MCDERMOTT: I’m not going to ask you to define “conceptual entrepreneur,” because I know that’s always asked of you and you’ve been using the term for about eight years. But how do you feel about labeling yourself a conceptual entrepreneur now? Do you feel like it’s still appropriate?
SYMS: I’m surprised that it’s been able to last that long. [laughs] I definitely didn’t think I’d still be talking about it. But I think my main interests and ideas have always come from independent music, black-owned businesses, and the idea of self-determination through having a sustainable institution, through institutionalizing yourself. Now I’m more aware of the problems and theoretical issues with that. And obviously, with the tech industry, where entrepreneur has kind of a horrible air surrounding it, I’m definitely more conflicted. But I’m still very interested in self-determination and being able to actually survive doing the work I want to do. So it’s important to talk about some of things I’m doing as labor, as work, but I also understand the limitations of that and of using that language. I’m not resolved on it now. But I still do this publishing company, I still definitely am running a small business. So it’s still accurate, but I have more qualms with it.