CategoryImpact ecosystem

Do good, Feel good, and Make Money


for tech investors… written by AI, edited by Luni… The Case for Impact Investing As a tech investor, you know that there’s a lot of money to be made in the tech industry. But what if you could make money and do good at the same time? That’s where impact investing comes in. Impact investing generates both financial and social returns. These investments are made in for...

I couldn’t do another tech company


Why am I an impact investor and a teacher of social/mission-driven entrepreneurs rather than sticking with software startups like most everyone else? Simple. It’s what the world needs. I spent the first twenty years of my career as a software entrepreneur, building venture-scale software companies backed by some of the biggest name in California venture capital. Five startups, four of which...

The SDGs require Capitalism


Seven years ago I wrote and delivered a talk about how we leave the big problems of the worlds for the philanthropists to solve, but they just don’t have enough money to do that. The 2020 update to that talk is below. Short story shorter… the total amount of money in philanthropy is less than $1 trillion, less than the value of just Microsoft alone, a tiny fraction of the total...

U.S. Progress on the SDGs


A few weeks ago I posted a graphical update on the UN SDGs globally. That was the first progress report I had seen. A reader today pointed me to the U.S. status and per-state rankings. The map is not surprising, closely mirroring the national voting preferences with the Northwest and Pacific coast states ranked ahead of most of the middle and south. And also not surprisingly, none of the states...

Progress on the UN SDGs

SDG progress report

You can’t work in impact without talking about the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For impact investors, the SDGs are our de-facto standard ontology to describe our interests. What isn’t often discussed is the progress of these goals toward the 2030 deadline the UN set. At this point, seven years away, that deadline, unfortunately, seems ridiculously short. It feels like most of...

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...

Impermanence (Goodbye Hub Seattle)

Nothing lasts forever is misleading. It implies that some things last for long periods of time. Western philosophy craves stability, predictability and tradition.  We want today to be a lot like yesterday.  We get upset when it isn’t. Buddhism has a different view.  Buddha taught that the only constant is change.  That nothing ever stays the same.  That everything is...

The (True) Purpose of Business

Five years ago when this blog was new, I posted an Ignite talk about the true purpose of business. Two years ago, I reprised that topic to help break the myth that the (sole) purpose of business is to maximize shareholder value. My podcast is almost a year old, and last week I not only (re)explained the Ignite talk with more words, but then spent the week talking what Apple, Google, Facebook, and...


Back in 2011 I left the world of tech and joined a world that has no universally agreed upon name.  Back in 2011 it was the world of “social enterprise” and “social entrepreneurs” and those terms are still commonly used, but these definitions vary from organization to organization.  These are terms that first arose in the nonprofit sector, and nearly all my work is with...


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