August 2023

A Lesson in Power Dynamics Taught by Superyachts, Strikes, and NIL

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In a world where ownership translates to the greatest power and rewards, Frank Fertitta III and Steven Spielberg stand as emblematic figures, each commanding a lavish superyacht with price tags of $175 million and $250 million respectively.

The ironic intersection of billionaires Frank Fertitta (UFC) and Steven Spielberg (filmmaking) highlights the might of ownership via Superyachts while magnifying the ironic struggles being faced by the labor forces that contributed to their wealth.

We're not here to hate the player, only to highlight the game.

related: The Potential of Unionizing for NCAA and UFC Fighters - Updated

As the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and SAG-AFTRA go on strike, and UFC fighters engage in anti-trust lawsuits over low wages, the dynamics of power and exploitation should make us question why such an emphasis is placed on making people dependent on systems that exploit them.

Power of Ownership and Exploitation

The parallels between Fertitta's and Spielberg's industries highlight the stark contrast between those who own and those who are often shown as being "rich" in their fields. Athletes, actors and actresses dominate the headlines and our dreams while the true wealth is being enjoyed by the owners.

Why do we dream of being an NBA player instead of an NBA team owner?

related: Dana White Chooses Greed Over Competition by Allowing The Paul Brothers to Continue Exploiting MMA Fighters

Just as the NFL maintains a monopoly over its athletes and NCAA players face restricted opportunities, the film and sport demonstrate how power is wielded to create and maintain imbalanced relationships.

Being an actor or an athlete can get you invited to a superyacht, but not own one.

Striking workers, startup entrepreneurs, and ultra-wealthy individuals alike are well aware that success often hinges on exploiting an advantage—a cold truth underscored by the superyacht ownership paradox.

related: Soccer: The Natural Predator Needed to Challenge *Football's Monopoly on American Talent

Leveraging Opportunity and Solutions

The key to unraveling this complex web lies in understanding leverage. It's not just about identifying advantages, but rather having options and competition.

A solution to exploitation requires opportunities for talent to flourish in an open market, one that places emphasis on entrepreneurship adjacent to endorsements and jobs along with the understanding of how to leverage each type of value into the greatest opportunities.

This is the driving force behind the NCAA's Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) reforms—a step toward providing athletes with the opportunity to leverage their own marketability, a concept foreign to the traditional college sports landscape. NIL is a start, but in reality the headlines are only dominated by athletes as paid endorsers instead of as being the creators of their own empires.

Getting an endorsement is often celebrated more than starting a company yet endorsements are structured to make someone else more money than you.

Entrepreneurship over Dependence

A central theme emerges: ownership breeds opportunity. As the NIL landscape evolves, it must embrace the entrepreneurial spirit, not merely facilitating endorsements but also fostering ownership prospects. Much like the pursuit of ownership of superyachts, the ultimate power lies in creating, controlling, and profiting from assets rather than serving as a conduit for someone else's gain. This transition requires a shift in educational emphasis and moving from teaching dependency as workers to empowering individuals to seize opportunities, control their destiny, and create value.

Access, Leverage, and Ownership

The superyachts of Fertitta and Spielberg encapsulate the allure of ownership and the potential it bestows. From the striking writers and UFC fighters, to ambitious startups, all rely on leveraging their unique talents to carve out a place in their respective industries. The key lies in the democratization of access to information and resources, enabling individuals to overcome dependence and embrace the path to ownership.

Just as nobody teaches you how to truly make money only how to make money for them, the true empowerment comes from learning how to create, own, and control something of value. A lesson worth its weight in gold, or perhaps, superyachts.

Access to Information is The Transformative Catalyst

Exploiting advantages is a good thing for innovation and the goal of most business owners, startups, and sports teams, but the access to the information and how we each fit into the equation is often exploited to the advantage of the owners.

Understanding the intricacies of industries, market dynamics, and negotiation strategies are vital components in seizing opportunities and building leverage. Just as Fertitta and Spielberg had access to insights that enabled them to navigate their domains successfully, individuals across various fields must seek knowledge that empowers them to make informed decisions.

It's not a conspiracy, it's just business and it's on stakeholders to understand their greatest opportunity lies with ownership not endorsements and understanding their value and the impact it has all the way to the top.

Cultivating Independent Thinkers

An education system predominantly geared towards producing workers rather than entrepreneurs underscores the need for a paradigm shift. The superyachts, emblematic of ownership and empowerment, challenge the conventional notion of success. Encouraging critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovative outlooks in education creates a generation of individuals who can harness their talents to create opportunities rather than waiting for them to be handed down.

related: Cancel Culture vs. Critical Thinking: Ja Morant Proves Why We Must Embrace Diversity

Ownership as the Ultimate Frontier

Ultimately, the underlying message transcends industries and socio-economic divides: ownership equates to agency. The superyacht owners, entrepreneurs, and athletes who have leveraged their talents to forge paths of their own serve as beacons of possibility. The very essence of success lies in recognizing that nobody grants you access to prosperity; it is something you craft for yourself.

related: Jonathan Taylor vs Jim Irsay: The Harm of the Franchise Tag, and Why a Lockout Will Be Needed To Eliminate It

In a world where leverage is key, understanding the mechanics of power, exploitation, and ownership becomes paramount. Fertitta's and Spielberg's superyachts symbolize not just opulence, but the realization of opportunity.

To truly leverage greater value, individuals must shift from being dependent on the system to becoming architects of their destinies. From the fields of entertainment and sports to startups and beyond, a comprehensive comprehension of leverage and exploitation is the compass guiding individuals toward empowerment, ownership, and a future unbounded by limitations.

Issa Hall, Esq

Issa has founded multiple ventures, is an author, and founding partner of Hall & Dixon law firm, with over a decade of experience in tech and law.

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