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Powerful, building the Netflix culture of Freedom and Responsibility

Entrepreneurs worry about their product, marketing, sales process, recruiting, finances, and operations, but often don’t think twice about designing their corporate culture.  Forget about culture, and successful startups soon turn into The Office and Dilbert. There isn’t yet a The Next Step book on how to design a corporate culture, but I do teach the topic in both my MBA...

The realities of startup life (in Ghana)

All startups are difficult… and they don’t get easier when your startup is in a foreign country… selling a service that no one there has seen before.  Few books due the startup journey justice.  Bright Lights, No City is one of the rare exceptions, telling the story of Burro in Ghana, a company founded by Whit Alexander, creator of Cranium, as told through the eyes and talented...

Fusion Economics, by Laurence J. Brahm

“First they will laugh at you; then they will threaten you; and then they will follow you” – Ghandi Back to my readings on economics and inequality, I found Fusion Economics sitting on my nightstand, shot right through it, and suggest you pick up a copy too. Laurence J Brahm is a real life Forrest Gump, but brilliant is as brilliant does.  Gump, as in his life seems to take him...

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.)...

Real Impact by Morgan Simon

Two weeks ago Morgan Simon announced her new book, Real Impact.  I was going to toss it on the end of my queue, not expecting it to be part of my quest for answers to inequality, but was proven wrong. First and foremost, the book is the best primer I’ve read on impact investing.  The first half walks through why we need to align capital with social and environmental solutions and the second...

Anti-Piketty?

After enjoying most of Capital in the 21st Century I couldn’t pass up reading what is clearly supposed to be a counter-argument: Anti-Picketty. It’s not one, but twenty-four arguments against Picketty’s conclusions and claims, by more than twenty-four economists and think tankers.  Despite 24 authors, this books is less than a half the length of Capital and despite a lot of...

The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality

It has been four months since Debt: The First 5,000 Years, and my quest to find answers to inequality.  In that time I came across The Divide, by Jason Hickel, which claimed in the subtitle “A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and it’s Solutions” to provide not just problems but also solutions.  That jumped it to the top of my growing stack of books. The first two thirds of the...

Debt: The First 5,000 Years

It’s good to be out of debt… even when that means finishing David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5,000 Years.  I had started on this book before diving into the rabbit hole of The Wealth of Nations, Communist Manifesto, Capitalist Manifesto, Divine Right of Capital, Et al, revisiting Debt’s 400 pages on occasion to clean my mental palate between other books. Debt is another...

Rethinking Capitalism and Mission-oriented Finance for Innovation

Two economics books, both anthologies, both edited by Mariana Mazzucato, both too brief to make their arguments convincing, and neither providing much about income and wealth inequality. As an impact investor, I had high hopes for Mission-Oriented Finance for Innovation, but like a lot of English it seems the term “mission-oriented” has multiple meanings.  This book can be summarized...

Owning our Future

After finishing The Divine Right of Capital, I searched my house high and low for my copy of Owning our Future, Marjorie Kelly’s other book on Capitalism, which I remembered was good enough to merit ordering a second copy after the search came up empty. Whereas The Divine Right of Capital is 95% problem, Owning our Future is a travelogue of solutions.  Kelly takes us with her traveling to...

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