The Economy of Feelings

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

We want to feel happy, feel excited, tickled, confident, feel good, luxurious, valued, needed and loved. That’s what we are consuming online on social media as we flick thru our feed with social media dopamine hits. The more we feel, the more alive we are, the more human we think we are.

Theme parks makes us excited, Movies bring us on an emotional rollercoaster, different genre of Music lets us have different feelings on demand.

There is a pronounced trend over the past decade and especially in the past years that Brands are tapping into this economy of feelings to make you feel a certain way with their somewhat long form storytelling videos and slapping on their logos at the end of the film. They want to relate to you sufficiently, trigger your emotions to get you to like their videos, related to the personified you to get you to share their content with your friends. Convince you sufficiently to like their brand and purchase their products or subscribe to their services.

Some Brands just want to develop communications to make you feel a certain way sufficiently so that you will buy their stuff.

Some other Brands have great conviction on their purpose and world view and are consistent in the products they develop, the service they offer and provide cohesive communications in their marketing.

So in this economy of feelings, consumers get all the feels through the many branded content brands make and at the end choose for themselves what brands they want to buy into that makes sense to them. Brands who are just tapping into consumers feelings on the other hand might not get real customers if the wonderful feelings they deliver thru their communications are but empty promises as their product and services fail to deliver.

We are all consumers, we all have feelings and we have our money in our pockets. Don’t insult us, we are not stupid.

Are you in the right company?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I’ve been struggling for a big part of my career trying to figure out why some thrive in chaos at the workplace while others simply hate how the office operates and have to conjure up lots of energy just to coexist with their own team mates, other departments and even management. 

A lot of people say it’s a ‘fit’ thing. Chemistry. But what is this fit? What is this chemistry? How can we spot it early? What does it even look like?

Earlier this year while visiting one of our office in the region, I was invited to join a manager’s appraisal as he had a dotted line to me. I obliged. He was an experienced, talented and dedicated staff. He really likes the company, but had legitimate complaints too. His main gripe was around the organization not having a clear articulated structure, no clear communicated direction. He felt as if it was all reactive, everyone is winging it, all improvisation.

Then it struck me.

There are 2 kinds of musicians. Those who love the freedom and improvising to the mood in a Jazz band and those who feel more comfortable to excel in a big scale structured symphony orchestra.

A Jazz player will hate it in a symphony orchestra, while someone who have confidence the whole team have clear scores to a music piece won’t do well in a Jazz band. 

The Jazz Band

Heyday Jazz Lounge
Heyday Jazz Lounge

I’ve been in a Jazz band type company for the longest time and I love it. The organization is fairly flat, bosses allow you flexibility and lots of autonomy to bring on your own initiatives and provides you support.

Everyone has a clear role, but sometimes we can mix it up. Who says the double bass can’t be the lead? Who says the the bassist can’t do some percussion on his guitar? Who says the trumpeter can’t suddenly break out in dance?

Similar characters in different teams work well together and have that unspoken syncopated understanding with one another. There is trust that others will commit and deliver, there is fear also because sometimes you have to do your solo and everyone is depending on you. However there is support and forgiveness, mistakes are brushed aside because the show must go on and we are all having so much fun anyway. 

The Symphony Orchestra

Photo by Gwundrig on Unsplash

There is a conductor. Everyone have scores in front of them, the performance starts on time and everyone has a specific role at a specific time with specific intensity. 

Each committing to their precise parts and after multiple practices then comes performance time. There is confidence in the team as everyone have perfected what they needed to do, everyone is a specialist, they commit to what they set out to do and they don’t try to change the plan halfway. When everything is executed as planned, it’s a symphony that gives you goosebumps and there will be high fives all around later backstage. 


If you feel you are a promising talent, a diamond in the rough, someone who can achieve much, then quickly figure out if you fit a Jazz band or a Symphony Orchestra and find the right type of organization to flourish in. Most likely you will have similar seniors, structures that fit your ways of working. 

But if you ain’t got no talent and not practicing your craft to become better consistently and just want to cruise along and take a ride along the success of others, get out of my band and trust me, you can’t hide in a symphony orchestra either. 


Mr Sun

Photo by A. L. on Unsplash

Mr Sun is a very happy sun.

He wakes up early every morning and shines his warm light without fail.

He goes to bed in the evening and rests to get ready for another day.


One day, Mr Sun sees Farmer John needing some help on his crops. Mr Sun shined his light brightly to help the crops grow. Farmer John was very happy.

Farmer John’s wife however was very unhappy. She wanted to sleep in and it was too bright so she hated Mr Sun.

Mr Sun still tried to stay happy even when Farmer John’s wife was unhappy with Mr Sun.


One day, Mr Sun sees that Little Sally wanted to have a party in the garden with her dolls, but it was too hot. Mr Sun shined his light less and it became a lot more comfortable. Little Sally was very happy.

Little Sally’s dad however was very unhappy. He did some house repairs that day and needed the cement to dry fast, but now it will take too long, so he hated Mr Sun.

Mr Sun still tried to stay happy.


One day, Mr Sun sees that Little Tom wanted to go to the beach, but it was raining. Mr Sun shined his light brightly and chased the clouds away. Little Tom was very happy.

Little Tom’s Sister however was very unhappy. She wanted to go to the movies instead and was hoping the rain held up and hated Mr Sun.

Mr Sun still tried to stay happy.


One day, Mr Sun sees that Painter Bob needed some help to dry the newly painted house. Mr Sun shined his light brightly to help dry the paint. Painter Bob was very happy.

Painter Bob’s brother however was very unhappy. He wanted to to go for a run, but now it’s too hot and he hated Mr Sun.

Mr Sun still tried to stay happy.


One day, Mr Sun thought to himself. “I love to do things for others, but somehow I can’t seem to make everyone happy. It is always my fault no matter if I shined my light brightly or not.”

Mr Sun finally got tired of helping everyone and trying to please everyone and decided to do things his way and be himself.

He wakes up early every morning and shines his warm light without fail.

He goes to bed in the evening and rests to get ready for another day.


He kept his supernova thoughts to himself.