Why start a new business?

Depending on how I count, I’ve started either 3 or 4 businesses during my life; the difference between 3 and 4 lies with the window washing company I started at age 15. Westhampton Window Washing was a summer job, but unlike most of my friends, I decided to work for myself. I usually don’t count it as a business I’ve started, but perhaps I should. When I...

Err In The Direction of Kindness

George Saunders delivered the commencement speech at Syracuse University for the class of 2013. Here’s an excerpt. You can find the complete speech at: http://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/31/george-saunderss-advice-to-graduates/ “Your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up. Speed it along. Start right now....

The Charitable-Industrial Complex

Several months ago I posted about “The Poverty-Creation Industry, so I was fascinated to see Peter Buffett’s (son of Warren Buffett) New York Times Op-Ed on the “The Charitable-Industrial Complex.” Peter starts by discussing the unintended consequences of well intentioned people trying to solve complex problems with out an understanding of the complex...

The Secret to a Successful Business: Radical Transparency

I talk a lot about the concept of “radical transparency”  – in fact, it was one of the guiding principles in creating Seventh Generation – so I’d like to delve a little deeper into what exactly it means and how it can be a powerful tool to transform ordinary businesses into more responsible, conscious and profitable entities. I’ve written...

The Poverty Creation Industry

Recently Joe Brewer, Alnoor Ladha and Martin Kirk had the audacity to describe what they call the “Poverty Creation Industry.”  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15726-its-time-to-shine-a-light-on-the-poverty-creation-industry They write that, “Poverty is human-made. It is created – knowingly and with scientific efficiency – by a vastly...

Making Way for Worker Co-ops

Guest post by Taliesin Nyala, a co-owner of the Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA), a worker-owned cooperative based in Massachusetts created to democratize education and the economy while furthering the cooperative movement. TESA designs curriculum and resources for learning, such as Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives. Wall Street is booming while...

Business profits are an illusion, based on a slight of hand.

If business stopped externalizing its costs it would stop making money! I’m somewhat obsessed with the concept of “externalities” and its companion concept developed to capture them, “full cost accounting.” “Externalities” are the costs and negative impacts imposed by businesses onto society and the environment that are not paid for by those...

In Defense of Millennials

This is a guest blog post written by Nassy Avramidis, Junior Partner at Jeffrey Hollender Partners The other day, I threw a paper cup in the trash. There was no recycling bin in the vicinity and I was in a rush. Normally I am pretty conscious of the environment, but there are times when I slip up, and the guilt can be somewhat overwhelming. A lot of us,...

HSBC Funds Suspected Terrorists and Gets a Slap on the Wrist

Have you heard about HSBC’s terrorist funding scandals? How about the many banks involved in LIBOR rigging, essentially playing games our money? If you’re an ordinary person, hearing these things was shocking.  But let me be clear: it’s not shocking that banks have shady deals, what is shocking is the extent to which they were able to commit these crimes...

Corporate America: Killing us slowly

Recently the Michael Moss in a New York Times Magazine cover story on “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food” examined how food companies have known for decades that salt, sugar and fat are not good for us in the quantities American’s consume them, and yet every year they convince most of us to ingest about twice the recommended amount...