The Copiosis team operates as a startup for profit business. We know the people most attracted to our innovation tend to lean towards gift economies, nonprofit models and coops for getting things done. There are good reasons we chose the for-profit, startup model. I want to talk about those in this post.
1. It’s not about profits
I know. Many people claim that for-profit companies are inherently corrupt and prone to evil. The whole idea of “profiting” is bad. Market and news reports offer evidence supporting those opinions. You can’t swing a dead cat and not hit a building wherein someone in business is probably doing something bad in pursuit of profit.
Even so, there are examples of companies that are for-profit that are doing great things for the planet and its customers. Clearly, Copiosis and its goals are better-world creating. Our goal isn’t to become millionaires. Our goal is to make the world a better place through socioeconomic innovation. That said, we know people who take on large, leading-edge problems, tend to struggle to stay modest in their wealth. Despite many of their best efforts, wealth is often their reward for their great works. As if the universe were compensating these do-wells for their hard work and dedication to a mission that is good.
We’re not in it for the money, but our spirituality tells us the money will take care of itself.
2. It’s really about prioritizing efficiencies, momentum and resources
Like it or not, it is exceedingly challenging to get things done in the commercial world without commercial tools and commercial success. This usually means a dedicated team, good processes, ideas and money. For-profit startup models compel teams to be hyper-efficient and super-focused on managing both resources and priorities to do two things: build momentum and create revenue. Momentum begets momentum and revenue fuels momentum.
We’re serious about making Copiosis a reality. That’s why we’ve chosen the for-profit model: We have seen no better way than the startup model to make ideas – especially huge, freaking world-changing ideas – real.
3. Nonprofits tend to be inefficient
I have had the blessings to serve on boards of several nonprofit organizations. I have also volunteered for some, lead others and supported many with contributions. Invariably, non-profit organizations struggle. They often get overly focused on pursuing the next donation to the degree that “development” becomes a major function. Many nonprofit dollars go to administration, not to mission. What’s more, rarely – ever? – have I seen a nonprofit actually accomplish their mission thereby solving the problem. Most simply perpetuate their existence as their number one priority.
Nonprofit organizations generally also attract brilliant and educated individuals, which is a good thing. What they (the organizations and the people) lack are the skills and talents startup entrepreneurs possess that make momentum possible: a preference for action over talking, a penchant for courage to sell even when the product is in “beta”, a rabid focus on success, and a drive to succeed no matter what.
This post isn’t a critique of the nonprofit model. The people working on Copiosis are focused on the things that support scaling, sales (which means getting people to support the innovation) and ultimate success: which for Copiosis is overtaking the status quo economic paradigm. We are using the status quo’s advantages against it.
4. While it’s honorable to eschew mainstream methods, we don’t think it wise. The fight isn’t about honor, it’s about winning
There are movements and individuals deserving commendation for their approach. They give away their products and information for free. They argue that generating profit is supporting the status quo system. Others are organized as nonprofits as a way to show the world that they’re ethic is above the evil and oppressive capitalist meme. They strive to remain above the fray. Incorruptible.
We believe we’re in a street fight. We’re operating knuckle-to-knuckle with a system that will pull no punches and spare no tools to preserve itself and defeat us. We’ve seen how it topples nations, eliminates powerful foes and neutralizes those who speak out against it. Who would even try to go against such power? In the midst of that, we’re keeping our cool. We never meet force with force, but we know that the tools they will use are tools we must as well. We won’t use their tactics, but we will use the tools. It’s not a fair fight, but it is a fight we can win. Time after time it’s been proven the fight doesn’t have to be fair. You can still win.
5. The people on our team deserve good income for the fight
Some of our team will literally be risking their lives. They deserve income that supports their families. Passion for the cause can only take you so far if your belly’s empty and you’re losing your home. We want our team focused. Paying them keeps them that way. To pay them, we need revenue. Revenue means sales. Sales equals momentum.
We will make unreasonable demands of our team in support of the mission. While that is true, there is nothing I ask the team to do that I either haven’t already done, or will do myself. This is the mission and this is Copiosis.