NewCo Shift: An Overview

Covering the biggest shift in capitalism since the industrial revolution. Keeping our wit nearby as we do.

What Is NewCo Shift?

A new business media property brought to you by folks at NewCo Festivals, who also founded or worked at places like Wired, The Industry Standard, The New York Times, HBR, and other excellent publications. Launched in beta in April, with new features rolling out through 2016.

What Is the Premise of NewCo Shift?

Here’s how we think about it (it gets a bit serious, but stick with us). The muscular brand of American capitalism that dominated the post-WWII era is in fundamental transition. The central premise that companies exist to drive shareholder value above all is increasingly under scrutiny. This “true north” of shareholder value incented our most valuable companies to shape our economic, political, and social landscape to reward short term and blinkered thinking. But society is now demanding that businesses consider the entirety of their impact — on employees, customers, partners, and communities — before making decisions that otherwise might be justified by “shareholder returns.” The result is the greatest shift in our business ecosystem since the industrial revolution.

Four distinct but interconnected forces inform this shift. These forces have been building for the past five decades, but recently they’ve hit a tipping point. First is the role of digital technology in our society. Until recently, technology was understood as a rising new vertical industry. But in the past two decades, technology has become a horizontal force across all industries, driving both a renaissance and a reckoning in every sector of our economy.

The second trend is what we’ll call the “generational bridge.” The two most important generations of our era — the Boomers and the Millennials — are in significant transition. The Boomers entered the workforce at the dawn of the mass consumer age and built the world’s dominant expression of capitalism. But the Boomers have now reached retirement, and while they are the wealthiest generation in history, they are assessing their legacy and finding it wanting. Have they built a sustainable society, one that promises future generations increasing returns? Have they built flexible, progressive corporations capable of reacting to the forces of technology and challenges of innovation? Have they left their children confident in the future of this planet?

Millennials have just entered the workforce — and they are the largest and most diverse generation to ever do so. The first generation to grow up as digital natives, Millennials understand the power of technology and believe in its ability to create positive change. They are also born company creators: More than half believe they will start their own business, and the majority of them believe that businesses must be driven by more than profit — seventy-seven percent of Millennials chose their place of work based on their employers’ purpose. Given a choice, this generation does not want to work at the corporations created by their forebearers. This, of course, is an existential threat to the world’s great corporations.

Next up in this narrative of shift is the rise of the cities. One generation ago, one-third of humanity lived in urban centers. Today, it’s more than 50 percent. One generation from now, more than two thirds of us will reside in the tangled banks of a city center, and that number will surpass 80 percent by the end of the century. Cities offer access to capital, education, regulatory frameworks, and a collaborative density of human curiosity and connections. In short, cities are both the epicenter of humanity’s greatest challenges, as well as the conduit for our greatest innovation. Today’s modern city is the birthplace of this next great shift — one of the main reasons our NewCo Festivals are in 15 cities and growing.

NewCo’s fourth secular trend drives our narrative forward. Together we face a crisis of sustainability — both in the equality of our social structures, and in our relationship to the environment. For instance, more than 70 percent of Americans now believe that climate change is real, and more than half of the world views the issue as the most serious global threat. In addition, income inequality is now a core concern of the millennial generation, and is viewed by most economists as a fundamental barrier to long term economic health. Consumers have begun to vote with their consciences, forcing unsustainable businesses to adopt net-positive products and processes. Regardless of good intent or excellent marketing, if a business makes people unhealthy, or depends on exploitation of vulnerable workers, or can be laddered to income inequality or climate change, it’s at risk of mass consumer migration to businesses with better narratives. If corporations are indeed “people,” society is now demanding that they act with the empathy, wisdom, and inherent goodness of our best citizens.

NewCo Shift gives voice to a new and positive point of view about this story. And believe it or not, at the very center of the NewCo narrative is the corporation: We argue that a new kind of company is having a fundamental, positive impact on the direction of our society — and that these companies, and their leaders and teams, are key actors in shaping our future. These companies can be large and established players taking new approaches to their business, they can be non-profits, they can even be governmental agencies. But many of them are startups looking to redefine a given market. We identify, celebrate, and connect these companies, and the people who comprise them. We also hold them accountable to the common values shared by our community (that’d be you, we hope).

