Last week, business media and social were abuzz with conversation about the declaration from the Business Roundtable that corporations, rather than continuing to champion increasing shareholder value above all else, should perhaps consider creating “an economy that serves all Americans.”
It’s happened before. Many of us lived it. And if my reading list this weekend is any indication, it’s happening again. Like the days of the dotcom boom and bust, folks seem to be growing increasingly tired of the Silicon Valley way of doing business. And they’re getting fairly vocal about that disdain.
As someone who works to build community—and is, at best, mediocre at it—I’ve been super impressed, inspired, and astounded by the Zebra Movement, as one of those striking a chord movements that provides a space to collaborate with a likeminded community. And now, to continue their momentum, they’ve partnered with Institute for the Future.
I know I can be a bit of a broken record, what with my rosy outlook on the Portland startup community and all. So I always like to reference others who recognize the awesome people we have in our midst. Like when the folks behind the Zebra movement are recognized among the 30 women engaged in world changing efforts.
You’re busy. You’re building a company. You’re improving community. You’re doing things that have impact. But unfortunately, more often than not, that means that time and money are in short supply. So when you are presented with an amazing opportunity to spend some time among your peers but the price point or time commitment are difficult to defend, it’s totally understandable. And the folks at DazzleCon clearly get that.
Not so long ago, banks were a viable means of financing business. But as the terms of that financing became more inaccessible and onerous, we saw new models arise. One of those models was venture capital. Now—thanks in part to efforts like the Zebra movement—the VC model is beginning to show its own imperfections, inadequacies, and inaccessibility. So it only makes sense that folks would start thinking about new models for financing. One of those folks is Portland’s Luke Kanies, founder and former CEO of Puppet.
Every once in a while, there is a moment. Where something strikes a chord. When it taps into an unspoken need. Crystallizes a not-yet-codified opinion. Becomes a rallying cry. And rarely—but magnificently—sometimes that moment gains momentum of its own. And becomes a movement.
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being stuck in a room where I’m on a panel talking about Portland as a city and community, you’ve probably heard me mention Portland’s “ridiculous decisions.” And bemoaning the fact that we don’t seem to be making those decisions as often—or as boldly—as we did in the past.