#70 – Great.com is giving away $100 000. Why are we doing that? – Update

Great.com will give away 100% of its profit, but so far we have had zero revenues. Yet, we have decided to do our first big donation – $100 000.

The purpose is to unify the team, get a publicity push, and support what we believe is a great organization – the questions to answer, are we really unifying the team, or only causing stress and distraction? And will we get any publicity at all?


Great.com will give away 100% of its profit, but so far we have had zero revenues. Yet, we have decided to do our first big donation – $100 000.

The purpose is to unify the team, get a publicity push, and support what we believe is a great organization – the questions to answer, are we really unifying the team, or only causing stress and distraction? And will we get any publicity at all?

Part 1:
The first part is for you who don’t know much about Great.com. How come we will donate all our profits? How far has the business come so far?

Part 2:
In part two we explore how come we are donating this early. We haven’t made any profits yet, still, we take this decision. Why?

Part 3:
Thirdly we look into where we are donating the money. The organization is called Founders Pledge, but why do we choose them and what do they do?

This is an “Update episode”, it means that In today’s episode of Becoming Great.com podcast, Emil Ekvardt and Erik Bergman, explore the very real challenges and problems that come up when building Great.com. A company that gives away 100% of its profit to protect the environment.

This is an opportunity for you to get a behind the scenes look, of what it feels like to build a company – and also get an update on our progress.

What you learn here is not something you will read in a book. It’s the real story of how Great.com gets built.


[00:00:46] Great.com will give away 100 percent of its profits. But so far we haven’t had any revenue at all. Still, we are going to make a first big donation. We will give one hundred thousand dollars to an organization called the Founder’s Pledge. We are doing this to unify the team. We’re doing this to get a publicity push. And we’re doing it to support an organization that we truly believe are doing an amazing job to make the planet better. And I am here with the founder of Great Dot.com, Eric Bergman, who before founding Great, made 50 million euros before turning 30 when he founded the company Catina Media, a company that went from zero to 300 employees in just five years. And on the side of running, great. He’s very passionate about teaching entrepreneurship and personal development to his over 200000 Instagram followers.

[00:01:50] Hey, Eric, how are you doing today? Hey. Very well, thank you. And I’m here with Emil. As always, the first one joining me in Great about two years ago. And he’s the host of this podcast. And he’s also the host of our other podcast, Great Outcome talks with where he interviews charity organizations. And on the side of great. He runs a coaching business where he helps men live richer lives. And all in all, he’s my creative sparring partner, is a really smart and in many ways we are, dude. Today is love learning things together with creating this podcast for Kontum, for Instagram and YouTube. Without him, there would not be much content coming out of me, that’s for sure. And what are we doing?

[00:02:36] Are you the normal one? And this do. Compared if I’m weird. Yeah, definitely. He’s so normal now. If you’re new here to this podcast, they’re becoming great. Podcast is for anyone who wants to make the world or just their own lives, too, for that matter. Better to entrepreneurship and personal development. And today’s episode is about our first big donation. We are very excited about as a team. And we’re going to look at this. Today’s episode in three parts. In the first episode, it’s going to be a bit of a back story for you who are new to great. We’re gonna explore how come we are running a company that would give away one hundred percent of its profits? What is the purpose and what kind of progress have we made so far? An update. Part two is we’re going to look at how come we’re making the donation when we haven’t made any revenue yet. Is that really a good idea? Is this going to unify the team and give us the publicity that we’re hoping for? And then the third and final part, we are going to look at Founders Pledge, their organization that we have chosen to make the donation to. And we’re gonna explore why we believe they are the best investment we can make to make the world better. Let’s dive into part one. I know Eric is a guy who always wants to do things in a new and different way. Whether that is life is habits or how to run a business. And the way we are running great is to give away one hundred percent of the profits. And that, to me, is a pretty strange way to run a business.

[00:04:24] How come we’re doing this? So where did the idea come from?