We can’t imagine a more important story to explore.

That’s a Mouthful. What Do You Cover?

NewCo Shift tells the story of an emerging breed of capitalism. Topics we and stories we have told include:

The BigCo Shift

How large, established companies are shifting their cultures and products to respond to the NewCo narrative.

Examples:

Cities

How cities are driving change in business, culture and society.

Examples:

Polity

The role of policy and regulatory frameworks in a shifting business climate.

Examples:

Tech as Platform

How tech, business and culture interact.

Examples:

Culture:

How Companies Attract, Retain, and Organize Around Talent.

Examples:

Insurgents

Stories of NewCos on the brink of breaking out (or up). E.I: Behind the Mess at Zenefits: How Culture Can Kill A Unicorn.

Examples:

Sustainability At Scale:

Examples of long-term thinking that drove more than shareholder value. E.I: How Telus Gave Up on Cubicles and Became the Hottest Stock in Canada.

Examples:

Where Does NewCo Shift Live?

NewCo Shift is a multi-channel property, with a central home on Medium, which we think is both awesome and a bit unfinished, a fact we also like. We were among a select few to launch with Medium’s new publishing platform in April 2016. NewCo’s media offerings also include email newsletters, longform features, video, and media native to major social media platforms. We’re experimental in nature, and take an agile approach to developing our platforms and products, which allows us to be opportunistic when we see a new way to reach audiences in smart ways.

How Will NewCo Tell This Story?

NewCo Shift releases columns, news roundups and both short and long-form videos each week. We also publish op-eds and submissions from contributing writers. If you would like to contribute, we’d love to consider your work. In July 2016, we released a new video series called NewCo Shift Dialogs. These are in-depth interviews with leading CEOs and founders of Fortune 500 companies and insurgents, plus discussions with media personalities and policy makers.

Who Comprise NewCo’s Audience?

We call NewCo’s audience members business change agents. They’re the people in leading companies most likely to drive innovation and new approaches to management, product development, marketing, and partnership. We have over 400,000 followers across our various channels as of November 2016.

Well That Sounds Pretty Cool. How Can I Get Involved?

Become a Sponsor

NewCo Shift loves its partners, and offers several sponsorship opportunities. We don’t accept banner advertising, but we love content marketing (our co-founder helped invent the space, after all), and we also have section and presenting level sponsorships. And of course, NewCo Shift is brought to you by the folks who created the NewCo Festivals, so we have excellent experiential programs as well. A few of the things we can do together (we can always dream bigger — we’ve a history of doing that!):

- Presenting sponsor. Pretty much the coolest thing there is on our site because it aligns your brand with our logo in our masthead for everyone to see on every page of our site. Click here for an example of how it looks.

  • Custom content, with editorial consulting from NewCo. You can run it as branded content in our channels, and run it on your channels. We’ll both promote it through social media and drive interest from several angles.

- Medium sponsored placement — includes ability to amplify your message across the entire Medium network. Click here for more information.

  • Email integration — both with our NewCo Daily and NewCo Weekly newsletters, reaching about 20,000 active users.

- NewCo Shift Dialogs. Our weekly video series convenes conversations with the most thoughtful leaders in business. As a sponsor, we’ll call out our partnership and your message on camera.

  • And of course, whatever we might dream up together.

Become a Contributor

Got something to say? We are actively seek contributors who have a great story to share with our readers. Do you have a NewCo story? We’d love to promote it to our growing platform of more than 100,000 readers on Medium, and over 400,000 followers across social media.

Read our publication overview here, and see examples of contributors who’ve added their voice in these stories:

Ready to get started? Send your pitches here, or simply write your story on Medium, and then submit it to NewCo Shift.

Guidelines:

  • Provide insights for our readers based on your real-world experience. Reach out to us if you’re interested (email: editorial@newco.co), and we’ll point you to a handy editorial guide.
  • 600–1200 words of original material (we’ll consider longer pieces on a case by case basis). Adding video, audio clips, or charts is also great to drive user engagement.
  • We will promote your story in our social feeds and Daily and Weekly emails, and ask that you do the same, in whatever channels you have available to you.

Join us as we explore the NewCo Shift. Because it’s time to get on with the business of making the world a better place. Contact Hayley Nelson, General Manager, for more information. We look forward to working with you!