Mike Merrill

Publicly Traded Person


Photography by Isaac Lane Koval

Conceptual Businessman

Mike Merrill took crowdfunding to a new level when in 2008 he divided his ‘self’ into 100,000 shares and sold them at an initial public offering price of $1 a share. What started out as a creative experiment turned into a full-fledged simulated stock market with shares going as high as $18 at one point, turning him into a publicly traded person.


Each share can bought and sold and allow stockholders to decide what Mike should do with his life. Shareholders have voted on decisions big and small:


•  Should he get a vasectomy? (Rejected)

•  Should he subscribe to Spotify? (Approved)

•  Should he grow a mustache? (Rejected)

•  Should he attempt polyphasic sleeping? (Approved)


After a featured profile in WIRED magazine, Mike’s crowdsourced life is set to become a movie directed by and starring Jason Batemen.

Printed Share


I’ve been a publicly traded person since 2008. I sell shares in myself and then my shareholders vote on how I live my life. When I started out I printed a limited edition 500 shares. They are individually numbered with a hologram sticker attached and printed on paper made of paper money. This is the last one I have but you can always buy a digital share (and I’m working on series 2).

Buy a Share$4.20

Balvenie Doublewood scotch


I love business and people in business drink scotch. This is the best one. It’s not the most expensive and it’s not the most rare, but it’s the best.


Buy Now$37



Weed became legal in Oregon a few years ago and my initial fascination was watching a new industry emerge from out of the shadows. I started Pot Dads because I wanted to chronicle the alternative culture of marijuana evolving into a boring product used by the least cool demographic: Dads.

Personally I thought I didn’t like weed. In my youth I had tried it a few times and found the effects overwhelming. It was hard to get into a stock chart after doing a bong rip. I’ve understood my relationship to marijuana better post-legalization. First is amount! You don’t have to smoke until you’re afraid to talk to anyone huddled in a corner watching cartoons. Respect the power of weed and it will reward you.

Next was strains… some are better for you than others. I’m still suspicious of how a “bud tender” will explain something as a good hiking weed but as a man who spends time on the computer desperately trying to being creative, I’ve found a single toke of Bruce Banner #3 in the morning with my coffee helps me out.

Find a Dispensary$12

casio watch


How’s that smart watch working out for you? What about that Breathing Navitimer? My watch isn’t that smart and it’s very cheap. I have a Casio CA53W with a custom band. The watch is a classic and identifies you as a certain kind of nostalgic futurist. When I see a fellow CA53W-er it’s like when mason’s meet. There is a shared sensibility.


Buy Now$17

Flat Mike


You can’t be in two places at once, but you can be represented in more than once place. “Flat Mike” is a full size cardboard cutout of me. I highly recommend you make one. I had my assistant make mine by blowing up a photo and printing it at FedEx Office and then manually glueing it to cardboard.

Warning: my dog does not like Flat Mike. Also I have to keep it in the office because when it was in the house it terrified me on more than one occasion out of the corner of my eye. Terrified! No joke. Be careful.


Buy Now$140



For over five years I wore only Brooks Brothers head to toe. Of all the great things they make, this is my favorite, the Nappa Full Slippers. The ultimate in softness and finely detailed construction. After a hard day of power suits and intricate negotiations in the boardroom it’s nice to slip into something with a little class. Pairs nicely with a glass of the Balvenie.

Buy Now$178

sticky notes


I was going to add my computer to this list because it’s THE MOST ESSENTIAL thing in the world, but in the days of cloud computing it’s also a commodity. So if i’m not picking the computer the next most important thing is the sticky note. These are the Christian Lacroix Neon Pink Ombre Paseo Sticky Note presented in a portfolio. To be honest they don’t holdup to the classic Post-it, but they add a touch of class and they pack up nicely.

Nothing brings a team together like the shared canvas of a sticky note wall.

Buy Now$13

tie Bar


The tie bar is my newest accoutrement and it comes direct from the shareholders. In fact it comes from specific shareholders who watched my annual review, noted I needed a tie bar, and sent me a three pack from Amazon. I respect that kind of direct action from a shareholder and I’ve been wearing one since.

Buy Now$12

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