Does Morality Matter in Managing Businesses?

One of the great debates of modern capitalism is whether or not morality matters in business.  This question is often posed as: “Should the purpose of corporations be directed to good?  Or instead, should corporations focus solely on maximizing shareholder returns, within what the law allows?”

The former implies that companies, like people, should be held to moral standards.  The latter implies a separation between referee and player: the state defines the playing field, while the company plays the game to the best of its abilities.

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Biology, Not Economics, Explains America’s Startup Strength

What do honeybees and startup companies have in common?

Biologist Edward O. Wilson has spent a lifetime observing ants, bees, and other social critters, and how they function together in groups. In contrast, my own profession—as a practicing venture capitalist—seems to be worlds away. Surprisingly, I have found that the ideas of Wilson, my former college professor, are profoundly more relevant to my work than those of traditional fields like economics or business.

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Recent news: National Public Radio, Forbes, combining & recombining

I recently appeared on National Public Radio’s On Point program to discuss startups, venture capital, and the future of the American economy.  Check it out here at:

My two recent postings on Forbes:

  1. The difference between public equity and venture capital:,
  2. The invisible rules that govern successful innovation ecosystems:

Also, check out this thoughtful reference to our work from Ben Farahmand recently:!/2012/09/creativity-combining-and-recombining.html