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Intended Consequences: How to Build Market-Leading Companies with Responsible Innovation
Wall Street Journal Best Seller

About the Book

A pioneering venture capitalist lays out an actionable framework for founders and executives on how to create innovative companies built for growth and for societal good that withstand the test of time.

The Milton Friedman philosophy that companies exist only to increase shareholder value is dead and buried. The old Silicon Valley tenets of “move fast and break things,” minimum viable products, and hyper engagement at any cost must be replaced with new principles for an era of responsible innovation. We can no longer manage businesses solely for growth. With innovation comes responsibility: to generate returns beyond profits and to recenter technology as a force for good in the world. This requires a shift in the way organizations approach and value work.

A company’s mindset—its intent to do good, avoid harmful consequences, and innovate responsibly—is not enough. That mindset must be supported by a business model, a mechanism that leaders must intentionally and proactively build along with the company from the ground up, one that incentivizes and rewards the organization for fulfilling its intentions.

Companies need a new set of KCIs, or key consequence indicators, that measure factors such as its impact on customers’ energy consumption, whether its product is being used equally across socioeconomic groups, or if it is actually solving the social problem it is addressing. Not only is this the right thing to do—increasingly, it is what customers, employees, and shareholders demand of business.

In this inspiring, practical, and actionable guide, Hemant Taneja:

Lays out the argument for why a new model of company building and leadership is necessary—and how it can lead to better performance

Explores why social-good businesses are some of the greatest opportunities today, detailing examples of billion-dollar startups that are addressing inequality, climate change, systemic societal problems, and chronic disease—all while generating profit and positive shareholder returns

Provides a topic-by-topic road map that addresses business models, artificial intelligence, ethical growth, culture, governance, and good citizenship

Intended Consequences: How to Build Market-Leading Companies with Responsible Innovation

Intended Consequences is designed as the ultimate playbook for founders, entrepreneurs, leadership teams, and investors on how to build and maintain a responsible innovation company.


Required reading in every business school and boardroom in America.

—Tom Steyer

Investor, Activist, and Former Candidate for US President

A thoughtful and robust playbook for how business leaders can and should build a culture of responsibility behind the companies and innovations they bring to market.

—Penny Pritzker

Founder of PSP Partners and Former US Secretary of Commerce

A blueprint for founders, investors, and leaders who aspire to build transformative businesses where impact is a fundamental feature…a must-read for anyone motivated to change the world.

—Jim Breyer

Founder and CEO of Breyer Capital

A prescription for a healthier society, this book describes a proactive approach to creating durable companies intentionally designed to make the world a better place.

—Marc Harrison

MD, President and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare

This book serves as a clarion call for the health assurance and tech revolution to ensure that unintended consequences are predicted and remedied at the very beginning. If you believe that healthcare will be transformed in this country, then you have to read this book. If you don’t believe healthcare delivery will change, then you have to read this book to find out why you are wrong!

—Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA

President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health

About the Author

Hemant Taneja

Hemant Taneja is an investor, founder, and author. He is the managing partner of the venture capital firm General Catalyst. Taneja and General Catalyst are investors in market-leading companies such as Airbnb, Commure, Stripe, Livongo (which was acquired for $18.5 billion, the largest transaction in digital health history to date), Samsara, Snap (NYSE: SNAP), Olive, Applied Intuition, Grammarly, Gusto, Ro, and Warby Parker (WRBY). He serves on the Stanford School of Medicine Board of Fellows and has five degrees from MIT. In addition to his investment work, Hemant has worked on climate and energy issues as the cofounder and chairman of Advanced Energy Economy. He is also the coauthor of Unhealthcare and Unscaled.