A few months ago, I heard that McSweeney’s was looking for fundraising ideas. Being a bleeding-edge thoughtleader/innovaterepreneur, I offered them a number of disruptive and lucrative ways to monetize and capture the attention of affluent millennials. I wish them luck with their Kickstarter, but these are the highly-profitable ideas they left on the table:
Did you know that millennials love consuming content in bulk? They do! Imagine McSweeney’s creating bingeable content in the style of Netflix, HBO GO, and Amazon. Do not release McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern quarterly. Instead, release twelve volumes every three years. This way millennials can kick back and binge on all their favorite short fiction content and, hopefully, tweet about it compulsively (“#quarterlyfictionbinge”).
And did you know that millennials love authentic conversations with brands? Also true! Imagine the possibilities of seamless advertisements intertwined into everything McSweeney’s makes. It would not just be merely tolerable for readers, but highly lucrative for McSweeney’s. For too long, old-fashioned publishers have neglected the promise of native advertising. Imagine a more perfect alternate history of publishing! Imagine the synergy of Nick Carraway remarking on the quality cut of Jay Gatsby’s Men’s Wearhouse suits. Imagine Holden Caulfield finding emotional solace in his dead brother’s Wilson A2000® baseball mitt! Imagine On The Road: Presented By Scion.
All writers for the Internet Tendency should be sourced via Taskrabbit. Instead of sifting through thousands of unsolicited submissions, McSweeney’s could instead leverage Taskrabbit’s on-demand labor marketplace to instantly find well-reviewed contract laborers able to quickly produce shareable, 742-word humor pieces. Unlike usual writers, these laborers would not only write, but also install shelving, run errands, and collate. (Incidentally, I am very good at installing shelving, if anyone in the Park Slope/Carroll Gardens area should be in need.)
Copious User Tracking
For the past two decades, McSweeney’s has been nearly-literally burning money by only using this website as a repository of short fiction, missing out on the real goldmine: readers’ personal details. With the addition of highly-advanced, highly-invasive tracking technologies, McSweeney’s could collect information about readers’ household incomes, sexualities, and deodorant preferences and sell it to advertisers, political action committees, and selected government agencies. Interested corporations could learn more by subscribing to McSweeney’s Quarterly Behavioral Tracking Concern.
McSweeney’s should be acquired by Yahoo! for $1.25 billion. You know, for content or whatever.
Clearly, certain publishing houses have missed a number of great opportunities. The good news is, these ideas are now available for your fundraising cause, whether it be a startup, medical procedure, paramilitary action, or bar mitzvah. We all need to monetize.
A note from the editors:
While we did carefully consider each and every one of Mike’s “ideas,” we feel confident that raising funds through Kickstarter is best. McSweeney’s needs your help now more than ever. Please consider pledging what you can, and picking up one of our many exclusive rewards, including a new limited edition McSweeney’s tote, our first-ever digital preview anthology with never-before-seen work, original art by Dave Eggers, Tony Millionaire, Marcel Dzama, and more, short stories written about you by Sheila Heti and Rebecca Curtis, plus the chance to appear in our very pages, both digital and printed—and so much more! To join the fun and support McSweeney’s, visit our Kickstarter page before it’s too late.