In fact, the world around you will bend to meet your values whether you’re even aware of it. And that includes any companies you run.
The world does extend beyond your knowledge of it.
Otherwise, it only takes one person to short-circuit that value to set the ball rolling on a shift towards lower standards.
You need to run a super tight ship, which I think is not as hard as it sounds until you put VC, investment, and shareholders into the mix. You at least need to be super diligent about those people you bring in who are not accountable to you, but you are accountable to them.
Basecamp is an amazing example of a company that has succeeded without compromising itself a jot. They do all kinds of things that we might consider unthinkable because they won’t budge on their values. Probably the one company I’d drop everything to work for if I had a chance at getting through their hiring process.
This tends to further degrade as new employees are added and any whatever original vision was going on continues to degrade over time. Especially as both the times and even business models change.
Nonsense - this is a solved problem. You simply need to remove the ability to make defined classes of bad decisions by binding the company's future decision making capability with a Ulysses pact. Cory Doctorow gave a good talk about using Ulysses pacts in the tech industry.
>> It's not that you don't want to lose weight when you raid your Oreo stash in the middle of the night. It's just that the net present value of tomorrow's weight loss is hyperbolically discounted in favor of the carbohydrate rush of tonight's Oreos. If you're serious about not eating a bag of Oreos your best bet is to not have a bag of Oreos to eat. Not because you're weak willed. Because you're a grown up. And once you become a grown up, you start to understand that there will be tired and desperate moments in your future and the most strong-willed thing you can do is use the willpower that you have now when you're strong, at your best moment, to be the best that you can be later when you're at your weakest moment.
>> The answer to not getting pressure from your bosses, your stakeholders, your investors or your members, to do the wrong thing later, when times are hard, is to take options off the table right now.
This shouldn't be a problem for anybody that actually wants the moral outcome. Why would any=body insist on preserving the option to behave badly in the future unless that bad behavior is part of their future plans?
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlN6wjeCJYk (transcript: https://d3j.de/2016/06/24/cory-doctorow-how-stupid-laws-and-... )
Companies lack unified decision making. The founders can’t predict every moral choice any employee will make. And for any large organization the CEO has no idea what most of the day to day decisions involve.
Consider something as simple as an old brick company setting up an email server for the first time. That opens up a host of choices management likely had zero idea even exist.
I think once a company develops a reputation like that, most people just get desensitised to it. Also there is a degree to which lower cost products get a pass, because hey, they must be cutting corners somewhere.