Shareholder Value


I saw this cartoon on Twitter and was reminded that I’ve not posted about the real purpose of business in years. A few posts on that and related topics:

Three types of companies and three types of mission-driven companies

Ben & Jerry's ice cream

I categorize companies into three categories: A- Companies focused solely on profits, running extractive businesses, unconscious to the needs of their employees, their communities, and the world as a whole. Most of the S&P 500 and Global 1,000 are in this group. B- Companies that truly care about ESG: Environment, Social, and Governance. In short, companies whose management works on improving...

The Iron Nickel Rules

Most of us have heard of the Golden Rule and maybe some of us Singer’s Platinum Rule. Somehow, despite these ideas prevalently taught around the world, these rules are not prevalently followed. I propose two simpler rules, the Iron Nickel Rules, so-called as the core of the planet is made from a blend of iron and nickel metals, and these two simple rules can be a core to every relationship...

The First Social IPO?

Today’s Fast Company article (seen above) was forwarded to me today by one of my fledglings. Two answers to their question: First, why are they not counting Whole Foods, Zipcar, Etsy, and EBay? How about Twitter? These are companies that set up to improve health, the environment or build communities. Talk to Fred Wilson at Union Square Ventures and he’ll tell you they are social...

Luck and Compassion

Speaking of luck, a few years ago I volunteer to help an organization that hosted the Dalai Lama in Seattle 10 years ago.  Two months ago, members of this organization were invited to Dharmashala, India to have an audience, and I was invited along. I write books and blogs.  I teach story telling.  But no words can describe this experience.  Neither do the following videos, but they do demonstrate...

Growing the tent for impact investing

With all the buzz about impact investing (see BlackRock’s letter), it’s no surprise that Social Capital Markets’ new SOCAP 365 impact investing conference in Seattle was sold out. Investors, venture capitalists, family foundations and more joined to network, learn and make commitments in furthering the growth of the impact investing field. The day was filled with the realities of the impact...

Tech is peaking… social good is rising

For the first twenty years of my career I was a techie.  And it was an amazing two decades to be in tech, spanning the dot com bubble, the ubiquity of the personal computer, the Web, a mobile phone in every pocket, smartphones, tablets, social media, and the cloud. Six years outside of tech, it is interesting to watch how that market seems to be reaching a zenith.  My computer is almost six years...

Will Seattle Become the Capital of Social Entrepreneurship? (5 years later)

Five years ago, while still working on the business plan that was to become Fledge, I helped run a weekend event for “social entrepreneurs” called #SocEnt Weekend.  From that came the following video with Brian Howe, co-founder of what was to become Impact Hub Seattle. Reminiscing is often fun.  More so when we can look back five years to see what we thought might happen in ten years...

What doesn’t help [TL;DR]

Last week I posted a TL;DR blog post on why the Fledge accelerator works so well at helping startups succeed.  In short, a few key elements of its program, along an enormous number of tiny details learned through iteration and experimentation. This post is inspired from the multitude of conversations I have with people and organizations who want to help startups and who often have an idea on a...

The flaw of GDP

Even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction – purpose and dignity – that afflicts us all.  Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.  Our Gross National Product, now, is over {$17 trillion} dollars a year, but...


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