How businesses can fix the world — History, Philosophy, & Examples — Part 1

Start with others. <-period

When my family 1st started on the entrepreneurial journey of starting Incolo (formerly CrowdfundNC) in 2019, our company advisors, my wife Elizabeth, my parents, and experiences at Impact Makers (both the failures and successes) provided a tremendous framework and sounding board. In addition, I kept hearing the words in my head, everyone is created with essential worth and intrinsic value.

Operating in one’s “Zone of Genius”

Thank you to Brandon from our team for the term “Zone of Genius.” It’s the area where an individual, when truly challenged, operates at their highest level of aptitude (aka ‘calling’) which stirs innovation & focus for the benefit of the individual and others.

  • family-life events shift what is most important,
  • management has ‘lost their way,’ or
  • the business simply has evolved to a point where market demands require some individuals to move on to fulfill their calling.

Founders’ foundation to honor people & community

In my opinion, in business, founder’s/leadership’s #1 calling is to create a foundation that protects each individual’s ‘calling’ and therefore impact on society. It starts with founders looking at their current & future potential cap table (who owns their company) and governance docs to make sure all the legal, tax, and other transactional frameworks formed upon tons of diverse philosophically informed “grayness” are in check. They should

  • Are operations structured to help individuals operate in their “Zone of Genius” a majority of the time?
  • Has the founder/founding team looked at their cap table with an eye on people other than themselves? Are they willing to open up authentically and be vulnerable to others?
  • Has the compensation plan (even if there are limited funds) been looked at within the framework of the individual short-term and long-term potential returns? Who shares in those?

What about Return on Investment (ROI/RO$)?

…or more broadly stated, Return on Equity Rights.

  • It tends to benefit the few who know how to ‘play the game’ and then are protected by the law to do so. The C-Corp structure (aka “Corporation”) was invented in the 1970’s and accelerated the growth of Friedman’s philosophy.
  • Rules created in the 1930’s and continuing until 2016 made it virtually illegal to invest in the potential returns a private company created unless one was already wealthy (aka. ‘accredited investor’ — roughly 7% of the population meet this criteria and even then, most people who qualify as ‘accredited’ didn’t even know there was a term for their wealth status).

Using capitalism to rebuild communities

In our institutionalized economy, cap tables dictate who shares in generational wealth building.

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