Hey, I'm Dan! I'm the CEO of Plus and a venture partner at Madrona. I write the DL, a newsletter about tech in the Pacific Northwest

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Should Companies Take Political Stands?

One interesting story from the last couple of weeks was Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s blog post stating that Coinbase is a “mission focused company” that will not engage in political causes and broader societal issues because they can be a distraction and create internal division.

He offered an exit package of four to six months severance to anyone who disagreed or no longer felt aligned with the company’s mission or culture, and last week, he published another blog post that said ~5% of Coinbase’s employees (60 people) decided to leave and take the exit package.

This is such a difficult and controversial topic - I’d love to hear what you think. Is Coinbase totally crazy or spot on? Does it depend on what type of business you operate, or how large the business is? Would you leave your company if it chose to be apolitical?

My quick take is this is how companies truly define their values. It’s great to say you are 100% behind your mission, AND you are 100% behind social causes, but the actions you take when two ideals come into conflict is how you truly demonstrate your company’s values. Either way, you reveal your company’s culture, and hopefully your culture attracts the type of employees that you want.

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