Anthony Caligaris, Fringe CoCEO and Founder
“Man, you really care about work.”
I was sitting on the front step of our new home when my cousin said this, and it caught me off guard. On the face of it, in a cliché world that worships freedom but rewards hours at a desk, the thought felt repulsive. Do I really care about work? Gross.
But yeah, I do.
Like, a lot.
Check it – I’m passionate about the way we live, and I’m convinced we’re blowing it. There’s gotta be a better way. From my perspective, the biggest hurdle between us and our happiness is our work. I’m not saying everyone hates their job, but from my experience, there are more of us working for the paycheck than there are those working for the love of what they’re doing. I mean, if your job stopped paying you today, would you give a second thought to never showing up again? Probably not. Your relationship to your employment is transactional. And that is one of the fundamental failings of the way we’ve structured work.
And what drives me crazy, is that not only does it not have to be this way, but we can all work better, in better environments, with better relationships, and ultimately be more productive; for less mental, physical, and economic cost.
There’s a shift happening. Commerce is starting to understand this, but it’s slow going. Nothing corporate moves quickly. Toes are in the water, but it’s cold, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s unknown – unmeasured. Proceed with caution. But to me, this is an emergency. We can’t afford a measured, gradual approach to this change. Mental health in this country is house-on-fire gnarly at the moment – we need to move on this.
And that’s why I’m at Fringe. I’m here to prove the economic viability of a business model focused purely on doing the right thing, both for our customers and for our employees. And that’s where my background in economics comes in. It’s fine to subjectively say we should treat employees better, inherently we know that to be morally correct.
But Commerce speaks Commerce, and there is cold, hard, economic viability to this approach as well. How rad is that? How often do you get a win-win opportunity where you can do the right thing and positively affect the bottom line at the same time? Well, I think far more frequently than most believe and I’m here to prove it. And if we scale and grow Fringe to the point where other businesses take note? Then we’re really doing something.
I’m here to change how we work and in turn, how we live.
So yeah I care a lot about work. Let’s get it.