2022 has meant many things to me: A new fund, our largest yet. Exciting additions to our portfolio, from many sectors we’re entering for the first time. And the next step in our initiative of building a more responsible consumer ecosystem, the Value of Good.
Covid-19 has accelerated change in many spheres of life. Adoption of e-commerce has surged, as more people engage and shop online. People around the world have become increasingly concerned about their own health and wellness in a way that only a global pandemic could provoke. An interesting consequence is the rise in consumer responsibility.
Look at today’s Millennials and Gen-Z consumers. They’re asking all sorts of questions: What happens to the packaging in which my products arrive? Do you recycle? How clean are your ingredients? Do you have a subscription program? In what kind of environment do your people work? Are there women on your team? How ethical is your supply chain?
When I started my career 30+ years ago, I don’t recall consumers asking these questions at all, let alone picking or dropping brands from their shopping baskets based on these answers.
Going into 2023, it is this strong sense of responsibility that I am most excited about: A new set of consumers who will demand that brands be the very best they can be.
Each one of us at Fireside is deeply committed to giving back to the consumer brand ecosystem that we have spent our professional lives in. The Value of Good will help the entire ecosystem build brands more responsibly. In 2022, we published a primer with checklists, directories, guidelines, and case studies that will help early, middle, and mature stage startup brands do just that.
To quote Bill Gates: Success is a long-term prospect, but it starts with actions we take now.
This is the time for an ecosystem-wide movement towards responsible commerce. Together, we can invest in, support, and grow brands and companies that do business responsibly while doing good for the planet.
And that’s my hope for all of you, in 2023 and beyond!