When reading Let my people go surfing by Yvon Chouinard, one idea stuck with me: The 100-Year Company! The idea is simple. Pretend you are building a company that will flourish 100 years from now. Then use this mindset for your short- and mid-term decision making.
Here is Patagonia’s 100-Year mission:
“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use our business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Patagonia has even created a venture capital arm to further boost it’s ecosystem. Unlike traditional VC’s they don’t require an exit and are perfectly happy with receiving dividends. Very inspiring!
What if Exsila would become a 100-Year Company?
- DVDs and CDs will be long gone, while today they represent >50% of our business
- Books, toys, electronics, clothes, collectibles etc. will still be around
- We’d need to make enough profit to be able to reinvent ourselves regularly, to make investments to expand our business, and to be able to hire the best people
- We’d need to have a strong user community that lasts for generations
- We wouldn’t take short-term venture capital and wouldn’t sell the company
- We would build strong partnerships around us
- We would invest in a strong and long-term company culture
- We would hire the best possible team, and train our own leaders in-house
- We would build the best product possible, and invest heavily in user experience
- We would need a strong and universal mission that would last for 100 years. Something like: Promoting a lifestyle of re-using products until the end of their lifecycle, and creating the tools and ecosystems to make it easy and enjoyable.
Such long-term thinking is not only satisfying, it’s also highly motivating. What if more young companies embraced this?