Art begins with resistance – at the point the resistance is overcome no human masterpiece has ever been created without great labor.’ It’s kind of what we were talking about but can you relate this to your company and your life in particular and explain to me how much great labor has gone into creating your masterpiece?
It’s a funny one for me. Obviously we grind nonstop. At first I didn’t take a real vacation for almost four years, I took the first one this year. At the same time it doesn’t even feel like work to me because it’s what I want to be doing this. I work 6-7 days a week, I work all day. Obviously not every single day, there are days I go and hang out with people or whatever, but most of the time you’ll find me working till 10 o’clock at night, or working on Saturday, but I love it. I think that’s the more important thing. You can work 80 hours a week and you can make pay, it’s not the labor, it’s the passion behind it. If you’re passionate about it you’re going to work hard. That’s what defines the difference between things that are filled with that energy and things that aren’t. It’s that persistence and do it because you believe in it, if you don’t believe in it it’s going to be hard, but that’s a different type of hard work than the working hard because you want to do it, or you need to do it. Sometimes you don’t want to do it, but you need to. At times it’s a little bit out of your control especially in that our stuff is more creative, and great artists, they do it because they don’t have a choice. Yeah, they put a lot of work in, it’s a trick. There’s different types of hard work, and I think that that passion is really what separates it.
It’s funny you say that cause people always talk to me about how they wish they had a ‘life.’ My life is my work, and it’s not the opposite way around … I’m not working for 5 o’clock, to go home, eat some macaroni and cheese and watch the baseball game, that’s fine every once and awhile but it’s this constant thing of everything blurring together because it’s exactly what you described.
That’s what makes things good in the end. You can coast on other people having done stuff before you or being smart definitely counts for something, but a really smart person working half assed on a project, they’re not going to make something amazing. It might be clever or something, but you need to have that drive behind it so it stands out. I feel like the power of that comes through an object and it doesn’t have to be on a real level, you may not realize it or even see it or when the object is put together in a way that somebody has cared about at all the pieces, it feels different or looks different than an object that somebody’s just kind of made, tossed it together, and then gave up halfway through, somebody else smashing stuff together. So when you pick it up there’s something in there that’s left from that energy.
Straight up, these pants, they are the best pair of versatile pants I have ever had in my life. I have that one pair of jeans that I bought at a good price that I wear all the time, and I get them stitched up for wear & tear … When I was on the road, these things were getting wet, just the breathability, like you said it, it came through that passion, it came through this object that now relates to someone else’s life and I think that’s the most beautiful thing whether that’s a painting, a book, piece of clothing or food, whatever it is that you’re creating out of nothing, it shows.
That’s at least what we’re trying to do.
Keep doing it. Just continuing off of Gide, and I thought that this was fitting to what you do with Outlier, ‘Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings.’ I think that’s basically what you just summed up.
We get people like us, who want to start their clothing company and I look at what they’re doing, and it’s like why are you starting a clothing company? It’s usually cause they think it will lead to a good life and they’ll meet models, or whatever it is and I’m like you’re not creating anything that isn’t already there. Why? I can’t speak to them, it’s a different mindset. I can’t really criticize them beyond it’s not what I would do, but I don’t get it, I don’t understand why you would bother to create something that you could just buy on the street for the same price, or often less because people making it are like the pros and they know how to work all the angles. It doesn’t make sense to me but everybody has their own drive and motivation. I can’t seek it out cause maybe they’ve got a different reason, it’s what they need.
Photographs by Emiliano Granado
This last question is from my intern. I noticed in an interview that you did with Experiments in Motion that you often classify innovation with women, and tradition with men. “In other words, we’ll go to womenswear to innovate and then back to menswear to do cuffs, collars, or buttons, to communicate the subtle language of menswear.”
I find this interesting because many social ideas of human behavior lean towards women being prudes and men being deviants. However, being a woman, I always found myself thinking more like a ‘man,’ and talking to other women I realized we are the sneaky snakes here, while men act frustrated and rebellious to fit an image. That being said, how do you think your statement has shaped this concept of social order? Even if you do not literally think that women are the creative, and men are the guards of tradition what changes do you think you may see in the world, and clothing, if everyone were to begin thinking like that? Also, what other plans do you have for women’s clothing in your line?
