Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Game Theory, Clif Bar, and Giving Back

I spent this past Memorial Day weekend in Waterville, Maine attending Colby's graduation ceremony. Aside from getting free books to read and helping friends move out, I also got to hear Mr. Schelling, the Nobel prize winner for his work on game theory, speak during graduation.

While I didn't find his commencement speech particularly relevant (he spoke about nuclear proliferation instead of giving advice, which he was against doing) I got to thinking about how game theory relates to CK and other companies such as Clif Bar. In particular, I wondered what role the ideas of game theory play when a company makes decisions to "give back" or "take care of its community."

I think too many companies define the optimum strategy on an economic profit basis versus a total return basis that impacts not only the bottom line but also the environment and the community. A company that looks at the big picture, not just economic profit, is Clif Bar and their commitment to the community.

On the drive back from Maine, I got to thinking about how we could do a better job looking at the big picture. I spoke with Orion and we both agree that we want to start a 1% program where we give 1% of our profits at the end of the year to two non-profit organizations of our choice. If you have any suggestions for non-profits, please let us know! And if you have other ideas for giving back, please feel free to contact one of us.

In other news, I finally get to hear G. Felda Hardymon speak today - I'll post about it first thing tomorrow.

And in further news, congratulations to Rizwan for his recent outstanding tutoring. He is one of our great tutors who helped one of his students get a very good SAT II score. Well done!

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