Tokyo Cheapo

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The default measure of a business’ success is its balance sheet. However, in this episode we invite you to “move the goal posts” slightly away from profit, and more towards usefulness. The idea of doing something that’s not just profitable, but useful and helpful, i.e. not just making a quick buck, or selling crap to people that don’t need it.

We don’t require vast quantities of cash to be happy. Moreover studies suggest that once you reach a certain (surprisingly low) level of financial flexibility, there are rapidly diminishing returns from more and more money. So as an entrepreneur, instead of being purely focused on financial goals, we suggest also looking at how your work is impacting and helping the world around you, a more long-term and sustainable pursuit without the downsides of “maximising shareholder value”.

  • Should you start with social entrepreneurship or make some money first, then pursue more “noble” goals?
  • There’s no objective (moral) right or wrong, but there are consequences
  • Why are we so fixated on numbers? (hint: it’s easier to graph profit than usefulness)
  • Discretionary time as a new metric

Further Reading:
Small Giants – “companies that chose to be great instead of big”

Are you already rich?
If trying to create a helpful business is too much effort, but you’re already sitting on a load of cash and feel guilty, then through some money at a one of the more efficient charities out there – consider it a economical version of carbon offsetting :)

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