How Happy Startup School Can Teach Better Business Practices How Happy Startup School Can Teach Better Business Practices

How Happy Startup School Can Teach Better Business Practices

by Laurence McCahill

August 24, 2013

Maybe you have a full-time job at an accounting firm, but a burning desire to make a positive dent in the world and be your own boss. Or, maybe you’ve already launched your own startup but want to learn how to create a strong culture and brand, with happier customers and employees—a happy startup. Startups such as, Buffer, and Maptia are leading the way, inspired by more established companies such as Zappos, Patagonia, and Southwest Airlines that work to place people and purpose before profits.

I’m organizing a one-day summer camp, from the Happy Startup School, which aims to bring more meaning to people's lives and to the startup world by helping participants to see the value in this approach to business. We were fed up with the companies that did everything they could to get something from customers, but gave nothing back. Also, we believe too much of the startup world focuses on the mechanics of starting a business. While it’s good to move fast and stay lean, it’s time we made our businesses more human—and, in the process, gave them a better chance of survival.

Rather than running boring classes, we wanted to create special, transformational experiences that encourage, inspire, and inform. Attendees will learn how to build happy, thriving, and sustainable businesses by connecting with like-minded people in an intimate, urban oasis at the heart of London’s Hyde Park, and learn from some of the leading minds in positive psychology, startups, branding, customer experience and happiness in the workplace. Plus, we’re planning some fun activities for the day.

While the web is a powerful medium, nothing can replace real-life experiences, particularly when learning is a key element. We’re expecting a diverse mix of entrepreneurs, corporate escapees, students, and lifelong learners in the audience. For those who haven’t yet stepped out on their own, this is their permission slip to jump and meet like-minded individuals and companies.

We're delighted to have already confirmed some amazing speakers: Nic Marks, TED speaker and creator of The Happy Planet Index, will be talking about why happiness is a serious business; Ray Richards, will be discussing how startup founders can create better habits through doing; Alastair Arnott will be talking about positive failure; Henry Stewart will be telling us how we can create a positive working culture; and Ole Kassow, serial entrepreneur and founder of Danish innovators Purposemakers, will be talking about how we can build customer-centric companies.

We believe this summer camp will help give more purposeful entrepreneurship a springboard and introduce us to a larger audience. Right now, we’re in the United Kingdom, but all talks will be filmed and shared online afterwards, so people all around the world will be able to view. Eventually, the goal is to run international events.

Everyone that attends Happy Startup School takes this pledge:

  1. Love what we do
  2. Live our values
  3. Follow our purpose
  4. Value our team
  5. Love our customers
  6. Have fun along the way

While the pledge is really just a promise individuals can take for themselves, it’s also a way for happy startups to unite over some common goals.

If you’d like to join us in London, book your ticket today. members receive a 10 percent discount with the promo code GOODIS.

This project is featured in GOOD's series Push for Goodour guide to crowdsourcing creative progress.

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How Happy Startup School Can Teach Better Business Practices