CategoryAssumptions

The Clean Money Revolution

I met Joel Solomon five years ago.  Someone pointed me to him as knowledgeable and experienced.  I knew of his work Renewal Funds, and a few years ago visited his Hollyhock on Cortes Island in British Columbia, Canada to attend his Social Venture Institute. (Disclosure: sometime in all that he agreed to invest a tiny amount into Fledge, one of my contributions to the field of social good.)...

Hiring money instead of labor

We are told that employees (labor) works for management, that management works for the board, and that boards works for shareholders, with shareholder value being the ultimate goal of business. We’re told a lot of things that are simply not true. That story is common, but not universal.  It’s not required by law.  It’s just tradition. Another pattern is the employee-owned...

Philanthropy is so 20th Century

When ideas are 100 years old, we tend to not only not know their origins, but also think of those ideas have been around forever.  So it is with the large, organized philanthropic organizations today known as private foundations. The first of these was the Carnegie Corporation of New York, established in 1911, by Andrew Carnegie, who invented the idea of giving away one’s fortune.  That...

Three cars per STOP sign… and other inefficiencies

I often blame my training as an undergraduate mathematician for seeing the world differently than most others.  Case in point, the inefficiencies of the everyday stop sign, and the lesson that fails to teach us about other areas of society. Specifically, picture a busy intersection with a 4-way stop sign.  Or better yet, picture a traffic light on a busy street on a day when the power has gone...

Exponential growth devours and corrupts

There is no higher God in Silicon Valley than growth. No sacrifice too big for its craving altar. As long as you keep your curve exponential, all your sins will be forgotten at the exit. It’s through this exponential lens that eating the world becomes not just a motto for software at large, but a mission for every aspiring unicorn and their business model. “Going viral” suddenly takes on a...

The purpose of business is not what you think…

The modern world wasn’t planned. It wasn’t designed. It came to be from billions of little decisions plus a few thousand big decisions, most of which were solving short-term problems, few of which ever questioning the core assumptions of society and economics. From this we have a world today where business is about making money, and where the press and elite will tell you that the sole purpose of...

The Rules for Rulers

Remember when YouTube was a site to post snippets of videos of your baby, puppy, or kitten?  Perhaps its still used for that… but for me, it is a near-daily source of snippets of lifelong learning.  I subscribe to well over 100 different channels, spanning a dozen different topic areas.  A few of these are spectacularly good at telling an compelling story which conveys an interesting...

Investorflow, not dealflow

Last month, sitting in a monthly gathering of impact investors, in the midst of a discussion on why so few investments get made, a fellow member made a comment that I can’t get out of my head, “It’s not about dealflow, it’s about investorflow.” The way startups usually get funded is not how entrepreneurs think.  It’s not a meritocracy.  It’s not like an...

Philanthropy doesn’t scale

Philanthropy does an amazing amount of good in the world.  However, when philanthropy finds a solution to a problem, the solution only scales through yet-more philanthropy.  In contrast, when a for-profit company finds a solution, the profits from the solution pay for more. In a world where 7 billion people have access to a Coke within a half day’s walk, the same should be true for clean...

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