Creative Business from the Point of View of Goth Subculture

Eveliina Myllymaa

Eveliina Myllymaa

It can easily be thought that members of Goth subcultures are not able to run a serious business and only run their business for fun and maybe to gain some profit or just as a past-time activity.

Referring to the amount of shops, clubs, bands, events etc, Goth as a subculture is organised and thus can be questioned whether it is the same with Goth as a business idea.

Goth started in the late 1970s from a musical movement and together with the frustration of the early 1980s youth, was formed into a subculture. As a subculture, it is very open-minded within itself, but from the outside, it is often seen as suspicious, and its morals are questioned.

This article looks into the history and development of the subculture and how this is reflected currently to the work the members of the subculture do and how they run their business.

Businesses have a set of standards to go by and often enough, entrepreneurs who go by their own rules are thought not to be capable of running a serious business. The creative class is a new way of looking at businesses, their employees and even fields of activity and economies.

The members of the creative class work in a field where they utilise creativity daily and get paid for their creative work. In the concept of the creative class and creative economy, the works of Richard Florida are studied.

Richard Florida is one of the current leaders of the study on creative economies and is the founder of the concept of the creative class. The creative class is a term representing a particular group of people employed in the field of business which can be seen as a creative business as well as takes into consideration the creativity of people.

In short, creativity is not just a term related to forms of art or culture but to people who use creativity in their work and get paid for it, thus enhancing economies throughout the world.

Creativity will become a battlefield for economies because in the future, the wealth of an economy will not be measured in terms of liquidity or equivalent but in terms of the creative input of its people.

Additionally, the creative class brings added value to societies as the members organise themselves into social groups, thus influencing all aspects of life, even outside of work.

In today’s business world, creativity, in general, is considered one great method for businesses to improve their work and services. Still, many see it as something abstract and not part of business life at all.

Business is studied in this article to see how the Goth entrepreneurs conduct their work and what are the standards set by the business world for different organisations and entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship itself is seen as one way of conducting business and in this article, it is looked at from the viewpoint of the Goth entrepreneurs to study how these particular entrepreneurs work within the pre-set frame of the concept, use creativity and their own way of life with their business.

Ultimately, it studied how serious these entrepreneurs are about their business and how much they focus on profit and how much on their own pleasure.

This article is purely based on own interest in the subculture Goth and being a member in it. As a member, it is interesting to research what entrepreneurs themselves think about their business and subculture and how serious they are about issues that are of interest to the researcher.

It should be proven that even though a person maybe dresses out of the norm and looks different, that person can still be a successful business owner.

The aim of the research is to study how serious founders of Gothic companies are when it comes down to their business and subculture. As Goth is a subculture and businesses in a subculture should not be directly compared with mainstream businesses, it is studied how creative Gothic entrepreneurs are and do their companies fit into the concept of creative business by Richard Florida.

First, it is enquired how the interviewed entrepreneurs see themselves — Goth or alternative. This must be established at the beginning so that the true value of Goth can be studied throughout the article.

The orientation of the entrepreneurs is determined by studying the history and development of the subculture Goth and interviewing the entrepreneurs with a few straightforward questions about their own believes.

Many companies may promote themselves as Goth, for example, on the Internet and turn out to be an alternative lifestyle company with only a few Goth customers. The first problem is faced here because Goth subculture and lifestyle must be known to be able to determine the orientation of others.

Then creativity and the concept of the creative class and creative economy are researched. The creativity of the entrepreneurs is studied according to the stage of each entrepreneur’s company. It is most important to study whether the companies and entrepreneurs fit into the concept of the creative class, as it is the aim of the thesis.

Finally, it is studied what kind of business these entrepreneurs carry out by exploring business, innovation and entrepreneurship. This proves the level of commitment of the entrepreneurs and possible future plans and the level of seriousness of their business. Here a problem is that a number of the entrepreneurs are Goth but wish to stay separated from the concept of business as opposed to a few claiming not to be Goth but alternative instead, at the same time hooting their business-minded orientation.

If it is the aim of the article to prove that Goth entrepreneurs can be serious about their business and want to treat their customers as well as anyone else, if not better, the companies must be studied from business and customer point of views. The meaning of profit and money as well as their own need of the entrepreneurs to achieve and be artistic, are looked into also.

At the end it can be noted that there are some differences between British and Finnish entrepreneurs and these differences are taken into account where it is thought to be of some meaning.

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