10 Things You Didn’t Know about Mike Merrill


Mike Merrill is a fascinating individual whose unique approach to life and decision-making has garnered attention and intrigue. Known as “The World’s First Publicly Traded Person,” Merrill has created an extraordinary concept by allowing shareholders to influence his personal and professional choices. While many are familiar with this aspect of his life, there are several lesser-known facts about Mike Merrill that deserve exploration. In this article, we dive into the enigmatic world of Mike Merrill, unveiling captivating details that may surprise you.


1. The Birth of a Publicly Traded Person

In 2008, Mike Merrill made headlines by transforming himself into a publicly traded entity. He divided his life into shares, offering individuals the opportunity to invest in his decisions and directly influence his actions.


2. Shareholder Democracy

Under the concept of shareholder democracy, each share owner has the power to vote on decisions regarding Merrill’s personal and professional life. This unique approach blurs the lines between individual autonomy and collective decision-making.


3. The Power of Shareholder Influence

Shareholders have influenced a wide range of Merrill’s choices, including career decisions, relationships, and even his fashion choices. The unconventional nature of this system has sparked conversations about the limits of personal autonomy and the impact of collective decision-making.


4. A Digital Pioneer

Aside from his ventures as a publicly traded person, Mike Merrill is a digital pioneer. He has a background in web development and has played a significant role in shaping the online landscape, leveraging technology to connect with shareholders and engage with the public.


5. Exploring the Concept of Identity

Merrill’s experiment raises thought-provoking questions about identity and the extent to which it can be influenced by external factors. By allowing others to shape his decisions, he challenges traditional notions of individual agency and explores the fluidity of personal identity.


6. A Platform for Experimentation

Merrill’s public experiment serves as a platform for exploring various social, economic, and ethical aspects of decision-making. It encourages discussions on topics such as accountability, responsibility, and the role of collective wisdom in shaping individual lives.


7. A Catalyst for Thoughtful Decision-Making

The concept of publicly traded individuals prompts individuals to reflect on their own decision-making processes. It encourages critical thinking and the examination of personal biases, as well as the potential benefits and drawbacks of seeking external input in important life choices.


8. Bridging the Gap Between Art and Life

Merrill’s experiment blurs the boundaries between art and life. It challenges conventional notions of performance art, transforming the everyday choices and experiences of an individual into a participatory artistic endeavor.


9. Controversies and Criticisms

Unsurprisingly, Merrill’s experiment has generated its fair share of controversies and criticisms. Some argue that it commodifies personal autonomy and raises ethical concerns about the potential exploitation of decision-making power by shareholders.


10. A Unique Perspective on the Human Experience

Mike Merrill’s venture into becoming a publicly traded person provides a thought-provoking lens through which to examine the complexities of the human experience. It challenges preconceived notions of decision-making, autonomy, and the role of collective influence in shaping individual lives.



Mike Merrill’s foray into the world of publicly traded individuals has sparked intrigue, debate, and exploration into the boundaries of personal autonomy and collective decision-making. His unique concept offers a glimpse into the intricate web of human choices, raising questions about identity, responsibility, and the power of shareholder influence.