Max Marmer, founder of the Startup Genome, wrote a great article in HBR on what he calls transformational entrepreneurship.
Transformational Entrepreneurs earn their name by creating innovative solutions to the world’s biggest problems that are scalable, sustainable and systematic.
He is concerned with the high failure rate of startups, as am I. He also notes the lack of sustainability and complexity for many new social ventures.
From the piece:
Yet although Silicon Valley has mastered the art of building technology companies, it hasn’t yet developed the moral compass to figure out which companies are worth building. There are simply too many talented entrepreneurs today building meaningless ventures.
The emergence of “Social Entrepreneurship” attempts to fill this moral void by refocusing energy and resources on important social problems. While Social Entrepreneurship is promising, its impact has been limited to date as its solutions are rarely devised with scalability and true economic sustainability in mind. Furthermore, while the Social Entrepreneurship community is full of well-intentioned people, many of their solutions fail to take into account the complexities of the problems they are attempting to solve, which can lead to doing more harm than good. This backfiring is far too common because the community’s propensity to descend into self-congratulation starves the founders of the critical feedback required for them to find the holes in their vision. The standards must be set higher than good intentions.
The Startup Genome is working to address these issues.