That’s a hard one and an easy one, I’ll do the easy one first. We have one women’s pant and we want to do a lot more. I never make any promises anymore because we thought we were going to have a lot more women’s wear by now but it’s different. When I started with Tyler, my partner, we were really making clothes for ourselves so we knew what was missing what we couldn’t find, we had the marketing set out, we could make these things, put them on and see if they were working and we obviously can’t do that with women’s wear. Without that intense knowledge, it’s just not the same thing, but over the past couple of years we’ve built a team and half of our company is women and I feel like they’re getting to the point where they can take charge and really drive women’s wear and make products for Outlier’s so I’m optimistic that we’ll have a significant amount of women’s wear coming but we take things one step at a time. We made one pant, then we started trying to make other stuff and it was really hard to make that first pant, it took us almost 3 or 4 complete restarts. Then when we tried to make other stuff it became apparent quickly that we needed someone else involved who was a woman … To the deeper question though, I don’t know. Gender roles obviously entrenched into various societies but they do change, and differ from society to society. It’s really hard to say. I studied anthropology so it’s made me pretty aware of gender difference throughout cultures. Right now when it comes to clothing women definitely are much more adventurous than men in western society, there’s no question, but historically that hasn’t always been true. It flips it flops and I don’t know how much you can map that into other aspects of culture. Often people who are like incredibly innovative in one thing are completely conservative in another. We have some wild artists who only eats grilled cheese and won’t eat veggies, and like have a cook who only shops at Wal Mart for his clothes; there’s no creativity there at all, but in the kitchen it’s a whole other tasty universe. I think it almost doesn’t have to happen that way, there are people out there who just want to constantly experience new change, but usually you can’t do everything, you have to pick your space and where it is that you’re going to learn and create focus and to reconstruct into other aspects because you don’t have the time and energy for whatever it is. There are levels of creativity that I don’t even think about. I had a really funny experience when the internet was being born, not the internet, but the web right, when Mosaic came out, it was the first graphic web browser, and I was sitting in a computer lab and some kids saw me fire up Mosaic and I don’t remember what I was looking up, probably some fucking drug shit or something at the time, but he just came up to me, saw that I was in Mosaic and he was like, ‘man, you’re into marching bands too?’ and I was like what are you talking about? He just discovered the internet and he was into marching bands so he’d fire up Mosaic and like go to these websites and read about different marching bands and stuff and I don’t know anything about marching bands but it was funny to me because he just associated Mosaic with marching bands and I realized at the internet can be like a million things to a million different people. That was really early on, he’s not going to make that mistake again, but there are so many different spaces of creativity and interest but I don’t try to judge people on whether they’re into the ones I’m into or not. For all I know they’re an expert, master creator and I’ve never even heard of them. Until you learn that language and understand what’s going on in that little world you can judge on a basic aesthetic level I like it or I don’t like it but it’s the same thing with music. There’s music that all sounds the same, almost everybody’s got some music genre that all sounds the same but if you sit down and start learning about it then all of a sudden you learn the nuances and differences and it becomes a much more enjoyable thing. That I took pretty far from gender issues but I guess I’d say it’s an interesting mapping that we’ve found in clothing, but I’d be hesitant to read into it too deeply. There are a lot of men out there who are want to be revolutionary and there are a lot of them that want to be deeply conservative. Same goes with women. And gender forms that in every culture forms in different ways, but it’s a hard one to really part.
Just based on your anthropology background and the Greek root of the word anthropos meaning, human … just that idea and what you were saying about speaking this language not just about marching bands, but my idea too it’s like I started with this idea of faith and humanity and we’re all just people on this earth kind of doing it together, but do you think that that one common thing in all of it, whether it’s men or women, but treating human beings as human beings and respecting them?
Definitely. At a anthropological level most cultures they have a word for themselves, their name, and then they have a word for everybody else, like the other, so on a very early cultural level there’s obviously this instinct to divide and define difference, but ultimately you can break past that all the time if you put the effort in. You have to make an effort to understand what people are thinking and where they’re coming from and sometimes their ideas will come into conflict but often they’re not. There are people out there who have nothing similar with me, I can like sit down and talk about the Mets and baseball, whatever it is, like I follow sports partly, but I don’t follow that much. I grew up with it and I liked some, but I realized quickly that I couldn’t give it up cause it was a way to communicate with other people. You can be like best friends in a bar watching a game and you may connect over that one thing and you find that there are millions of different ways to do that over and over again but it needs to take an effort, and time and it’s hard people only have a fragment of that time.
Also in these places like New York, and Philly where everyone is kind of tough and hard it’s like it’s cool man, I know …
Once you get over that it’s like we’re all human you just have to figure out the ways to relate.
It would be so easy if we could just relate as humans like, ‘yo man no harm,’ you know what I mean? I didn’t mean to come to your neighborhood but I got lost whatever, please don’t hurt me …
But it’s also, to me that’s a very basic human level and it’s true but it’s also very hard to overcome and it’s like the structures that are out there cause the crazy thing is when you go inside a company and you can … I was a temp for a long time, sometimes I would work at companies that were god awful, and you’d be inside and most of the people in there certainly weren’t evil, most of them were nice and well meaning, and good people but they were stuck inside a structure that was built to instill values and produce results that were very dubious. You go to Phillip Morris and they hide the fact that they’re a cigarette company, but I’d say that almost everyone who works there is probably a decent being when you sit down with them. It’s really the collective action of different people not looking at the whole picture that leads them to become this machine that’s selling cancer to people like they don’t know what they’re doing you know what I mean. I’m sure that a few really malicious people in there who are like we realize this causes cancer, and is addictive but fuck it, let’s make it more addictive. I’m sure there is somebody in there that did that but for the most part it’s just a bunch of people trying to live their lives trying to fit in and do their job but the structure and the way it’s built, the way the corporate bullet is demanding profit and the managers have to react to that and in a way they’re stuck with a product that they’ve been selling, they can’t just turn around and like some ice cream company there’s a lot of residual evil almost it’s like they’ve become a machine to do something that’s really wrong but most people operating it are just trying to get by in their lives. That’s part of what I’m trying to do with building Outlier is try and build a healthier structure that encourages people to live their lives and make good product and be aware of it. We’ll see how well it goes, one step at a time.