Per the manifesto, a Zebra (unlike Unicorns) are real:
- Zebra companies are both black and white: they are profitable and improve society. They won’t sacrifice one for the other.
- Zebras are also mutualistic: by banding together in groups, they protect and preserve one another. Their individual input results in stronger collective output.
- Zebra companies are built with peerless stamina and capital efficiency, as long as conditions allow them to survive.
Yesterday afternoon, I got a text from Mara Zepeda, one of the founders of the Zebra Movement and authors of the manifesto, saying that we should talk. We had a great discussion where I learned more about Zebras, the Zebra Movement, and the upcoming DazzleCon Conference in Portland this week. Over 200 Zebra founders, funders and friends from around the world are gathering to co-create the community of companies that are building the goods and services we need for the society we want.
Mara also pointed me at the article Can “Zebras” Fix What “Unicorns” Break? on The Long Now Foundation website, one of the sponsors of DazzleCon along with the Rockefeller Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Knight Foundation, and several others.
Amy and I signed up to support the Zebra Movement and decided to also sponsor DazzleCon through our Anchor Point Foundation. I’m excited – and fascinated – with what Mara and her colleagues are doing as they extend the perspective and engagement around 21st century entrepreneurship well beyond Unicorns.