[PHOTO CREDIT: Lord Chamberlain’s Memes]

Did you know that William Shakespeare was also a savvy businessman and “ruthless investor and profiteer?” It’s an often overlooked skillset of the beloved playwright.

If Shakespeare were alive today, chances are he would be interested in innovations being made in technology and communications, especially as they relate to the arts. And, being the savvy investor he was, he’d want to get involved in the best.

  1. MySpace (new) - Shakespeare would treat the new MySpace as this century’s Globe Theater. His support would fuel the rise of up and coming performers with a passion for creating works of musical art. He might even feature a great indy band in his next rom-com. And, who knows, a JT and Shakespeare partnership?
  2. GetGlue - Imagine finding out who is reading your books or watching your written-for-the-big-screen movies. Shakespeare would have been glued to Glue, along with finding ways to engage with and reward his most loyal fans.
  3. Medium - Like modern day quarto editions of his best works. Shakespeare would find innovative ways to connect his art with a greater community. I wonder if he’d invite anyone to contribute?
  4. Twitter - To be or not to be, that is the question. The 140-character format would be an ideal platform for Shakespeare to share his daily musings, tease his next project and correct misinformation about which Anne Hathaway he married. 
  5. Kayak - A travel app? Yes. Shakespeare was known to spend his time between London and Stratford, England. That’s two hours by car and would have been about three days by horse and cart. Once he discovered innovations like planes, trains and automobiles, I bet Shakespeare would become a world-traveling jetsetter.
  6. BuzzFeed - What if the combination of memes, pop culture and original news content was right up Shakespeare’s ally? Known for his precise comic sequences, maybe he would have become both an investor and contributor. Can anyone say king of memes?
  7. Foursquare - As a “ruthless investor” Shakespeare would be all about making a profit. He’d urge Foursquare execs to sell check-in data for ad targeting. There would most likely be a King’s Men badge for those who check in to more than three live performances of Shakespeare’s plays.
  8. Netflix - If only to expose more people to Mel Gibson as Hamlet, Shakespeare would have wanted in on the Netflix early days. With more than 20 movies based on his written works already available, who knows what else he would be able to make happen.
  9. Tracky - Playwrights in Shakespeare’s time often collaborated on projects. Well, there’s no better collaboration platform than Tracky, so we’re inclined to think he’d be all up in our business.
  10. Dollar Shave Club - Impeccable grooming is a top priority when you have well-known facial hair. Plus, who doesn’t love a great deal? Shakespeare would most likely be both investor and spokesperson for the men’s razor deal site.
  11. SnapChat - Shakespeare would love real-time picture chatting and would have found a way to socialize shortburst soliloquies.

And suggestions from a few from our friends:

“Kickstarter!” -Brady Akers
“Rap genius.” -Michael Gruen

What startups do you think Shakespeare would invest in if he were alive today? Share your responses here or on Twitter and tag @Tracky.