Capital at Play examines the faces of capitalism. We feel the need to show that while a calculated monetary perspective may please stockholders, the real reason that people are in business is to fulfill a more emotional and personal need. We present, in one location, functional information which capitalists need or want, but often do not have the time to collect in today’s information rich culture. We profile those who take the risk, those who share that risk, and those who support them, inspiring others to do likewise, while giving back economically and socially to the communities that support us.
BRIEFS AND EVENTS EDITOR
Dasha O. Morgan, Brenda Murphy
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS
Gene Adams, Joanne Badr, Park Baker, Jason Gilmer, Anthony Harden, Jim Murphy, George J. Pfeiffer, Shawndra Russell, David Simchock, Lauren Stepp
GRAPHIC & WEB DESIGNER
Intern Garrett Hawkins
MARKETING AND ADVERTISING
Roy Brock, David Morgan, Katrina Morgan, Pat Starnes
Published by Capital At Play, Inc.
PO Box 5615 | Asheville, NC 28813
Editorial content is selected and produced because of its interest to our readership. Editorial content is not for sale and cannot be bought. Capital At Play is financially sustained by advertisers who find value in exposure alongside our unique content and with the readers who follow it. This magazine is printed with soy based ink on recycled paper. Please recycle.
For Those Who Want More
As any Capitalist knows, work is hard. Your days are long and the nights even longer. You’re sticking your neck out. The payment may equal the time and emotion you put into the work, but only after years of struggle. So we ask: Why? Why go to all the trouble? Why suffer the emotional roller coaster, the uncertainty, the anxiety? Why risk the money you scrimped and saved for years, on what others might call a long shot? It’s because you see an opportunity, because you want to help shape the world you live in. It is because you understand that you can make more money and be more creative driving a giant earthmover than digging with a shovel. Why make more money? Does it mean more happiness? Only if you have some imagination.
During Capital at Play’s birthing, there was a lot of early enthusiasm for the name. But then the publisher and editorial staff began to parse it… and then to have second thoughts. To begin with, “Capital” was problematic. Such was the temper of the times that it, along with its extension “capitalism,” had become almost a pejorative to a sizeable segment of the population, to whom it automatically summoned up visions of robber barons with their expensively shod feet on the necks of the workers; of international backroom dealing that drives the engines of the whole world’s finances; of bought-and-paid-for privilege, entitlement and power. Indeed, the domino-like economic upheavals of the past decade laid bare a lot of top-drawer shenanigans and caused some otherwise lucid people to remark that maybe the Cold War-vintage Russkies had it right all along: Capital, capitalists, capitalism—all were inherently evil and destructive.
Then there was the phrase “at play.” It almost begs for whatever it modifies not to be taken seriously. Worse, when linked to “capital” it could be seen as glorifying the hedonistic antics of one-percenters living high on the hog, spending their ill-gotten gains on dream vacations, luxury homes and lunches on the patios of exclusive clubs, sipping exotic drinks garnished with fruit and little paper umbrellas.
Finally, there was the positioning line: “The free spirit of enterprise.” Like all sig lines it was supposed to clarify and elaborate on the title. But did it do that? The magazine’s target audience would of course recognize it as a clever play on words, but what, exactly, was meant by it? “Free spirit” evoked images of ‘60s flower children or derelicts who called themselves artists panhandling in downtown doorways; certainly it seemed to fly in the face of a word as earnest and dignified as “enterprise.”
So the staff set these negative connotations on one side of the scales and to the other side began to add the factors that had led to the development of the name in the first place.
To begin with, “capital” meant a working investment of time and money to fund the production of a product or service. “At play” referenced the marriage of the seriousness of running a business to the outright joy of having that business be the realization of a personal dream; of “a capitalist”—someone with both financial and sweat equity invested in a business, from a lemonade stand to an automotive plant—doing for a living what he or she loved to do so much that it was almost recreational.
Viewed in that light, “the free spirit of enterprise” seemed right on target. All that remained was to configure the magazine’s editorial approach so that the reader would be able to make the same connection, to see where Capital at Play was coming from, from the front cover onwards. This, as it turned out, was easy enough to do: C@P’s main content thrust would be to showcase the limitless ways in which small business owners were opting to earn a living for themselves, and how their dreams came to be realized. How had their origins, education and life experiences led them to strike out on their own in the occupation they had chosen for themselves? What mistakes had they made and profited from along the way? What were their future plans for growth and expansion? Most importantly, how did they see their product or service as making a positive contribution to their customer base, their communities, even to the system of American capitalism in general?
For capitalism, despite the inherent vulnerabilities its detractors are fond of exploiting, is still the most effective economic system ever devised. It is driven not by the directives of a state but by the competitive dictates of the open marketplace, which benefit the consumer by ultimately demanding that makers of goods and providers of services strive constantly to offer the best they are capable of offering. And the manner of doing this is limited only by the creative imagination of the system’s participants.
As individuals, as well as editorially, we strive to cater to those who see the world with curiosity, wonderment, and a thirst for knowledge, regardless of age. Any child will tell you, fun cannot be regulated. Imagination cannot be mediated or controlled. That’s why if you want to keep it, you can’t stifle it. That is why capitalism is so important to our spectacular way of life. Some people, a few hundred years ago, had the imagination to see what could be, if they could only have possession over the money they worked so hard for. Capitalism means demanding the necessary tools, the necessary freedoms, to make one’s dreams come true.
Someone wise once said, “People will support that which they help create.” That is precisely how capitalism works. Inside Capital at Play we want to show you what others have created, and to examine the faces of capitalism, the most creative and fulfilling economic system in the world. In every issue we intend to show how capitalists, big and small, have been driven by their ideas and passions. This magazine is a platform for businesses to show how they realize the full potential of their capital and to see how others do or do not—in a more than “monetary profit” perspective. In doing so, we hope to inform and challenge others to go and do likewise, giving back economically and socially to the communities that support us. This is why we exist, and we hope that you enjoy what you find.
If you absolutely love what you see, if you decidedly hate what you see, if you have an emotional or logical response of any kind, we want to hear from you. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.