Inequality, a rich man speaks!
A personal reflection offered by Nick Hanauer.
I hadn’t come across Mr. Hanauer before but thanks to some Facebook comments by Patrice Ayme found this YouTube video that is well-worth watching. That’s an understatement!
The fundamental message that is contained in this short video seems critical, well to me it does, to society (that’s all of us, by the way) understanding why so many things seem to be going so very wrong for so many people. But let me stop there before it becomes another of my rants!
Who is Nick Hanauer? Here is a small extract from Nick Hanauer’s website,
Nicolas J Hanauer is a partner with Second Avenue Partners, a Seattle venture capital partnership specializing in early state startups and emerging technology. He has had a hand in such companies as Amazon.com and aQuantive among others.
Hanauer’s career began with a position as executive VP of Sales and Marketing at Pacific Coast Feather Company, a family owned manufacturer of basic bedding. In his time in that role, he helped grow Pacific Coast from several million dollars to more than $300 million in sales. Hanauer subsequently served as the company’s Co-Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer and remains Chief Executive Officer.
In 1988, Hanauer co-founded Museum Quality Framing Company, a company that has emerged the largest of its kind on the west coast with 60 locations. Hanauer was also one of the first investors in Amazon.com in 1995, where he served as a Board Advisor until January of 2000.
In 1996, he founded and served as CEO of internet media company Avenue A Media (later re-named aQuantive, Inc.) and became Chairman of the Board upon the first public offering in 2000. aQuantive was purchased by Microsoft in August of 2007 for 6.4 billion dollars; the largest acquisition in Microsoft history.
Now the video; less than 6 minutes long – do watch it!
As a one-time entrepreneur back in the 80′s I can vouch for much of what Mr. Hanauer proclaims in his video. The essence of successful marketing for any business, large and small, is understanding your market. Seeing the customer’s world through the customer’s eyes would be another way of putting that.
In plain language that means carefully and closely understanding what your customers, both actual and prospective, require, objectively and subjectively, and providing it to them profitably. As the middle-classes (don’t like the term but it will have to do) are often the largest market opportunity, then it does follow that a healthy and vibrant middle-class is going to be best overall for the health and vibrancy of a country. Indeed, in this very inter-connected world, that really equates to the health and vibrancy of our planet.
Which so easily leads on to a core truth. This one. If all the Governments democratically elected on this planet truly acknowledged the democratic foundation, as Lincoln so ably put it, “government of the people, by the people, for the people” then those governments would be united in the one most important task facing the people – creating a sustainable way for us to live on the only planet we have!
Apologies, it did turn into a rant!
You may also want to read this TED and inequality: The real story.