If you want to change your world in a way that is sustainable, independently verifiable and quantifiable, the best vehicle to do so is through a business. We have created a world where good people who want to make a positive difference in their world cower away at nonprofits. Leaving the most greedy and vile of us to run proper companies. However, the most powerful forces that shape our society are companies. Every day, businesses make money by catering for our needs. If you want to steer the world towards a better future, build a proper business around your mission.
It is very easy to see the appeal of nonprofits for “holy” people that like to see themselves as uncorrupted by the ways of the world. It confers this feeling of piety. But you soon realize that real world impact is limited. Decades after operations of such nonprofits, the problems they set out to eradicate remain unsolved. Naval Ravikant once commented on this, “I was on the board of a foundation and I found it very disillusioning because what I learned was that no matter what the foundation did, they would declare victory. Every project was victorious. Every project was a success. There were a lot of high-sounding mission statements and vision statements, a lot of congratulations, a lot of nice dinners—but nothing ever got done.”
Companies are the backbone of society. Nonprofits have failed to change the world because there is no objective feedback about the impact of their work. The biggest changes in the world today are driven by for-profit companies. Every aspect of our daily life is served by companies and they have a strong grip on society. Business is simply a vehicle, the destination is up to the driver. When good people build a business around their mission, the world becomes a better place. If we want to steer our world in a way that’s meaningful, we must control the companies that serve our world.