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Purpose-driven Business: Leading from Purpose & Core Values


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A talk about one entrepreneurs rediscovery of his successful business as a social/purpose-driven business, how to lead a company from purpose & core values, and how business can be about making the world better. Lots of domain examples.

Published in: Business, Technology

Purpose-driven Business: Leading from Purpose & Core Values

  1. 1. Purpose-driven business Doing good while doing wellBy: Floyd Marinescu, CEO of C4Media, producer of & QConPresented at: Ryerson University, March 23rd, 2012
  2. 2. #$%ish people say about business• You have to step over other people to get ahead• You cant be soft or trusting to manage people• Businesses ultimately is about greed and money• You have to be selfish to run a business• The bottom line rules over everything else• A business will always put profit above everything else• Profit motive always leads to exploitation
  3. 3. AgendaMy storyFrom a passion to a ball and chain to a passion again!Social/purpose-driven Business ExamplesFind your purpose and turn it into a business!
  4. 4. News & Community Site• 600,000 unique visitors/month• Published in 4 languages
  5. 5. QCon conferences• 500-1200 attendees each•7 cities worldwide
  6. 6. Ancient Historyncient History• In 2nd year university, started in 2000• Symposium conference in 2003• Graduated in 2002• 2004 we end up at TechTarget• 2005 quit super high paying job to start InfoQ• Launches May 2006• Vision realized around 2007
  7. 7. From passion to “ball and chain”• 2005: Started C4Media in some ways to prove to myself that good companies can win o Tired of media companies with no community spirit, driven by sales culture o Tired of all the negative stereo types I was raised with and saw all around• 2007: Once vision was achieved, now what? o Lacking skills to run a medium sized company o Self-imposed pressure to be the type of CEO I thought the world expected – about growth for growth’s sake/money
  8. 8. From: Floyd Marinescu Sent: Monday, January 14, 2008 To: <internal list> Subject: InfoQ/C4Media: Why were here, where were going... A community backed by a company thatwould recognize that it’s well being dependedon how well it served its readers, and not theother way around. A company that judges itselfby the scale of its positive impact on itscommunity as well as revenue growth...
  9. 9. 2007-2010• Twice tried to hire a GM/CEO but failed• Couldn’t sell the business either• Liked our work but also felt it a burden• Felt a bit desperate around summer of 2010 after a CEO candidate backed out
  10. 10. 2011: And back to PASSION again!• Learned tactics for growth o Standups, quarterly & annual top 5 objectives, metrics, one page plan, objectives dashboards, yammer• Peer Support o Joined Entrepreneur organization o Began attending entrepreneur conferences• Found our purpose• Learned business can be about purpose, culture empowerment, and core values
  11. 11. C4Media’s Purpose To facilitate the spread of knowledge andinnovation in enterprise software development
  12. 12. How we fulfill our purpose• Organized as a practitioner-driven community-service• Massively outspending competition in content and quality• All content is free• Filming and publishing dozens of hours of community conference video for free• Conferences with over 100 speakers• Investing long term in international markets• Investment in people and staff
  13. 13. Purposes Around the World• Apple: To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind• Nike: To experience the emotion of competition, winning, and crushing competitors• Sony: To experience the joy of advancing and applying technology for the benefit of the public• Wal-Mart: To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same things as rich people• Walt Disney: To make people happy
  14. 14. Communicating’s “About page” before our purpose:After: Software is changing the world; is an online news / community site that aims to empower software developers by facilitating the spread of knowledge and innovation in the enterprise software development community; to achieve this, InfoQ is organized as a practitioner-driven community service providing news, articles…
  15. 15. Communicating purposeDescription of a QCon, BEFORE: QCon London is the sixth annual London enterprise software development conference designed for developers, team leads, architects and project management is back! There is no other event in the UK with similar opportunities for learning, networking, and tracking innovation occurring in the Java, .NET, Html5, Mobile , Agile, and Architecture communities.QCon AFTER discovering our purpose: Software is changing the world; QCon aims to empower software development by facilitating the spread of knowledge and innovation in the enterprise software development community; to achieve this, QCon is organized as a practitioner-driven conference designed for people influencing innovation in their teams: team leads, architects, project managers, engineering directors.
  16. 16. Using Purpose to Drive StrategyOld-school business: Social Business:Profit drives ideas Ideas drive profitHow do we make What can we disruptmore money next or create and whichyear? idea is the most monetizable?
  17. 17. Dan Pink: What really motivesemployees• Purpose• Mastery• Autonomy
