The Joint Stock Corporation: The Vehicle for Change

I am interested in “corporations” because I see them as vehicles for change. In fact, I think that, in 2018, in capitalistic modern America, generally speaking, the most efficient means to driving impact (solving problems, etc.) is via a Joint Stock Corporation.

In more direct language, I believe that the best way for me to impact the world is by participating in a company (that can mean founding, joining early, joining late, whatever).

I do not think this has always been the case (nor will it necessary hold true for decades and centuries to come).

I think that…say 1000 years ago…most likely the best means for bringing about change would be via war-like efforts: raids, attacks, and battles. Perhaps 200 years ago…the most effective means – generally – would be via political protests and religious movements. In developing countries, this answer may be different…but in the US, in 2018, I stand by the corporation.  

Again, I do not mean to generalize and apply this to all types of issues. Surely there are edge cases for which a company is not best suited to lead a community. Surely there is a role for the government and religions etc. 

But the corporation is just so fascinating…so much potential for change!

I think it lies with this fundamental insight: for the most part companies are incentivized to generate profit by providing a superior good to a market. 

Though, this is an incomplete view of the true potential of a company. Companies are religions. Companies inspire hundreds – thousands – tens of thousands of people to dedicate their lives towards a cause.

How weird is that? People spend so so much time working on “boring things.” Working on mortgage software or healthcare tech or whatever…why? 

That is the power of a company. 

Sure companies may use auxiliary incentives – money, benefits, etc. – but nonetheless the output for the world is a superior product.

IPhones and on demand foods and cheap taxis and plumbing etc. Those help the world! Those are better for consumers! 

Companies are efficient in that their goal is often to generate value. This is not a zero-sum game – there are winners and losers. 

I have never understood how/why people could be interested in “non-profits.” I understand that someone could be interested in certain causes – or problem areas, but saying you are interested in non-profit companies is more similar to saying that you are interested in LLCs or B-Corps. 


Via this lens – saying that companies can drive change – I see a whole world of opportunity. 

Technological companies, in particular, have a massive opportunity to bring about global change to highly valuable and lucrative industries. 

If you want to impact financial accessibility, why not work for a fintech company.

World hunger – agtech. 

The list goes on and on. 

Not everyone is going to or should think about building a company. Not everyone is or should think about being motivated by “impact and change.” That is obviously fine.

But for those who are…for those who care about the impact of their work…

Why not build companies to solve problems? Why not work on companies that touch problems you are interested in?

Having impact and making profit is not at all mutually exclusive. I have no idea why or how we separate those so often.

Corporations are not the bad guys…In fact…they are designed to do good for the world!

Also published on Medium.