Happy Tuesday and welcome back from the long holiday. How’d that feel?
Those who’ve been hanging with this newsletter know I’ve been looking into and philosophizing about artificial intelligence (AI), especially in regards the future of work.
This past week I learned about a startup in the space, Anthropic, that incorporated with the legal structure of a public benefit corporation (PBC).
A PBC is a legal structure that gives a company the right to pursue bottom-line outcomes of social and environmental impact alongside financial profitability. It also requires companies to pursue and deliver a “public benefit,” which in most states (40 now have this legislation) requires the company to use a third-party standard to measure its public benefit and publish an annual benefit report, aka “impact report.” You can learn more about benefit corporations in this piece I penned for Unit of Impact.
Anthropic was founded by ex-members of OpenAI, the fizzy AI company that’s getting lots of attention these days.
Like others, Anthropic has anthropomorphized its AI software, calling its next-generation AI assistant, “Claude.” Its website hammers messaging about safety, which might tie into its benefit corporation designation. Of particular note: Claude has its own constitution.
So, Claude - friend or foe? In this category, the declaration as a public benefit corporation is strategically savvy brand positioning, but will Anthropic create and communicate its public benefit in a way that's more than just window dressing? Stay tuned as I’ll continue following and reporting on the company. First step: I'll see if I can get an interview with founder-siblings Daniela and Dario Amodei. (On a wild flyer, I made the same request of Mark Cuban - yes, THAT Mark Cuban - who founded another PBC, the drug company Mark Cuban CostPlus Drug Company. Still no word back from Mark 😉.)
Hey, a reminder that there’s a comment button at the end of this newsletter. I’d be interested to hear what you have to say – which content is on track, which isn’t, what you’d like to see more of in future issues.
• Shop Circular. SmartWool just got even smarter. I've got a drawer full of socks that qualify for Second Cut, a cool circular program from SmartWool, which takes your old socks and turns them into new ones. Heck, they even make dog beds out of the old socks, too.
A Movement in Search of an Identity
• Public Benefit Corporations have no unifying body, fragmented across legislation in 40 separate states. So, unlike the Circle B of the certified B Corp community, PBC's have no designated and unifying graphic identity. Last year, we played around with three potential logos - which do you like best? (Another good reason to use the comment button at the end of the newsletter 🙌.) If you're feeling artistic, please submit another candidate as we've got some ideas for how this could benefit the benefit corporation movement.
Which U.S. state first enacted Public Benefit Corporation legislation in 2010?
Today's trivia answer can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.
Find the Most Meaningful Work of Your Career
Our partner One Work has you covered with meaningful work that goes beyond a paycheck, a cubicle, or a weekly team Zoom call. Check out this week's highlights below, along with many more at the One Work website.
• HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN - Put your words to work for the largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the country. Executive Speechwriter, Washington, DC.
• MURPHY'S NATURALS - Bug off! Murphy's makes natural mosquito repellents that maximize your protection and minimize impact to the environment. Customer Account Specialist, Raleigh, NC.
• SOLETRAC - Tractor heads, find your calling! Here's your chance to spread the sustainable word about all-electric tractors. Marketing Communications Associate, Santa Rosa, CA.
Check out One Work's full roster of purposeful jobs with mission-driven companies and organizations.
The first state to approve Benefit Corporation legislation was the “Old Line State” (Maryland, for you young pups out there) in 2010. Shout-out to Big Bad Wolf, a pet shop that became Maryland’s first public benefit corporation and thus the first in the world as well (Woof!).
Have an interesting social impact tool, idea, or trivia question you'd like to share? Reply to this newsletter and let me know - I'd love to hear about it. You can also hit me up at email@example.com.
Also - please don't hesitate to forward this to a friend you think would benefit from it - thank you!