16 May 2013
In my last design company which I founded in 2003, www.puku.co.nz there was a small “3% to charity” clause in our very first shareholders agreement, but in the desperate struggle to grow that business, and even survive, Puku raised a lot of capital ….. and the charity clause was quietly forgotten. Sad but true and I am ashamed to say I was party to that. So when we paid a substantial cash dividend in 2012 not a cent went to charity. It was about then I realized we had sort of lost our way ……. on several fronts:
- We were too much about squeezing money from a technology.
- We were too much about the short term gain as opposed to the long term risks and consequences for others.
- We had a culture too much based on “me me me”, and not enough on heart.
So in July 2012 I resigned from Puku Ltd, and in Jan 2013 I set up Kiwi Patents Ltd.
What a joy and a relief to nurture a culture with my heart and my mind. So in Kiwi Patents we have a couple of things:
- An enduring “10% to charity” clause, and all shareholders have signed up to this, and
- A strong purpose/ethic of giving back to society with design, even now at the beginning.
In later posts I will talk a bit about giving back by design - or “Design with Heart” as I have called it, via a technology called “Flex Mechanism”, which can be applied to emergency shelter for aid agencies, and third world housing projects.