Exit to Community

Startups Need a New Option: Exit to Community

Sept. 16, 2019

Founders create startups for all sorts of reasons. Often, the motivation is a mix between the founders’ desires to do well for themselves and to do something worthwhile for others. Dreams of greatness might figure in there too. Rarely, however, is the overriding reason to build a company people want...

Colorado Sun

How MEDLab Evaluated the Colorado Sun's Public Benefit

Sept. 5, 2019

The Colorado Sun is a new Colorado news organization seeking a business model that allows it to break free from the outside financial interests currently dominating the state’s news scene . Founded as an employee-owned company just last year, the Sun has incorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation—a categorization for...

Alphonse Desjardins (photo by Vista Stamps, used without permission)

Co-ops, from Lateral to Vertical and Back Again

July 29, 2019

Alphonse Desjardins (photo by Vista Stamps, used without permission) I have been trying for some time to put my finger on the difference—between the stories of co-op origins I read about for years while working on my book, Everything for Everyone , and what I encounter among many larger cooperatives...

Arielle Jordan

The Curafied Co-op Story: A Prequel

July 9, 2019

I’m the founder and CEO of Curafied. Curafied is a platform that helps digital content creators earn monthly income by charging a low monthly subscription to fans for their content creation and curation directly—not from “patron” donations or advertising sponsorships. We’re exploring a new direction for our startup, and I...

Katy Fetters

Building Spaces for Belonging

May 3, 2019

In recent years, I have struggled to call myself an advocate for those with cerebral palsy. I’ve struggled to understand what that means both online and offline in the disability community. What do I advocate for? Whom do I advocate for? While attempting to answer these questions, I’ve come to...

Better Together

Become Better Together with Enspiral

Feb. 20, 2019

Part of the appeal in being a worker on new gig-economy platforms like Uber or Taskrabbit is the apparent autonomy, the feeling of not having a boss. Sure, an app on your phone is your new boss, and through it a large, transnational corporation whose investors want nothing more than...

Meet KOSAKTI, a Creative New Cooperative in Indonesia

Feb. 2, 2019

The following is a lightly edited email exchange I had with Bimo Ario Suryandaru, CEO of KOSAKTI, a cooperative in Indonesia. He and his team are developing an interesting approach that I was grateful to learn about, and I thought others might be, too. See their slide deck here ...

Co-ops Need Leaders, Too

Jan. 20, 2019

I frequently encounter a notion, among those drawn to cooperatives, that a cooperative should be an amorphous, faceless collective in which old-world skills and norms of leadership can be discarded. How does this work out for them? Not well. Usually one of two entirely predictable things happens as a result—and...

Organizations as Abstractions Over the Law

Jan. 9, 2019

The law, perhaps by definition, lags behind people working for social change. I certainly found this over and over in the next-generation cooperative projects I profiled in Everything for Everyone . One co-op in Catalonia was, legally, a mishmash of entities that presented themselves as if they were a coherent...

Hypothesis: ESOPs for the Online Economy

Jan. 6, 2019

I work in a startup town, the rare kind of place where you can trip over veteran founders, with multiple exits behind then, on the sidewalk. By “exits,” I mean the end-goal of most tech-oriented startups—the moment when the startup is sold, either to a bigger company or, more rarely,...