John Robb: The Highest Good of Social Capitalism

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John Robb

QUOTE: The Summum Bonum (Highest Good) of Social Capitalism

Summum Bonum = Latin for the highest good.

The tranformation of Capitalism from an ancillary activity (as opposed to the activities of monarchs) into an engine of material and technological bounty was through the (likely accidental) introduction of an ethical/moral substrate. This ethical substrate enabled a rate of cummulative progress that went far, far beyond what was possible with a traditional Capitalism that was limited to the motivational capacity of ethically unbounded greed (i.e. the ideal type being the speculator, trader, or mercantile adventurer).

With that in mind, here’s something to think about from the founder of the extremely innovative and amazingly efficient Khan Academy:

Question: Are you interested in turning this into a business? Maybe with some VC funding?

Answer: I’ve been approached several times, but it just didn’t feel right. When I’m 80, I want to feel that I helped give access to a world-class education to billions of students around the world. Sounds a lot better than starting a business that educates some subset of the developed world that can pay $19.95/month and eventually selling it to some text book company or something. I already have a beautiful wife, a hilarious son, two hondas and a decent house. What else does a man need? With that said, if you are a social venture capitalist and are looking to deploy capital with the highest possible social return per dollar invested, we should talk. I think you’ll find that there is no more measurable, scalable and high impact way to educate the world.