Dean Clough

July 19, 2021

Portico Darwin: Arrival Estes Park + Stakeholder Capitalism

After a pretty easy flight to DEN, we made our way to Estes Park yesterday, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was via a Killer luncheon at the posh Niwot home of Primo and "Polly".  Their new outdoor lounge and spa, as expected, were gorgeous, and it's a good thing, too, what with all of the leisure time now coming "Polly's" way.  Because the entrepreneurial Goddess just sold her business!!!!  

Many - including yours truly - have failed where "Polly" succeeded:  starting a company from scratch independently, build it to a success, and then sell it for a handsome profit.  I've had a nice run doing the first two, but I never could close the deal on the last.  Major, major kudos - trust me:  she earned it.

We enjoyed a fine meal and Primo's (thankfully) relatively minor cycling injury did not impair his ability to whip up some fine summer cocktails.  It was a perfect way to start what should be quite a week - thanks, guys.

Our Airbnb is ideal and it is beautiful up here, on the top of America.  I certainly have made myself at home and you can assess our views yourself.  Later today, we hit the National Park for the first time.  
Yesterday, on the plane, I read an excellent interview with Hubert Joly, former CEO of the consumer electronics giant Best Buy.  I am sharing it here because he nails it in terms of a move from the shareholder capitalism we've endured as a nation since the '70's, to something I'm very passionate about, that being the more enlightened concept of Stakeholder Capitalism.

I especially love how he trashes Milton Friedman and Robert McNamara.  And I really like the connection to Hunter Deuce, by way of Peter Drucker (he worked for his daughter, Cecily).  Here's a key excerpt.

 "The world we live in is not working. We have these multifaceted crises — health crises, economic crises, societal crises, racial crises, environmental issues, geopolitical tensions. 

For me, on the top of my F.B.I. most wanted list are two people. One is Milton Friedman, with his shareholder primacy — the excessive, obsessive focus on profits as the key thing that matters. And the other one is Bob McNamara, with the model of scientific, top-down management — getting a bunch of smart people, coming up with a plan, tell everyone else what to do, put incentives in place and hope something is going to work. The combination of these two things is what got us here. 

It’s sad because if instead of following Milton Friedman we had followed Peter Drucker, it would have been a different situation. "

I hope you'll read the whole, relatively short, interview, included as a PDF here in case you hit the NYT paywall.  Mr. Joly outlines how companies can be profitable and yet not make a fairly dire situation in America worse.

Hubert Joly.pdf
Hubert Joly.pdf 1.63 MB

Super excited to see my first cousin, the renowned artist Cyd Pepfog Darwin, start publishing a newsletter, and getting his (extraordinary) art out to a larger audience.  I hope you'll take a look and subscribe.  We are the proud owners of some of his works and perhaps you'll find something to your liking for your own home.

(For the record:  I have zero skin in this or any other game.  Anything I push here is driven by my passion for the product or service, nothing else.  In this case, I love his art, cousin or not.)

While I have not asked the artist, to me, Cyd's work would seem to lend itself very well to an "immersive" experience kind of thing, like Julie and I just saw Thursday, at "Immersive Van Gogh".  Cyd's got the art, and I've got the A/V chops.  We just need a whole lot of money - who's in?  I'm actually not kidding - we (and many, many others) paid $60 each for about 45 minutes of a trick multimedia experience.  Cut the price to $20 (he's Darwin, not Van Gogh, after all), focus on second-tier cities that normally don't get big splashy multimedia art shows, and there you have it:  another business dream unexecuted upon by yours truly.  That's about a million and counting . . .


Thank you to any one that is reading this blog.

Apropos for my travel year and also because a song here emphasizes a key player in Stakeholder Capitalism:  The Working Man (jeez, of course, The Working Woman, too).  Here, the unparalleled Rush with their first official live album, "All The World's a Stage". 

More?  Here is rollicking live footage of the theme song for today.

And with this, I must honor The Professor, the greatest drummer of them all, the late Neil Peart.

neal peart.jpg

About Dean Clough