There is a significant issue among participants in today’s race for profit+purpose in business. It is our belief that profit alone is impossible due to human interest. Some value beyond the financial component is being implied. Many call it ‘soft’ of secondary to financial returns, and this is to the harm of those returns. Whether you are Warren Buffet or John Doerr, you are measuring this internal tension between what the intent and interest is over time.
We have developed a simple framing tool to gauge this individually. Why? because a firm, an investment, an exchange even is at its core agreement over some value–the ultimate venn diagram! We layer this on a 3-part axis to understand the base intensity of the mission (x-axis), the intended return of financial capital (y-axis), and its expected period or time horizon to be realized (z-axis). These 3 elements plot the initial point of an operator/founder. Over time they should be re-plotted to see the progression of commitment to either component.
For the individual investor, plotting their baseline point provides a terminal value of alignment to the operator, or potential investment. If it falls outside of the area of likely alignment, there is less or little interest to continue exploring possible investment unless operator or business model changes.
We find that this can be useful to describing an overlooked area of investing in and operation of a venture. The intensity of mission desired affects the level of interest in partnering or investment.