Zebras are real. They are unmistakably black and white. They band together in groups and look out for each other.
When we speak of Zebras, we’re referring to a metaphor, and the movement that’s breaking through the startup culture. Zebras represent companies that uncompromisingly pursue both social impact and profit; companies that create meaningful solutions to existing problems; companies that build on capital efficiency. As its contrast, Unicorns are imaginary, magical and rare. Unicorns represent companies that focus on exponential growth and quick exits with a high concentration of wealth built for the few. You may know a few of them: Facebook, Uber, and AirBnB. –No hate, just the gleaming observation.
The current technology and venture capital is a system that works for very few. It rewards quantity over quality, consumption over creation, quick exits over sustainable growth, and shareholder profit over shared prosperity. It chases after “unicorn” companies bent on “disruption” rather than supporting businesses that repair, cultivate, and connect.
The existing structures don’t offer Zebra companies a clear path to push their products/solutions to the forefront of the business world. Accessing capital remains difficult because funding–in its long standing tradition–depends on factors that express high growth, quick exits, and financial value creation.
Something needed to be fixed so the founders of the Zebra movement put together a manifesto that spurred rapid momentum towards building an alternative structure. But what could that be? And what would that look like?
Well the Lions might have an idea, and they’re contributing a slice of a solution.
A group of Lions is referred to as a Lion Pride. BoominGroup uses the lion’s symbolism as their logo to represent the lion’s leadership in a pride: individual behavior plus its role in the pride is equally valuable for the survival, reproduction, and success of the pride. Confluence between individual players is what brings about abundance, food, water, and shelter.
We refer to BoominGroup as the Lion Pride. Through its model, it continues to develop new thinking systems that enable companies, businesses, and leaders operate beyond the status quo–systems that incorporate human values, cultivate social impact, respect culture, and sustain resources.
The Zebras and The Lion Pride
This year, BoominGroup met an amazing group of people, the Zebras founders. They quickly discovered that they held the same beliefs and wanted to make a difference in how business is experienced. They got together wanting to build something similar. In this case, they particularly aim to address the limitations within the startup culture.
While metaphor and symbolism can powerfully communicate an idea, the intention must translate past the metaphor into action. And that’s what the Zebra Movement, BoominGroup and DazzleCon are about. BoominGroup has opened up their research and practices to contribute to the Zebra Movement, to help articulate and define what this movement could be. And this is all happening at DazzleCon, made possible by the The Zebras, its friends, sponsors, and influences.
“Dazzle” refers to a group of Zebras. Therefore DazzleCon is the gathering of Zebra companies, companies that want to pull together to create a more ethical and inclusive startup culture that’s an alternative to the existing startup status quo.
DazzleCon is a conference designed for post-revenue startup founders and forward-thinking funders interested in creating this new movement. BoominGroup and Booming Collective are joining forces with the Zebra Movement to help define the movement and explore the structure it’s to take. Through the Booming Model, the Booming Team will facilitate a workshop that will push the exploration further, collectively and as individual leaders.
We urge you to attend.
More Information on DazzleCon
Founders and funders who attend will be coming for three reasons: to connect with a like-minded community, define the Zebra ethos, and articulate the needs of these companies. The event will feature unconference style programming, but will host a public keynote event, with 19 other speakers as experts in their fields, including Arlan Hamilton from Backstage Capital and Carol Sanford, a leader in regenerative business.
There is still time for founders to apply. Tickets are $450 and scholarships are available.
Don’t miss DazzleCon and please spread the word with fellow founders.