Check out this wonderful diagram from Max Marmer’s essay published in The Startup Genome Blog (and also HBR). Also check out who he puts where on his chart (below). I could not have asked for a better illustration of the themes in my VC:VC series of posts, comparing and contrasting themes in for-profit and non-profit enterprises.
I think there are some interesting and high-charge discussions about what falls to the left of the vertical axis. Are the net impacts of the Oil and Gas industry truly harmfully exploitative as seen over the arc of its history?
Looking at the opposite (bottom right) segment, I believe some economists would say that “Disease Treatment and Prevention” has a massive positive economic impact overall. In terms of harvesting value from this effort, the Pharma industry does, but most healthcare providers don’t. Perhaps there is a distinction between overall economic impact and who harvests value (or wealth creation). The airline industry, which, as an industry, has sometimes been entirely unprofitable also becomes difficult to place on this chart without that distinction.
Most intriguingly, where would you put your own current work on this chart?