What is the objective of a business?
To make profit, you may say. Of course. No successful business runs at a loss.
But how much profit? Now, that’s the question. And if you say “as much as possible”, then I may just disagree with you.
The startup craze has brought about new terminology, the most thrown around being UNICORN. A billion dollar business. But a billion dollars of what? Profit? Assets? Nah. A billion dollars of valuation.
Becoming a unicorn is seen as the peak of success in the startup world. Never mind that most of the unicorns are very very (and very) far away from making one cent of profit.
Every startup starts with an aim to change the world. Sadly, a lot of them get funded to a point after which they start to change themselves.
A leading edutech platform is an example. I don’t think the founder started with bad intentions – I think he genuinely wanted to make a difference in the way children grasp concepts. Now, it’s become all about having kiosks in malls where sales people with unreal targets corner hapless parents in the unending race to maximize numbers.
I had a conversation with a colleague of mine today, and we deliberated on the idea of coming up with a product that caters to the ones who really need it, but cannot afford it, or to whom no one caters to (not a profitable segment, they say).
I told him that we should go ahead anyway, since a business is all about making a difference – to the lives of it’s clients, its employees and it’s stakeholders. That it makes money is a byproduct of the service/product offered -not the reason for offering it in the first place.
And experience says that it will make money – because you have your heart in the right place.
Think about it.
See you tomorrow!