A collection of thoughts, tips and ideas on redefining business and changing the world.
Are We In The Post Social Media Era?
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Entrepreneurs for a Bold New World
We’re on the brink of a new world, and we believe these are some of the entrepreneurs who will usher us into it.
Do Consumers Really Care?
20 Social Entrepreneurs To Watch In 2020
While we seem to be hurtling towards more uncertainty, we see hope for the future in these entrepreneurs and members of COMMON. They’re stepping up, kicking ass and taking names, and rewriting the rules of business in fields as diverse as filmmaking to software and app development to nonprofits.
A $58 Billion COMMON Insurgency
Did COMMON make a difference in the last decade? COMMON CEO, Mark Eckhardt leans in and asks hard questions in pursuit of an answer. What he discovers will blow you away.
15 Podcasts Social Entrepreneurs Need in Their Ears
Our favorite social business podcasts that will get you hooked.
COMMON Report 6 Essentials Download
The 3rd Third
Have you seen—I mean really seen—the video on the front page of COMMON’s website? In it, co-founder Alex Bogusky explains our vision for social entrepreneurship and the original design of COMMON.
Social Entrepreneurs Need To Compete—Fiercely.
With the effects of the climate crisis becoming more acute, mounting challenges to social justice and economic disparities leading us towards another big collapse, social entrepreneurs need to compete, and we need to compete fiercely.
Music, Satire, and Selling Out
How Boy Toy Star is Confronting the Divisiveness of American Culture in the Most Entertaining Way Possible
A Top Negotiator’s Formula Every Social Entrepreneur Needs To Know
4 Little Known Techniques To Get What You Need From Every Deal.
Feel Good, Do Good: How Eco-Luxury Towels Provide Access to Clean Water
I worked in the non-profit, community development, and social innovation sectors for over a decade, and a lot of my background is in behavior change communication initiatives. So when I decided to join my mom’s company after spending years in the nonprofit sector, I knew we had the potential to combine our strengths for social good. By leveraging her success with my non-profit experience, we have created a way for consumers to indulge while also giving back through the Madison Collection, which makes luxury bathrobes and towels.
How To Unlock Your Value Proposition And Create A Powerful Elevator Pitch.
Misinterpreting enthusiasm for buy-in is easier than you’d think, especially when your business is just getting started. If you consistently receive big applause when you pitch your business and then nothing comes out of that, it’s likely that your value proposition is one-sided.
The Thrill Of Zen Working
I faced a dilemma and made a choice that has now come full circle in my new consultancy, Zen at Work. The dilemma was finding a way to simultaneously honor my desire to explore my sacred nature while also discovering the sacred purpose of my work in the world.
The Common Community at a Glance
In June of 2016 we launched our community and accelerator program on the belief that you shouldn’t have to give up equity or 3 months of your life in order to accelerate your business. Eight months in, we are more excited about the future of entrepreneurialism than ever before. And we are just getting started.
How Tapping into Science via Children’s Media can Save the Planet
Beyond Extraction, Creating Beautiful Businesses
"It's my natural habit to ask questions, investigate, figure things out. I spent years doing very cerebral work, but I never felt fully mentally engaged despite the demanding nature of my roles. Then, when the economy collapsed, I actually had time to think" - Marius Hogendoorn
How A Former Telecom Exec Is Building An Education Army.
"It was becoming increasingly difficult to get motivated by money alone, and I had become a chief operating officer of a global company; I couldn’t see what upward career move would make it better." - Rama Chakaki
FROM SOUP TO INDEPENDENCE
I grew up on the periphery in many ways, and as a result I have always looked at existing systems with the outsider’s eye for change and critique. I was born into a small Catholic town as one of the first artificially inseminated babies in the United States.
Forbes Article on Common
Unlike the Silicon Valley startups that are designed to scale quick and exit just as fast, there is a unique group of entrepreneurs who are disrupting capitalism in order to repair society. Co-Founded by Alex Bogusky, “the Steve Jobs of the Advertising world”, COMMON was built on a big vision and a powerful set of values.
Overcoming Adversity Through Human Connection
"It was during my stay at a shelter that I began to visualize a program that would help give victims of domestic abuse better resources; transitioning them back into society as a powerful force." - Jeni Jones
Meet Common’s CEO
There are many exciting things in the works at COMMON. One of them happens to be my transition from Co-CEO to sole CEO. In reflecting on the opportunity, I realized that in spite of being part of the brand from the beginning, I have mostly operated in the background, and out of sight from the majority of our community.
Improving the Lives of Workers in South Africa
South Africa is one of the world’s largest wine producers, yet most of the consumers in the Western world are completely unaware of its existence.
How South Africa Inspired a New Venture
We got really enamored with the idea of a complete and more equitable supply chain, and so we focused on delivering the resources of our business back to improving the lives of the laborers on South Africa’s wine farms.
How Pursuing Understanding Inspired A New Business.
