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Category : Thinking

Can capitalism be truly green?: Trying to reconcile profit and sustainability

The Philadelphia Inquirer

By Diane Mastrull

Going green in business might seem altruistic.

But just like health care, the environmental industry is a business sector – one of the few these recessionary days with growth potential. And those toiling in it hope not only to do some social good, but also to make money in the process.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Or is there?

A Web poll last week tried to gauge public sentiment on the greening of capitalism. When asked whether two New York marketers who promote the use of tap water and environmentally friendly bottles they sell are “greedy entrepreneurs,” “selfless environmentalists,” or “both,” respondents gave mixed reviews.
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Think Small, like Steve Jobs

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“Since founding Apple with engineer Stephen Wozniak, (Steve) Jobs has believed that small teams of top talent will outperform better-funded big ones. He has used the same approach at Pixar, where creative chief John Lasseter has led the way in creating blockbusters like Toy Story and Finding Nemo. Jobs also outsources far more selectively than his rivals. He’d rather have all his creatives working together than save a few bucks by outsourcing such work overseas.”  — Business Week

Big ideas come from small teams. Brand building is no exception to the Jobs rule. It is, at its best, a small team activity. That’s why challengers worship the garage and the cocktail napkin, not the multinational conglomeration of bricks and mortar. The team that builds the brand can be the team that creates the advertising. It includes the client and a small, elite agency team. Its mode of operation is total collaboration. Its measure is always the mark, never the compromise. The brands of the future are being built this way.