Goldman Sachs, CBD, and creamsicles.

Greetings from Greenpoint, where half of the office is in Paris or bringing new human life into the world, and the rest of us are eating day-old croissants and trying to make our pets Instagram famous.

We've thrilled to announce our newest team member: Ryan Noah Hazard! He’s not exactly creating content yet, but he is the first child of Lighthouse co-founder John Hazard and we’ve saved him a desk already. We’re stoked to welcome another Hazard and another Pisces into our lives, though Charles is not super pleased that he's no longer the cutest member of the team. Ryan's already subscribed to this newsletter, so if you know someone that isn’t, you can let them know this baby is officially cooler than them until they subscribe here.

And now for the #content: 

The perks of social capital

Eugene Wei put it best: We are, by and large, status-seeking monkeys. Status means legitimacy, it means credibility, it means people take you and what you do seriously. Half the people we meet in New York, for example, are actors, but having status as an actor, credits on Broadway or on recognizable TV shows, is what most of them are trying to achieve.

We’re getting to a place where status and social capital—how many followers you have on Instagram, your website’s SEO ranking—are as important as financial capital. As a result, Wei proposes that we think of social networks as a SaaS business, but instead of software, it’s Status as a Service. StaaS, if you will. 

The most successful social networks are the ones that are, essentially, selling us on the status we’ll gain from using them. Getting verified on Instagram or Twitter is as valuable as a job promotion in some industries. And to make it on these networks, to gain the status, some proof of work is required (unless you’re Taylor Swift or Kylie Jenner and bring millions of followers instantly with you to any platform).

So how does one actually gain status on a social network? Wei posits that individuals (and brands too, tbh) need to provide either utility or entertainment. That could mean clever, short anecdotes on Twitter. Beautiful photos (or at least well-lit selfies) on Instagram. Funny sketches or impressive music covers on YouTube. Struggle porn on Linkedin. Proof of work. And as long as status can be gained from social platforms, they'll continue to be the place to be.