Andeg Myeengun wrote:
Jalking wrote:Such a company could in fact be very innovative, but have to define itself on other goals then money - and that can be hard.
and also illegal
Not at all. The problem is in thinking of "company" only as "publicly traded corporation." In any kind of corporation (at least under US law) the officers and directors owe a fiduciary duty to the shareholders (which, like it or not, makes sense--they are doing business with someone else's money after all). When a company is publicly traded, "the shareholders" are possibly millions of anonymous human beings and entities, all of which have little personal interest or stake in the corporation. They are in it for their stock prioce to go up (again, like it or not, it makes sense--this includes peoples' retirement accounts, etc.). And increasingly, shares of publicly traded corporations are not owned by individuals at all but by hedge funds and investment companies, who in turn owe a fidicuary duty to the people whose money <i>they</i> are doing business with.
But we can set all of that aside. Of all the business entities out there, a relatively very few are traditional "corporations" like the one I described above. Most are older and prominent, and have high dollar values, and they often dominate their respective industries for various reasons that have nothing to do with the form of business entity.
There are a lot of other ways to make "a company" that easily get around the legal obligation to the bottom line. Even a corporation doesn;t have to be publicly traded: it can be closely-held, for example, in which case "the shareholders" are often the very people who run the company. If the officers and directors of the corporation are the only shareholders, then they are free to do other things with the corporation than mindlessly pursue the bottom line. They only owe a fiduciary duty to themselves as shareholders, so if they decide to not pursue profit at the expense of everything else, they can do it.
Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, Limited Partnerships, there are a staggeringly large number of permutations on the business entity, and not all of them are beholden to shareholders or to the bottom line. And that's not even talking about charitable corporations or nonprofit enterprises.