Monday, April 26, 2010

Occupation or Inspiration?

If you follow social media, then you're probably used to reading all those peppy, motivational quotes reassuring us that "failure is only a step toward success" and that if we truly "follow our dreams, success is the only option." (They remind me of a cross between a hard-core hippie and that "case-of-the-Mondays" woman from Office Space) Cheesy as they may be, some people not only live by those fortune cookiesque tidbits, but do quite well for themselves, too.

The following companies are run by people who may not be tweeting those ooey-gooey bits of overjoy, but they are living them. And I'd wager most of them would refer to their work as more of an inspiration than an occupation...

Regreet works by using labels and mailing supplies that make it "easy and chic for you to reuse greeting cards," according to Regreet's website. And how awesome is that? Let's see, they 1. protect the environment by using less paper and producing less waste from discarded greeting cards, 2. provide a tracking system that lets you follow your greeting card everywhere it goes (assuming other recipients also enter their info) and 3. give well wishers a more affordable option than plopping down $5 on a tiny piece of cardboard at Walgreen's everytime a birthday or anniversary pops up. Creative, fun and helpful.

Element Six Media is one of the most fascinating companies I've seen. By reshaping snow, sand, flora and water, Element Six creates advertising displays using only the stuff you'd find in your grandma's garden. (Talk about sustainable) It's beautiful stuff and something I could see taking off should they convince some larger cities (doesn't this just absolutely belong in San Francisco?) to sign long-term contracts for their service.

So those are a couple quick examples of companies where I'd guess the employees never utter the word "work." Can you think of any others? I'd love to know...

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