Business is the prime mechanism by which human energy, talent, intelligence is harnessed, put to use and rewarded. There's a distrust of large corporations, doubts about the profit motive and a nagging worry that the Capitalist approach to economics might not be properly serving our best collective interests. We want finer cities, better governance, less anxious families. Therefore, we want to improve business not by getting rid of it, but by getting it to serve our long-term interests better. We should try to get business right by following these 12 principles:

1. Make profit from needs, not from desires
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A desire is whatever you feel you want at the moment while a need is for something that serves your long-term well being. Good business should be defined not simply by whether they are profitable or not, but by what they make their profit from. Only businesses that satisfy true needs are moral.

2. Successful capitalism requires education not instinct
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Good capitalism requires that we should address two core education needs: (i) getting us to focus on what we really need, what the real challenges in our lives are; and (ii) getting us to focus on the value of particular goods in relation to our needs. So, in search of a better economy, we should direct our attention not simply to shopping centers and financial institutions, but to schools and universities, and the media. Education transforms our preferences not by making us do what someone else tell us, but by giving us the capacities and skills to understand more clearly what we genuinely do want and what sort of goods and services will best help us.

3. We need to be seduced by the good not sent on a guilt trip
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Those who want to improve the economy often focus on cruelties and injustices underlying in innocent purchases e.g. buying a fast fashion shirt is ruining someone's life, buying the grapes from half-way round the world to grace your table is melting the ice cap. Some are responsive and feel guilty then change what they buy. But most have a quicker way of dealing with guilt: ignore, switch off, get defensive and say don’t care, then turn into something more cheerful. Instead of moralists seeking to modify behavior by inducing guilt, we need rival business seducing customers to buy more admirable products. Good business reward us for the slightly higher price we will inevitably have to pay or the little inconvenience we will need to put up with.

4. The task of advertising is to keep our true needs in view
man standing on road infront of high-rise buildi
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Our fear that advertising encourages dissatisfaction, envy and frustration makes it seem like a shameful activity. But back to essentials, advertising is the attempt to get us to see that something could be important to us. They might not often be right but the idea of drawing attention to needs is not in itself bad. In good business, advertising is a serious and noble undertaking to understand and to explain the way a product or service can assist us in our flourishing, and to get that message across despite everything else competing for our attention.

5. Advertising comes first
Traditionally, business develop a product and then consider how to advertise it. In a more evolved version of capitalism, it would be the other way round: business would start by considering advertising - in the sense of identifying what it is, truly, that people want - and then focus on product development, e.g. they'd start with the idea of the strong, warm family and seek to develop the products that would most contribute to that.

6. A good business combines command of fun and goodness
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Fun things are intuitively, naturally alluring, warmly engaging, captivating while good things require a bit more effort, self-control and attention. This integration of fun and goodness is crucial because whether we like it or not we live in a competitive world. Those who advocate goodness have tended to be hostile to the idea of competition; and so they leave the public realm in the hands of those who only care about profit.

7. Know yourself
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Along with love, finding a job that's right for you is in which self-knowledge is crucial. It requires a realistic understanding of one's needs, potentials and especially, one's limitations. Our career choices are troubled by the lack of understanding of what our genuine strengths are and lack of understanding of where those strengths can be deployed. For good business to flourish, we need to give very much more attention to a fundamental question: what kind of job should each person do.

8. In good business a job serves the true needs of others
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One of the primary things people want from work is a sense of contributing to the collective good. Of course we want to be personally rewarded but we are profoundly social creatures and we need to sense that we are valued members of a community and doing our bit. The meaning comes from improving the lives of others, either by reducing suffering or increasing noble pleasures.

9. In good business, externalities are properly identified and accounted for
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Typically the price of a product or a service does not actually take into account the full cost of producing it . As we get collectively nicer, we care more about the path a product took on its way to our lives. The long, expanding history of niceness extends our concerns to the well-being of others who are connected somewhere along the supply chain. In a good business, the price of the product is just, that is, it reflects the cost of supplying a thing while treating everyone decently along the way.

10. Do good through accumulation, not through dispersal
silhouette photography of people gathered together on cliff
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The standard trajectory of philanthropy is: acquire a fortune by rigorous means and then disperse it to good causes. It would be more humane if rich business people agreed to sacrifice a little of their surplus wealth in their main area of activity and in the most vigorous period of their lives, in order to render the workplace more noble - and then bothered less with dazzling displays of artistic philanthropy in their later decades. It is where a lower return on investment is sought on capital in the name of kindness and goodness. There would be less fancy art at the end of it, but the values within works of art would be widely spread across the earth.

11. People should be rewarded really well and really reliably for doing good. Goodness is not its own reward.
To a lot of people, like the most reliable and most genuine reward, at the moment, money is the most reliable reward. However, the rich are not, they are making money in order to be liked, for the sake of status, as a way of keeping score and letting the world know of their value as human beings. Our side of the deal will be to applaud very heartily when they behave well and to ensure we lavish upon them all the respect they so deeply crave. It will be a very small price to pay in return for the contentment of the planet.
12. 80% of profit should come from the top 20% of our needs
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For most of history the economy of nations has almost exclusively been devoted to sheer physical survival with only a tiny portion of human effort and resource going into higher needs. We understand we have higher needs - for love, self-esteem, creativity, friendship and moral growth. But we don't usually imagine commerce being able to help us. We have prejudice that paying for something can't be connected to goodness. Though, the person who is offended by the idea of paying to address higher needs might have booked a trip to Florence to visit and art gallery of paid for a concert ticket, on the assumption that the art or the music will address their higher needs. The fact are, we need to live in beautiful cities, we need to have good advice and psychological support, we need to manage our emotions, we need to sustain strong families across generations, we need to cultivate our mind, we need to live in a societies in which it is normal to be wise, kind, self-possessed. These ambitions must be created by ingenuity, organisation and effort - in short, by work. And that work has to be remunerated.
Above is my takeaway from my most favorite article by The School of Life during my laid-off in 2020.