Inflection Becomes A Certified B Corporation
Inflection joins 1,800+ companies in the growing B Corp movement
We’re proud to share that Inflection.com, Inc. has become a Certified B Corporation, strengthening our mission to build trust online and use business as a force for good.
Being a B Corp means taking actions that consider all stakeholders — not just shareholders — in pursuit of economic, social, and environmental benefit. It means meeting higher standards of transparency and accountability in how we serve our team, customers, partners, and community.
B Corp Certification signals our commitment to our values, which include trust, humility, and excellence. Taking this step means aligning our business model and purpose together to serve the common good.
Why We Joined The B Corp Movement
It’s no secret that our economic system contains fundamental flaws. The incentives involved in fiduciary responsibility and infinite growth have led to many externalities and unintended consequences. We must now collectively respond to these challenges of massive inequality, environmental destruction, and excessive corporate interests in government.
Business as usual is no longer an option. The tired answer that capitalism is “the best system we’ve invented yet” lacks imagination and nuance. There are countless ways to do good within the current paradigm, while pushing for its continued evolution. This is especially true in areas where digital disruption and significant social change are taking place.
B Lab, the nonprofit governing body that has catalyzed the B Corp movement, encourages everyone to “B the Change” by improving our economic system with greater consideration for society and the environment.
Like many, we’ve watched B Lab with interest for several years. We’ve been impressed with the traction B Corps have gotten across the typically resistant bureaucracy of tax codes and governance rules. Thirty-one states have passed laws recognizing B Corporations, thus enabling a smooth process for companies to get certified and giving financial stakeholders long-term peace of mind. B Lab global partners have developed international certifications that have expanded the B Corp community to over 50 countries.
It’s clearly an idea whose time has come. Leading companies like Patagonia, Kickstarter, and Etsy have become B Corporations, as have forward-thinking businesses in over 130 different industries, ranging from cosmetics to solar cookers. B Lab is redefining what success in business really means, inspiring companies “to compete not only to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world.”
B Corp standards can help bring together many related ideas about how for-profit businesses can make a positive difference in society. Similar concepts often use terminology like “fourth sector,” “world positive,” “impact investment,” “social enterprises,” “triple bottom line,” “impact entrepreneurship,” and “regenerative economy.”
The B Corp assessment framework measures company performance in a rigorous, thoughtful, and transparent way. It comes with verification and accountability standards, plus long-term network advantages for the B Corp community.
How We Work To B The Change
At Inflection, we’ve always taken a unique approach to how we do business. We’ve been willing to question corporate norms and choose purpose over profits. These commitments have deepened over time, shaped by the collective ambitions of our team and unflinching support of our board of directors.
Here are some of the ways we’ve sought to “B the Change” in conducting business for good:
- Mission-led. Our portfolio of trust and safety products is designed around our mission to deepen trust and connections among people around the world.
- Positive workplace culture. We take a holistic approach to corporate culture, emphasizing respect, work-life balance, transparency, growth, and fun.
- Diversity and inclusion. We proactively seek to contribute to a more diverse and inclusive society. With our products, we created GoodHire True Me, an innovative platform that empowers job-seekers and mitigates discrimination in the criminal justice system. We pursue efforts like Women@Inflection, which gives women on our team a dedicated space to connect and discuss topics like gender pay and mentorship.
- Data ethics and privacy. Within our industry, we do our best to take a position of leadership by evolving frameworks around privacy rights and data stewardship. We helped develop people search best practices, codifying ethical practices for the public records industry, and we publish transparency reports about topics like law enforcement requests. We carefully consider how technology intersects with social issues like recidivism, government surveillance, algorithmic bias, and predictive intelligence. We stay attentive to unintended consequences and look for opportunities for positive transformation.
- Community giving. Since 2010, through our Release for Charity program, we’ve given monthly donations to nonprofits chosen by our team members. We participate in activities like Silicon Valley Gives Day and Habitat for Humanity volunteer outings. After selling our genealogy business in 2012, we started the Namaste Foundation with a $4 million grant, and in 2014 we gifted 10% of our company’s shares to the foundation.
- Environmental sustainability. We buy offsets to mitigate our carbon footprint, embrace green options like telecommuting when possible, and implement programs around composting and e-waste.
Like every company, ours has plenty of shortcomings, and we’re constantly humbled by mistakes and missteps. Being the change doesn’t mean being perfect, but it does mean listening and seeking continual improvement.
In conjunction with becoming a Certified B Corporation, we’re also formalizing our commitment around volunteering our time, products, and equity through Pledge 1%. Pledge 1% is a burgeoning Silicon Valley effort to increase corporate philanthropy. It’s supported by groups like Salesforce, Atlassian, and Obvious Ventures. One percent is a relatively small ask, but if all businesses embraced this framework it would mean a huge increase in resources for community projects and nonprofit organizations.
A social mission isn’t something to “bolt on”, nor does it need to be at odds with shareholder success. It’s a paradigm shift that pushes companies to align their business model with positive impact. The approach is reinforced with customer loyalty, recruiting advantages, partner solidarity, and employee engagement — especially in younger generations. Because leveraged externalities are so commonplace, difficult trade-offs and short-term sacrifices will often need to be made. We believe these new rules of business will ultimately prevail, as social, economic, and environmental considerations become standard operating procedure for how companies and governments measure success around the world.
We’re thrilled to be part of the B Corp community and look forward to many more companies joining the movement. You can learn more at B Lab and take the free assessment to get started for your company. Check out the new B the Change media publication for inspiring stories of businesses doing good around the world.
We also invite you to follow this Medium publication, “Inflection Points,” for more stories from the Inflection team.