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An incomplete manifesto for a humane company

Editors Note: This is manifesto was written by Paul Jarvis, a designer, developer, podcaster, business owner who runs a number of businesses on line. He released this on Github and we thought we’d share it. Check out his great book Company Of One on Amazon and his other projects at prjvs.com


I decided to draft up a wholly incomplete (work in progress) manifesto for what it means to run a humane company, as more of a thought experiment than anything else.

Do no harm

Create profit and value in a way that doesn’t create victims through actions, words, practices or policies.

Be a data-fiduciary

Any data you collect should be explained and disclosed in simple terms, then only collected when needed, and held in the highest regard in terms of safe-keeping.

Practice H2H

Companies themselves aren’t people, therefore they can’t be humane. But the people running them can be, and they should treat their audiences and customers with respect, human to human.

Remember that everything is connected

People, planet, profits. “Triple-bottom-line” is the only ledger that makes sense long-term, since nothing else is ultimately sustainable.

Move slow and don’t break things

Every decision has a repercussion, so move at a pace that carefully considers the consequences of actions and decisions made.

Learn, empathize, adapt

People, including those running companies, are imperfect and have unconscious biases. So when you do something wrong (which will happen), learn from it, understand it, and adapt for the future.

Recognize that dollars are votes

Businesses don’t exist in a vacuum. Who they partner with, buy from, work with and advertise with is a showing of support.

Be grateful/optimistic

Assume that problems are solvable. This leads to change through action by problem-solving what isn’t right and working towards making it right.

Be of service

Business is about service, providing value for the service a customer pays for. Service isn’t extractive or exploitative of customers, employees or partners.

Give credit where credit is due

The content above is free from copyright and ownership. I created this public repo where anyone can contribute, update, or adapt this content.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay