Platforms of Purpose

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One of the most interesting trends in Silicon Valley is not a technology but what is happening in startup culture. There is a new breed of startup being born, one uniquely driven driven by purpose and mission.

Organizations driven by mission – NGO’s, 2.0 Silicon Valley startups, even corporations with a mission statement – are not new. Yet these startups are new.  They have unique characteristics.   Originating from the values and methods of the Millennial generation – passion, technology and doing good – they will reorder our world by use of new technique.

Here are the principles:

  • Good product:  Craft product that betters our world.
  • New platforms: Use technology to reconfigure an industry or birth a new one.
  • Purpose over profit: Honor the mission as primary, and view profit as an enabler, the result of doing everything else right.

Early beacons of this movement include Etsy, Kickstarter, Patreon, GoodEggs and Science Exchange. Together as a theme, I like to call such companies, “Platforms of Purpose.” 

Many will opt for a B-Corp status, but this movement is more fundamental than one legal construct. These companies will be one of the most persuasive trends of our generation.

Here is why:

  1. Mission-driven companies are superior. The ethos of mission compels a better product. It attracts the quality employees who craft with commitment and resilience. It gives a brand depth, meaning and difference.  It draws in loyal customers.  In the long run, it makes you more profitable.
  2. Global values will shift. Meaning, passion and mission are the primary reasons Millennials work.  As our generation becomes 75% of the global work-force within the next 10 years, our values become the norm.
  3. Platforms can now solve vital problems. The world is now a network.  Deficiencies in health, education, food, transportation, goods, services, finance, entertainment, communications and politics, can now best be solved by platforms, led by founders of purpose.


The Author

Early stage investor at Index Ventures

1 Comment

  1. Hi Terrence, this is a movement that is going to be larger than any of us can imagine. I completely agree. The last two social media candidates–both 21 years old–used the exact same words to describe why they wanted to work for us “because you aren’t just a brand, because you part of a movement” and our latest customer survey said that 70% of our customers purchased our brand over the leading lingerie brand because of our social mission. It really is fascinating. Thanks for posting on the subject. (and check us out!

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