Proof of life: The Founder

He is curious, loves a challenge, and understands that culture must not be compromised. He is the Founder — and a rare breed.

Proof of life: The Founder

To quote Elon Musk, with ample tongue in cheek, for it is the epitome of stating the obvious: “You have to make stuff, otherwise nothing gets made.” 

As far as the tech sector of the United States is concerned, we all take full advantage of whoever binds themselves to this tenet. The technology with which this magazine is written, designed and printed has always relied on the ingenuity of those guys. But what of creativity? I cite the magazine, but what about the creators who don’t just make the ‘next thing’ but something truly original, everlasting and fulfilling? It is only these people on whom the moniker of ‘founder’ can be bestowed. 

The Founder is an unquenchably curious sort, a seeker of knowledge and inspiration, and a passionate reader — of words, of scholarly prose, not boorish tweets (or ‘Xs’?; who knows these days). His insight is gleaned from years of conversation, research and exploration. He is a fount of knowledge, and it is his love of receiving such knowledge that has inspired him to pass it on to others, despite the risks associated. 

In conversation, The Founder is a charismatic listener. He holds court by doing none of the talking; he is quick to compliment and slow to interrupt. A Founder understands the art of winning people over: he knows that no one wants to do anything for anyone they find disagreeable. He also, therefore, suffers the insufferable with admirable patience, and has given chances where others would have thrown in the towel. The Founder loves a challenge but hates a loss, so pursues his goals with vigour and dedication. This extends to love and socialising, which he places above his work, for he holds those around him dearer than anything else. 

Illustration: Sapper.

The Founder’s style is not rigid. His understanding of beauty is not confined to a set of rules or a certain culture or aesthetic. He wears his clothes; he doesn’t let them wear him. Quality is key, and his environmental credentials are only questioned in regards to his air miles, though he makes up for it with a wardrobe full of garments that will expire well after he does — ideally to be left to an aesthete who possesses similar respect for the artisans who made them in the first place. 

The Founder understands symbolism and that culture has no compromise, so whatever he goes for, he takes seriously and respectfully, which is why he pulls it off. His taste outside of clothing is just as exacting. What time he manages to take off is spent — you guessed it — pursuing his passions: for Romanée-Conti, for cigars (both Cuban and ‘new world’), for exercise, and for music. 

He knows the value of a dog, and has come to understand grief through losing one. He rejects any objections from cat people because — and this is a point with which The Rake agrees — there is no valid comparison to be made: the canine triumphs over the feline every time. Furthermore, ever keen on the chic version of anything, he prefers dachshunds. 

It just so happens that we know a founder who is celebrating this issue of The Rake. Fifteen years ago, when the world decided to collapse under the weight of sub-prime mortgages, and everyone became thriftier overnight, this particular founder had a vision, of offering something that would remind us all of better times. He knew that, just as the cycle of life happens to each person, so it does for the worst of times: this too shall pass. 

By showing us a world in which beauty and elegance existed in their fullest expression, we were assured from issue one of The Rake that better days would come. 

Read the full story on Issue 90, available now.