Way back in 1981 I was pretty much at rock bottom. I was working as a bicycle messenger in San Francisco, after wandering off the academic reservation. I can remember sitting there in the can after a shift one day: I was soaked to the bone, cold and hurt everywhere after going ass over head when my front wheel got caught in an old train track paved over by Levi Strauss.
Up on the cheap plywood that the toilet at 444 Clementina was, at eye level if you were sitting down, some graffiti. I was cold. I was tired. And this is what I read by some anonymous guru I never got to meet:
“The more shit you take, the less money you make.”
I was stunned. The corollary hit me like a live wire connected to that john I sat on as the rain beat down: The less shit you take, the more money you make.
Within 2 years I’d gotten myself a top slot in the media world: Dayside SF at UPI (think Huffpo now).
In 30 years I’ve not found one scintilla of evidence that whatever else is true in life, this is true. All the time, in all places, for all people, amen.
But it’s time to put this to new music, dance it around the room and see if it works for you:
“The more digital you are, the more money you make.”


  1. Actually, Bob. The correct corollary is not “The less shit you take, the more money you make.”, but actually is “The more money you make, the less shit you take.” The original statement cannot imply anything about the “less shit you take”. That may lead to more money, or less money – but you cannot infer which.

    • Bob Walsh Reply

      Louis – points for logic, but keep in mind: the difference between theory and reality is that in theory there is no difference between logic and and theory

  2. True – “The more shit you take, the less money you make.”
    May be true in certain circumstances – “The more digital you are, the more money you make.”
    Not always true – “The more money you make, the less shit you take.” Just got off the phone with a successful business friend who’s company is on the wrong side of a sexual harassment suit. He is taking a lot of shit right now – and he has plenty of money.

    • Bob Walsh Reply

      Fair enough. And there’s always exceptions to everything. This is no Feb. 29 – except there is. But so what?
      I do say I have seen over 30+ years of work many people who because they (for whatever reason) are willing to take more shit (or something equally bad), they’ve made less money (or something equally good). How about the person who stays in a deadend job with a terrible boss because they are willing to put up with it? Or the woman or man who takes all sorts of grief from a spouse because they are afraid to get out?
      Further, and this is the point I’m trying to get across, is that digital anything and everything tends to be more advantageous, provides at this point and time in global society more opportunities with lower barriers to entry and much greater value-creation potential than analog “stuff”. I am not suggesting we all plug wires into our heads and live in cocoons. But I am asserting that people all over this world who had limited opportunity and way too much crap dumped on them, are grabbing and making opportunities digitally. Just ask the next startup founder you meet – or the next Kenyan coffee farmer who can take his crop to the global market, connect directly with consumers and retailers, and get paid a lot more because of their smartphone.
      Thanks for commenting!

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