This weekend I had the honor to sit down with Kris Kringle, aka Santa Claus, CEO of the North Pole. Perhaps the world's most well-loved philanthropist, few know that Mr. Kringle is also a social responsibility visionary -- we were eager to hear about his latest pro bono initiative.
Mr. Kringle, tell us a bit about Operation SnowGlobe.
Please, call me Santa! Operation SnowGlobe is all about leveraging our core competencies -- wish interpretation, manufacturing and distribution -- to make a difference. Since we're based in the North Pole and have an invested interest in preserving our way of life, we've decided to focus our skills in the realm of green energy. We discover, manufacture and distribute new, cutting edge green products that people will truly love to thousands of customers worldwide -- entirely pro bono.
But Santa, won't your elves be taking jobs away from workers in this industry?
No no no. We have every interest in preserving the jobs of moms and dads everywhere. We're focusing on fascinating, never-before-seen products that lack funding. We work with the inventors to do a first run, demonstrating the demand and efficacy of the product on a larger scale than otherwise possible. Think that awesome solar panel tree. After our large scale demonstration, our hope is a clear funding model will be developed and talented investors will sign on to assure its sustainability. This initiative will increase our positive impact a thousand fold, according to our calculations.
How did you get the idea?
We went through an intensive process in the last year, assessing our core competencies -- manufacturing and distribution -- and thinking through how we could leverage these skills for the greater good. Many people assume me and the elves take off in the summer, sit on a beach, drink cola -- but in reality, we've been doing piecemeal projects for the greater good January through October for ages -- think make-a-wish style projects, helping out the tooth fairy and the occasional garden gnome. And while we won't end those initiatives, we're focusing on harnessing our talents in a way that will make a more concentrated, strategic impact.
One last question, Santa - Steve Jobs is quoted as saying, "You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new." What do you think of that statement?
In the context of Operation SnowGlobe, that statement is really the key. What we plan to do is build demand for products that people don't want -- yet. Products that will make a huge difference in preserving the frosty winters of our North Pole.
But, with the upcoming holidays in mind, I tend to stick to fulfilling the wishes I've been sent, rather than trying any last minute surprises. Ho ho ho!
Full disclosure: employees of Taproot have received gifts from Santa.