Bubblin is a Public Benefit Corporation ⚖️
- 2 minutes
- October 15, 2019
[Last update: Dec 07, 2019]
You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
— Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight Rises.
Business benevolence is a hard problem.
Entrepreneurs often start with noble intentions but with age and growth are soon lost on reason. They end up stepping on all the wrong stones only a few years down the line. A beloved startup soon turns into this vile monster, an interest group, that everyone seems to hate. Not trust.
With founders summarized to this den of “designed to exploit every opportunity to increase shareholder value” all there is left to glean is rot and dismay. Exploitive design is the most common cause of failure among later-stage for-profit companies.
The requirement of unsustainable growth punctures through the bounds of effective leadership and soon turns the good sought-after folks into these horrible monsters. And on the web, where the attention span is the main driver of economic value, this only means a few years of compressed existence.
The other option is a non-profit vehicle.
Like the Mozilla Foundation. Go all out with a hope that enough folks will donate money or contribute in some useful way. This strategy worked well for Mozilla in the last decade when the browser wars were all too hot and important, but now?–not so much today.
The correlation between being a non-profit and benevolence isn’t a given either.
Look at the NRA, for example.
They are like Mozilla Foundation, a 501(c)(4) non-profit-but to what end?
In my opinion, being good or doing what is right, especially during hard times is completely a personal choice. Integrity stems from within and it will always be the critical ingredient of the way a company thinks and takes action. Type of set-up may have some impact on the surface, on optics, but it is the nature of the founders and their team, their collective karma, that will determine the long term personality and benevolence of a business.
Setting up Bubblin Superbooks
I am glad that we are documenting these thoughts as we go about building Bubblin Superbooks. Sonica and I have decided to register a PBC type of Delaware Corp with the following statement of purpose:
…to produce universally accessible books for consumers on the web by designing, developing and distributing book making software tools that deepen the effectiveness of the Internet and books together as a single unified resource.
Super thankful to the folks at Clerky for helping us on setting up a PBC. A hearty thanks to Greg Newby of Gutenberg and Varun Singh of 8x8 for helping me on these designs of entity formation early.
I am hopeful that Bubblin will grow up into a company that does good for the humanity. The journey has only begun, but the track is set with this record in public domain.
P.S.: It is likely that some of you viewed this article on your desktop or mobile. If you did that, I recommend you bookmarking us on the iPad! :-)