Values of Good Business

I recently heard Halla Tomasdottir, co-founder of Audur Capital financial services, share her company’s values in a TED talk (embedded below). I couldn’t agree more! Here they are, paraphrased:

  • Risk Awareness: You should always understand the risk you are taking. We will not invest in things we do not understand.
  • Straight Talking: Telling people like it is in plain English, good or bad.
  • Emotional Capital: Emotional due diligence is just as important as doing financial due diligence.
  • Profit with Principles: We care how we make our profit. We do it with a long term view. We use a wider definition of profits that include benefits to environment and society.


Follow your values.

“Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts inspire your words.
Be careful of your words, for your words precede your actions.
Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.
Be careful of your habits, for your habits build your character.
Be careful of your character, for your character decides your destiny.”
– Chinese proverb Continue reading

Response to Shame and Disgust by Louis Rosenfeld

I recently read a blog post by Louis Rosenfeld, titled “Shame and Disgust” about an ethical issue he faced a while back. A link to his story was posted as an example of dilemmas worth discussing at an upcoming usability conference. Due to spam, his post is now closed to comments. However, he found my reply useful and gave me his blessing to post it here for you.

Hello Lou,

You asked what you “should have done.” I can’t answer that, but I can tell you what I would have done as a contractor in this order:

  1. I would have slept on it and calmed down.
  2. Stopped everything and scheduled a brief private person-to-person meeting with the person who told me, “they didn’t really want to make it easy for veterans” [His dilemma:  It appeared that his client asked him to go against his better judgment and avoid making a website as usable as possible for the intended web site visitors, who happened to be U.S. military veterans. ] Continue reading