None of My Business

Uber, Lyft, and Instacart aren’t the only companies that don’t want to be defined by what they actually do.

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Gig companies use the platform myth—that a business is not defined by the service it provides but the technology it uses—to evade treating their workers like employees. Yet this branding switcheroo has spread beyond Silicon Valley. Some of the companies that have embraced the trend of insisting that they’re so much more than their core businesses:

Audi: “We are a tech company that happens to make cars.”

Zappos: “We’re a service company that just happens to sell shoes.”

Big River Steel: “At our core, we’re a technology company. We just happen to make steel.”

Shea Homes: “We’re a service company that just so happens to build homes.”

Wild Alaskan: “Wild Alaskan is a tech company that happens to sell seafood.”

Delta: “We’re a Customer Service Company that just happens to fly airplanes.”

WestJet: “A digital company that happens to fly airplanes.”

Fidelity: “A technology company that happens to be in financial services.”

Sweetgreen: “We want to go beyond a food company and become a platform.”

Metals.com: “We’re not really a gold and silver company, we’re a technology company.”

Facebook: “We’re a technology company. We’re not a media company.” 

Marriott: “We are a media company now.”

Juul: “We’re not a big tobacco company.”

WeWork: “We are not a real estate company…We are a community company.”

White Castle: “We’re not a hamburger company, we’re a slider company.”

McDonald’s: “We’re not just a hamburger company serving people; we’re a people company serving hamburgers.”

Equine Express: “We are not a transportation company who does horses, we are horse people who do transportation.”

(Honorable mention) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, 1999: “We’re not a book company. We’re not a music company. We’re not a video company. We’re not an auctions company. We’re a customer company.”

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate