Money follows meaning

June 25, 2008 at 2:52 pm 2 comments

Penned by Nick

I stumbled across a 2004 talk at Stanford by Guy Kawasaki, contrarian entrepreneur writ large, who espoused his views on the importance of making meaning first, and then trusting money will follow, as opposed to working in the opposite direction.

What struck me about Guy’s advice was how quickly this lesson has been forgotten as Web 2.0 has exploded. Indeed, my sense is that many are now beginning to wonder, what’s the real value of Facebook or Myspace, besides advertising revenue, when the communit of friends is seemingly so shallow and far removed from everyday life?

The thought that gives me heart right now is the reality that social and environmental entrepreneurs are actually embracing Guy’s lesson, and in the process, creating value that extends beyond an IPO. With some calling for war crimes trials of all CEO’s (a bit extreme, admittedly), there is, especially now in the US, a pressing need to make meaning out of an increasingly confused corporate system, and in the process, begin to be the change we all want to see in the world.


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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nidk (  |  June 30, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Totally agree with you & Guy on this one – and it extends beyond starting up companies, into work itself.

    I am amazed at how many people who work do so as a form of paid drudgery (Gallup research indicated only 18% of people working in companies were doing what they do best every day).

    Meaning is central to any activity – and hopefully that’s also where talent comes in!


  • 2. cocosmooth  |  July 1, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Couldn’t agree with you, Guy, and Nick more!

    Meaning, truth, and authenticity are for the most part hidden but of incalculable value in an e-world of multiplicity and hyper-connection.

    I for one am not part of facebook or any networking sites for practical (I can’t manage one inbox let alone another) but also more important philosophical reasons, of the type you have all raised.

    That said, I do respect your firm’s blog. It seems to be in the true spirit of blogging, rather than just another corporate fishing expedition!


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