We talk about Kanye West a lot here at Vyer. It’s usually with a mixture of amusement, fascination, and speculation, but we’re also happy to acknowledge that there’s something more important underneath it all. It’s inspiration. As a startup, we are inspired by Kanye West. A spontaneous survey of the team quickly offered a number of reasons why:
1. He believes in minimizing possessions and distractions
2. He bridges the gap between the worlds of high art and the popular entertainment
3. He said he is always trying to be 50% hip hop, 50% rock and roll, and 50% genius.
4. He completely and absolutely believes in himself.
5. He can meet a deadline.
6. He’s not afraid to express ideas before he’s figured out how to fully articulate them.
7. He doesn’t follow rules.
8. He champions the art of others.
9. He’s extremely aware of his flaws, but not paralyzed by them.
10. He somehow pulled off this look:
(And we still think it’s a great look).
While these are all important qualities to look to and learn from, there’s a single statement from Mr. West that more than any of the reasons above embodies the vision we’re realizing at Vyer:
“I don’t even listen to rap. My apartment’s too nice to listen to rap in.”
Vyer Films is not for us. It doesn’t fit into our lives or address a pain we feel. We don’t want help seeing something new; we want to help others see something new, to have meaningful experiences with films they would otherwise never see, to tell stories to others they would otherwise never have. We haven’t made films that we feel more people should see; we want new and exciting filmmakers to be able to support themselves from their art so that they can focus on creating even more (and better versions) of it.
It’s popular to say a company should “eat its own dog food” or “drink its own champagne,” but that assumes a product or service is the fundamental goal of a venture. What drives us isn’t the continued existence of Vyer Films, it’s the continued existence of the thoughts, feelings, connections, and so much more that comes from new experiences.
Kanye said he didn’t listen to rap in 2008. His next album was 808s & Heartbreak
, an out-of-left-field minimalist electronic album about love and loneliness. Our bet is, regardless of the quality of his apartment, at the time he said that, he was probably thinking about how to bring people something new.
-K.C. McLeod, Founder and CEO of vyerfilms