January 11, 2022

Madeium: Freeing Creative Capital

Jesse Rademacher

As professional designers, we seek problems and then apply our talents to unlock solutions for humanity. But at this moment, the issues we face are so challenging that entirely new approaches are needed. That’s why Madeium is focused on “forking the future” to establish a more human-centric trajectory.

But it is a daunting task. It’s been well documented that 90% of startups fail within 10 years, so it might seem as if the odds are against us.

But Madeium is betting on something that offers far better odds than any business: the untapped potential of the creative community. Through interviewing over 300 creatives in multiple industries, we have found that present corporate models cap employee creativity at about 20%. That means 80% is being squandered. 

That’s a terrible waste of human resources, especially when you begin to expand the definition of “capital.” Traditionally, because of the singular motive of generating profits to drive stock price and executive pay, “capital” has been viewed primarily as money and/or owned assets. 

But we feel there is another form of capital that has been overlooked for far too long. It’s what we call Creative Capital. It’s a reoccurring renewable resource we possess collectively that is amplified through collaboration and inspiration. And that means new ways of organizing creative capital are needed if we are going to tap into our lost 80% potential. 

The corporate model is the most dominant way of organizing creative capital at the moment, but it is not the only template. The Renaissance that flourished under the Medici family patronage, for instance, was so effective that its art, architecture, philosophy, and science continue to resonate almost 600 years later. 

At Madeium, we think it is time for a new way of organizing creative capital. We are doing this by challenging the assumption that a corporation must be comprised of the standard two halves. 

We see the people running the organization as The Company. This portion of the business represents the legal/tax entity and it drives the majority of business costs and overhead. Things like executive pay, shareholder value, HR, finance, legal, real estate, etc. don’t produce the value, they “manage it.” 

We are convinced the real value is concentrated within the opposing side: The Brand. The Brand drives human connection, emotional pull, the reason to care, and offers consumers the ability to vote values with their dollars. Anything that touches an individual’s soul was crafted by these people.

Who is The Brand side? It’s the creatives, designers, artists, storytellers, innovators, athletes, celebrities, and influencers who possess the ability to stir souls to drive value through human relationships. This is Creative Capital. 

We all make purchasing decisions with emotion first. Only later do we use logic to justify what we have already decided. Human emotional connection drives sales, brand loyalty, and repeat business. Creative capital generates not just the demand, but also profit. 

The creative community holds an expanded set of values which speak to the monumental problems we are facing. These values are increasingly in demand. Creativity is a form of capital that is not just good for business but is indispensable for shaping a more just and sustainable tomorrow.   

Madeium is “forking the future” by acting as a wedge between The Company and The Brand. We are creating an entirely new trajectory by empowering The Brand to create the future on their terms by injecting community values. This new model of organization was founded to support creatives and their ideas by providing access to innovation and resources normally reserved for corporations. 

Coming together as independent creatives, startups, innovators, and entrepreneurs, we have the collective power to create a new economic foundation for our talents. Now, instead of handing power and profits to yesterday’s corporations, this community can do it ourselves. 

Without the exclusively profit driven demands of traditional corporations, we get to self-organize and put our ideals in action. We can now take on missions and projects that meet our moral and ethical values. Madeium’s mission is to build a more human-centric future, where communities and the public regain control and collectively chart the best path forward.


Madeium is organizing creative capital for the future. We love these odds!


Check out the discussion breakdown video here