Mission possible: what it means to be truly mission-driven

Making everyday cooking fun. Photo by Lukas Budimaier on Unsplash

Most tech companies have a mission, from ‘organising the world’s information’ to ‘enabling people to live on other planets’. But not many — if any — have stated that upon completion of the mission, the company will dissolve.

But that is exactly what Cookpad has done. And at the Shareholders’ Meeting last month, it was made official and became part of our Articles of Incorporation.

Articles of Incorporation are pretty dull: a necessary legal document that acts as a public record of the company with details on governance etc. In most places, the Articles are required to state the company’s purpose. Usually this gets defined pretty broadly so that the company can keep its options open. Here’s an example: “The purpose of the corporation is to engage in any lawful act or activity for which corporations may be organized under the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware.”

That comes from Amazon’s Articles of Incorporation. Which is the same as Facebook’s. Tesla mixes it up a bit with an acronym. (By the way, this is why Delaware is popular.)

All in all pretty standard corporate law stuff.

But the thing with corporate law is that it was made for companies who are focused only on profit. So it’s not that useful for companies whose mission is their very reason for being. The development of B Corps is starting to change that.

Cookpad is a public company and profit is important. But we believe that if we solve the problems associated with everyday cooking, profit will follow.

Here’s the translation of our new and improved Articles of Incorporation:

1.Our company exists to ‘make everyday cooking fun’ and this is our mission.
2. When everyone on the planet enjoys everyday cooking, our company will dissolve.

So we’ve actually made the ‘purpose’ clause about our purpose. Radical.

Our mission at Cookpad is to make everyday cooking fun. Because we believe that cooking is key to a happier and healthier life for people, communities and the planet. By solving the problems related to everyday cooking and inspiring people to enjoy cooking more, we believe we can help build a better world. And Cookpad exists only to fulfil that mission. Nothing more, nothing less.

It’s the second part that we’re most excited about. Once we’ve achieved our mission, the company will dissolve.

That’s right. Our goal is to make ourselves extinct. Because when we’re no longer needed, we know it’s mission accomplished.

The obvious question is how will we know when everyone on the planet is enjoying cooking everyday? How will we know when we’ve achieved our goal? We don’t know … yet. What we do know is that the world will be different and better.

The mission is something everyone at Cookpad passionately believes in. But it’s easy for a company to lose focus. Setting our mission out in this way means we won’t.

Cookpad is hiring. Find out more here.