Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Is saving the world a viable startup goal?
5 points by hahahanononono on Dec 12, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 4 comments

Depends exactly what you mean by it, but there do seem to be beneficial projects that are best organized as for-profit companies. For example, I doubt a nonprofit would have done as good a job at search or email as Google has.

I wrote about this phenomenon here: http://paulgraham.com/good.html

Being a not-for-profit company doesn't mean you can't generate revenue / profit and therefore be unable to pay for R&D; I suppose Google couldn't have IPO'd then to fundraise a large amount quickly, so there is that.. What Google had and was important though was a core technology and philosophy of the founders, who then with the additional money were able to take the time to develop and evolve a solid company direction and culture.

Yes, though there's a lot to understand to be able to efficiently save the world; Every little bit and effort helps, though.

Contradictory goals? Saving the world generally means selfless work for the common good. Startup generally means creating a new business with the goal of making yourself rich. (I know that will piss a lot of people off.)

But if your goal of saving the world works out, you'll get rich on the speaking fees.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact