Every Company Should Have a Social Mission

  • The American War for Independence was the first Anti-Corporate war.
  • The colonists weren’t just “taxed without representation” (a nicely phrased way of saying “at the mercy of”). Many were slaves to corporations and everyone was under the thumb of corporate abuse.
  • When the colonist appealed to the King of England at the time, pointing-out that he would never allow this kind of behavior toward his citizens by his chartered corporations in England, he replied that they were correct but that they weren’t his citizens. In short, he didn’t care what the corporations did to the colonists as long as the taxes kept rolling in.
  • This left the colonists with only one choice: get out from under corporate rule any way possible. (It should be noted that, until this time, no one wanted to be un-British. This wasn’t an indictment of British culture or rule, but of corporate rule).
  • The colonists prevailed, of course, but what did they do about corporations? They had just won their freedom from them so you’d expect them to kick the entire idea of corporations out of the new states. But, that’s not what happened.
  • Our Founding Fathers were incredible smart and inventive. They knew that corporations were important as they were organizational structures that could accomplish things that sole proprietorships or even partnerships couldn’t—namely, they protected risk-taking for important, large-scale public works. If you’re in need of a bridge or a dam, a corporate structure affords protection to its shareholders in case it fails.
  • Our Founding Fathers’ solution was to continue corporate charters but governed by each state government. Any corporation had to get a charter from the state and needed a reason that would serve society. < This was the key difference from today.
  • The only reason to use establish a corporation was to do something that an individual or partnership couldn’t and those were big things. The Founding Fathers basically said “ no big things unless they benefit society.”

In the world directly after the American Revolution, corporations were supposed to exist only to serve society. In today’s world, they are suspect if they try to.

Now what?

  • Easier-to-raise investment (though not easier-to-manage in many cases)
  • You’re building something that should be a part of some other, usually larger, company (a feature, not a company). In this case, sell it off when the time is right and bask in the (hopeful) proceeds.
  • You want it to be around, working, for a long time (longevity)
  • You don’t want it to be easily acquired and its mission perverted or discontinued (“purchase proof”)

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Nathan Shedroff

Nathan Shedroff

Nathan is a serial entrepreneur, including the new SEED digital currency: www.nathan.com & www.seedtoken.io