"I believe so strongly in understanding the perspectives of unhoused and impoverished people that I spent 24 hours begging on the streets of urban Honolulu, before sleeping in a gutter that night." - Corbin Thomander
"I’m one of the few Americans to have lived in the most dangerous place on earth. Seeing Somali children my age struggling with polio, starving and begging, dying of diseases preventable to those of us wealthy enough for vaccinations, was a profoundly transformative experience in my young life. - LORI PRECIOUS, FOUNDER, ETHIO SKY
F#$% You, Don’t Tell Me What To Do
I left formal Zen training years ago, but I’m still continuing the process of discovering and eliminating self-sabotage. As the CEO of COMMON, it’s my responsibility to help entrepreneurs accelerate- so tackling the mental blocks that can impede progress comes with the territory.
Shopping to Build Communities
"I realized I was tired of the process wherein someone must lose in order for someone else to win. Helping others has always made me the happiest, but I had spent the last few decades being blinded by greed." - Andrew Weaver
Designing Work in Complex Times
An interview with Bud Caddell, Foudner of NOBL, about the future of work and getting to the simplicity on the other side of complexity.
"From the earliest age, I’ve always enjoyed turning new ideas into real things. As I matured, I grew from building LEGO creations to building widgets to building companies."- Holden Bonwit
It was early evening after a tropically hot and moist day in Amsterdam. My family and I had just finished dinner. I grabbed a coffee, and opened my laptop to cut down on the post-holiday email avalanche.
The Filmmaker Turned Anti-Poacher
"The more I learned about human/animal conflict, the more complicated I understood the issue to be. Simply put, greed and poverty create limitless supply and demand, and both root problems must be addressed if we are to truly end the poaching epidemic."- KERRY DAVID, FOUNDER, OVER & ABOVE AFRICA
Zero to One
In the year since its initial publication, Peter Thiel’s Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future has come to be regarded as a modern classic in business manuals.
What Big Cities Can Learn From Small Towns
Recently COMMON’s CEO, Mark Eckhardt had a chance to speak with designer Marc O’Brien about his experience working in small towns and rural areas throughout the US. Here’s what Marc had to share when asked about his travels, and what he learned by immersing himself in areas where resources are in scarce supply.
We are in the Midst of an Evolution
Whether you see it as the unhinging of society, or as a step towards the restoration of it, a new narrative is being written. One that will be edited and re-edited over and over again until enough of us are, if even just momentarily, satisfied and put down our pens.
"Through the course of my work, I began to clearly understand the underlying need within each individual regardless of background, experience, or moment in life, to gain perspective on their lives regularly." - João Perre Viana
Trump’s Climate Decision is Actually OK!
"Like many of you, I was deeply saddened when our President pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. While I wasn’t surprised, it still felt like a punch to the gut. His rationale was ill-informed and foolish." - ROB SCHUHAM, CO-FOUNDER, COMMON-
The Slowest Man
At a time when the business world places speed, agility, and responsiveness at the heart of success, it’s not hard for any business, let alone one that is committed to doing good, to feel that they are already behind.
“The Lawnmower Didn’t Stand A Chance.”
Mechanical surgery by a 12 year old never has a pretty outcome, but after a few hours, there I was — surrounded by a pile of wheels and parts and holding in my hand the grand prize of my efforts: a shiny piston attached to a connecting rod. To me, the investigation was complete. I had found the heart of the machine.
A Photographer’s Eye is Changing the Social System
"I almost didn’t graduate from high school because of the resentment and anger that built up after I learned that misfiled and poorly interpreted behavioral assessment reports had misinformed my teachers since I was 8 years old." - MICHELE DEANE, FOUNDER, ELEVEIGHT
Surfing the Waves of Social Entrepreneurship
"When I look back on my investing history with a glass-half-empty mentality, it’s riddled with questionable bets and company failures. Some companies with the most noble intentions and missions — including the first organic skin care company, a ‘buy-one-give-one’ condom company, a sustainable couture brand and others — have wreaked havoc on my wallet." - ROB SCHUHAM, CO-FOUNDER, COMMON AND 17
7 Ways To Rapidly Scale A Social Business
For the past year I’ve had a front seat to Brandzooka’s rocket-like growth. It’s been nothing but incredible to witness, and I am honored that they are members of our community. As I write, Co-Founder and CEO Aquiles La Grave is sitting with inquiries about M&A’s from two publicly traded companies.
Saving Jobs by Bringing Tech and Builders Together
I used to think that personality tests were total horse****. Along with a lot of other things in my life, that’s changed dramatically since 2014.
Rethinking The Poverty Loo
Watching my parents weigh the pros and cons of spending money on petrol versus food, or turning over the money I earned from doing neighborhood chores to contribute to the family income, me made realize just how threatening poverty can be.
Redefining Capitalism Podcast
Check out Lift Ecomony's interview with our CEO, Mark Eckhardt, where he talks about accelerating social businesses, being a Zen Priest, and "Redefining Capitalism With Something in COMMON".