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Forum Post: Not all MBA’s are evil - please read my attempt at creating the first semi-profit corporation

Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 29, 2011, 7:47 p.m. EST by dopehut (5)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

My name is Felix Cheung, I am a 25 year old MBA student at San Jose State University. Whether you like it or not, the world will always have businesses and always have corporations. Currently, greed is built into the system. CEOs have a fiduciary duty to make as much money as legally possible. We need to think of a better structure for corporations that doesn’t naturally lead to monopolistic monsters that don’t add anything to society.

I am attempting to create the ideal corporation; a proof of concept. I want this to be a model and possible paradigm shift on the way we think of corporations. This is by no means an answer for the current problems, but I hope my company can push the limits of combining business and philanthropy.

The Business: www.dopehut.com - We sell dope stuff We provide a combined e-commerce and warehousing service for independent clothing brands. Designers send us their products and we store/pack/ship everything. We take a percentage commission off anything sold off our site. This is my 2nd company and a culmination of 4+ years of work http://www.dopehut.com/have-a-brand.html

After some personal life events, I realized I didn’t want to create some corporate monster that taxes designers. It had always been my goal as an entrepreneur to pull a Bill Gates/Buffett; make tons of money and then donate it all towards philantropy. But I realized that this is backwards thinking. If philanthropy is the original purpose of starting a company and making money, why not make it part of the company? The answer is obvious: it isn’t possible.

I am pledging to donate 50% of all annual profits from my company to charity. I am looking to make this permanent and legally binding; even if I am no longer in control of the company. This will require a different structure of corporation not possible in America. The following article suggests a system that gives voting shares to workers.

http://curiouscapitalist.blogs.time.com/2008/07/01/edward_glaeser_proposes_the_ad/

Giving Board Voting rights to employees may be the best way to structure corporations to have more than a profit incentive. I am looking to the occupy movement to suggests ideas on how I can make my vision possible and ideas to safeguard my company from eventually becoming evil. Please don’t just assume all corporations must be evil and please give practical suggestions on how to create the ideal company. This company is a sole-proprietorship owned by myself, and I am open to trying something crazy.

1) I was doing this before the occupy movement 2) I will continue this project regardless of the occupy movement
3) You might not believe what I am doing is possible, but the beauty of America is that I can try 4) This must not become a method of dodging taxes or proving that the free market solves everything 5) I’m going to need all the help I can get

11 Comments

11 Comments


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[-] 2 points by SebastianJB (18) 2 years ago

I'm not qualified to suggest anything myself, but given the dearth of comments so far, I gotta say that I really like the idea. Go for it. :)

Newman's Own might offer some precedent: http://www.newmansown.com/commongood.aspx

[-] 1 points by dopehut (5) 2 years ago

wow I never knew that was a non profit. I am proposing something different; a company that donates half of all profits, which would still allow the corporation to continuously grow and reinvest.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

Are you familiar with the "benefit corporation" concept? I think you will find it of interest.

http://www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/columns/2011/03/benefit-corporation-laws-hold-social.html

Revising incorporation law to be less sociopathic is a long term idea that appeals to me but I don't expect to see.

[-] 1 points by dopehut (5) 2 years ago

n/m this happened 2 weeks ago and i didn't even know!

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/23027

thanks for leading me to this!

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

And thank you for that link! It's great to see progress.

[-] 1 points by dopehut (5) 2 years ago

wow, looks like exactly what I'm looking for. I need this to happen in California

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

We will have won when it passes in Delaware!

It's not an area that I'm actively working on, but am trying to keep the word of mouth going so people know about it.

[-] 1 points by WatTyler (263) 2 years ago

“Not all MBA’s are evil” Not having met them all; I guess I’ll have to take your word for that. If you had posited that MBA’s need not all be evil, I could more readily agree. My difficulty lies in too many I’ve met who’ve been inculcated with an antisocial ethos, under which they not only do evil to colleagues, subordinates and customers, but take pleasure in doing so.

Business is not evil, it is good. It is we who with a disregard for our fellows practice it in a way that make its evil. We choose our tomorrows with every yesterday. AKA, don’t defile the soup, we all have to eat it.

[-] 1 points by dopehut (5) 2 years ago

I believe it is the system that leads MBAs towards greed. It is the duty of a CEO to help a company make as much money as possible. You will find that most founders of tech companies are idealistic young people usually with a much higher goal than money. Most MBAs are regular people with families. However, I'm sure the culture is much different at a school like wharton compared to SJSU

[-] 1 points by WatTyler (263) 2 years ago

“It is the duty of a CEO to help a company make as much money as possible.” Yes, but the interpretation that this must be pursued at any and all cost, excepting illegalities, (And sometimes not.) is at the crux of the problem. It is not necessarily so in the laws of all countries. When I began in business 45 years ago, there was a notion of common decency, beyond which most would not trespass, most of the time. The advent of the ubiquity of MBA programs ushered in an ethos where students are trained to disregard common decency to the degree that it is no longer even perceived to exist, and if recognized, to revile it.

[-] 1 points by dopehut (5) 2 years ago

wow, people are right. No one is actually trying to do anything. Just talk.