  18. 18. C4Media’s Core ValuesTransparency – Be transparent about process, status, expectations, yourfeelings, successes and failures.Integrity - We do what we say, and we say what we do. We publish content ourreaders can trust. We fulfill our commitments to readers, customers, and eachother. We act in the best interests of the company.Mastery- We never stop learning and we strive to continual improve our selves,our processes, and our company.Service – The joy of serving others, we go above and beyond for our customers,for our readers, and for each other.Accountability - Take ownership for results. Well do what it takes to get thingsdone and are very serious about our commitmentsResourcefulness - Find creative solutions to get things done, have a “can do”attitude.
  19. 19. • In 1990, Bruce Poon Tip founded G Adventures with nothing more than two credit cards and a burning desire to create an authentic, sustainable travel experience like nothing the world had ever seen.• Now serves over 100,000 travelers a year Bruce refers to G-adventures impact on the world: • facilitating wealth redistribution from the rich to poor • creating sustainable jobs, connecting people with authentic
  20. 20. 6 Core Values of• Safety• Positivity and passion• Appreciative• Fun and friendly• To align customer and corporate interests• Honesty and openness
  21. 21. • In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet.• He created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need.• One for One.
  22. 22. Different Ways of Thinking About business
  23. 23. Business as the ultimate social experience• Comment I made in 2004: “What’s the point putting so much energy into this business, I want to do something that has meaning in the world”• My bosses’ response: o Starting a business is the “greatest social experience”
  24. 24. CEO as Community Experience Officer?Concerned with the experience of the:• Employee community• Customer community• Investor communityAlignment of strategy to our purposeServant LeadershipManages culture, motivation, purpose
  25. 25. Be the Change You Want toSee in the World• A great reason to start a business• Great management philosophy• Grow leaders by holding your team to the possibilities they can become• Recent example: o Just hired someone, should they go to the company meeting in Spain next month? Be the change approach old-school approach Yes, because the change I am cultivating is No, because they might not succeed so why of them being successful in the company so waste the money. Wait until they prove they must come and meet everyone. themselves. Themes: trust, abundance, becoming Themes: mistrust, fear, scarcity
  26. 26. Myths about social businesses• Are management softies?• Does it mean being naïve or overpaying?• Do you have to be saving whales and feeding the hungry? o Zappos sells shoes, but is the most famous culture example and they sold for $1B to Amazon o “We decided to focus on customer service,” Hsieh says of Zappos, “which is all about making customers happy and then over time we put more and more emphasis on company culture, which is all about making employees happy.”
  27. 27. Entrepreneurs are artists— theirbusiness is the canvas – CEO of Freshbooks• Entrepreneurs create something out of nothing• Focus is a key to success• Be true to your vision• Starving artists…• Style of their own• CEO Mike Dermot made no money for 2 years, but had a sincere desire to make billing and invoicing easier for small business
  28. 28. Rod Johnson and • Created Spring: free open source software that competed with $20K/license software sold by billion dollar companies • Sold SpringSource in 2008 for hundreds of millions of dollars“I think the biggest thing that keeps you going isconviction, the fact that you believe that what youare doing is not only eventually going to hopefullybe profitable, but is actually worth doing, that it’ssomething that is really going in some littleway to make the world a better place.” - RodJohnson
  29. 29. Companies That Are GrowingRapidly While Doing Good• 6 REVOLUTION FOODS o serves healthy school lunches to kids o reached $50 million in revenue in 2011--increasing its revenue by 100 times over the past five years• SUSTAINABLE HARVEST o A coffee importer that emphasizes transparency across the entire supply chain,Sustainable Harvest reached $76 million in revenue in 2011 (a rate of five times growth in the last five years). It has also brought over $200 million to rural coffee farming communities over the past 15 years• SUNGEVITY o Sungevity is part of a growing group of companies--including SunRun and SolarCity--that lease solar systems to customers, instead of forcing them to purchase the often-quite-expensive panels. In the past year, the company has tripled its staff to 300 employees. It has also installed solar panels on over 3,500 homes (generating 8,500 kW of power) since its founding in 2007.
  30. 30. Emerging trends• 1% companies o donate 1% of profits• Not just for profit• 1 for 1 model – Toms Shoes o Buy one, one gets donated• Triple bottom line companies o "People, planet and profit"• Social business o have a social rather than financial objective, investors make no profit• 1-1-1 model – o 1% Equity - 1% Time - 1% Product
  31. 31. Mark Zuckerberg"you need to do stuff you are passionate about.The companies that work are the ones thatpeople really care about and have a vision forthe world so do something you like...…a company is the best vehicle inthe world to align a lot of people toachieve a mission"