H/T @goodjournalism:Why is culture so important to a business? Here is a simple way to frame it. The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing. People can be independent and autonomous. They can be…
Mr. Feld describes startup communities as self-governing bodies of craftsmen akin to medieval guilds. The first point of his “Boulder Thesis” (named after the city in Colorado where he lives) is that entrepreneurs must lead. A second is that a startup community must be open to anyone who wants to join. But the main message is that you must “give before you get.”
For an individual, giving before getting is good business. In a fast-moving and uncertain industry he may need someone’s help some day. “It’s about building social capital,” says Hussein Kanji of Hoxton Ventures, a London venture-capital fund. More important, though, business in ecosystems is not a zero-sum game. Tom Eisenmann of Harvard Business School explains that startup colonies are platforms with strong network effects, a bit like Windows and Facebook: the more members they have and the more activity they generate, the more attractive they become.
Many people say nonprofits don’t have a bottom line the way business does. This analogy is faulty, however. Nonprofits do quite literally have a bottom line: they too have financial results and tax returns. In addition, no sophisticated person will choose to invest in a company based only on its bottom line, which is a backwards-looking figure that offers limited indication of whether a company will provide a good future return. Venture capital investors, in fact, are frequently putting money into new firms with little record of past success. Like good philanthropists, they make judgements based in part on prior performance, but also on a well-researched viewpoint about what innovations may succeed, and whether or not the leadership of the enterprise is well equipped to forge a successful path.
—Assessing Impact; Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Philanthropy Roadmap
I’m utterly committed to the idea that capitalism has to be the way we generate mass wealth in the coming century. That argument’s over. But the idea that it’s not going to be married to a social compact, that how you distribute the benefits of capitalism isn’t going to include everyone in the society to a reasonable extent, that’s astonishing to me
It [Bossa Nova] was possibly the first popular music where the themes were existential," says Veloso. "It’s part of what makes it high art. Third-world countries usually produce raw materials that are then transformed into capital by first world nations. This happens in industry, but it also happens in the arts. What was revolutionary about bossa nova is that a third-world country was creating high art on its own terms, and selling that art around the world. It remains a dream of what an ideal civilization can create.
—Caetano Veloso in “Why bossa nova is ‘the highest flowering of Brazilian culture’”