[00:04:28] Well, I mean, it all goes back to me making more money than I’m ever gonna need in my previous business, that put me in a situation where I can do this. So I understand that it’s not something most people have the opportunity of doing. And while doing that, I learned that more money for myself doesn’t make me happier. But more money that I can give to others does make me happier. So for me, it’s quite simple in a way that the world becoming a better place makes me a happier person. So I could argue that I’m doing it for purely selfish reasons, but it’s also. I mean, the way I wish the world would look. I wish that more people helped others. And this is my way of helping. This is China taking it to the extreme. Yeah. Yeah, definitely taking to the extreme.

[00:05:23] You know, what I think is really cool about great is that it must be so hard as a founder to have everyone. Terrorists much as the business as dumfounded us. Yeah, but giving away 100 percent of the profits solves a bit of that in a way, because everybody has the same incentive as the founder hub, which is to create donations.

[00:05:42] Yeah, that’s an interesting way to think. I haven’t thought about that. Have you thought beyond the usual business does the founder gets the profits or the investors gets the profits? And here No one. And in a sense, everyone gets the profits. It’s the same kind of buying for everyone as a part of it.

[00:05:58] And I got to be very challenging to create. So what progress has been made so far? What product are we even building for someone that is new to great.

[00:06:09] So we started two and a half years ago and we’re building well, in the long run, we’re building a tool that we’ll compare pretty much any different service online and give you a recommendation of what to buy or what to do. And we’re starting out with the casino industry because that’s where I’m coming from. So we’re comparing where would you get the best customer support to which side is the fastest loading? Where would you get the best bonuses? And by comparing these things, we get customers for different casinos and we then own a commission. I see. And how far have we gotten at this point as an update? It less fun questions? Well, we’re actually not even close to where I would want us to be, where we’re just going live. And as part of going live, this donation is kind of a part of a celebratory thing relating to that. So hopefully we will have our very first revenues this month. We made zero so far, which comparing to my previous businesses that were flourishing two and a half years in really big and making a lot of money. This is going.

[00:07:18] Very, very slowly. And how are you feeling about that right now? You’re frustrated that it’s very slow, or are you kind of happy, relieved that we might get our first profits now?

[00:07:28] At least a little bit of both. I think. At this very moment, I feel very at ease with where we are. But on the journey here, there’s definitely been parts where I’ve been doubting this idea or been frustrating, that we’re not making progress and challenging a lot of the things.

[00:07:46] And looking at the team, I can really see why it’s been taking so long to get me where we are because we focused so much and getting brilliant people in rather than starting the product. Focus so much on building the team, building around it, feeling committed to the long term vision, thinking about where do we want to be 50 years from now rather than five days from now.

[00:08:10] So we’ve taken a lot of decisions that are really, really good for the long term, that are quite shitty in the short term. And. Whenever I remind myself of that, whenever I’m thinking about. Yeah, but we’re making very long term decisions. I feel very happy with the progress where we are. And whenever I forget about that, then I feel like, oh, why haven’t we gotten anywhere further? Why is it taking so long? This is draining my pockets. And I’m frustrated that I can’t I don’t have anything to show for it.

[00:08:42] Right. So the surface level feels frustrating, but there’s a lot of things happening on the inside. You gave a really cool metaphore a couple of days ago where you used an ice cube.

[00:08:52] You that how it relates to great and AKCA imagine imagine that you’re sitting in a room and there’s two people. So like we are doing. Right. Like we are doing right now. And it’s 20 degrees below freezing and there is an Kubel ice in this room. And we start heating up the room in various ways. It goes to fifteen degrees below Salt-Water, below freezing and nothing happens with Ice Cube. Ten degrees. Nothing happens without Ice Cube either though. We done a lot of work. Five degrees below freezing. Still nothing with Ice Cube. And then when you finally reach freezing and you go just above, that’s when the ice cube start turning into water. And all the change obviously happened all the way through these minus 20. But the actual change happens when you pass freezing. And that’s what I feel that we are with great at the moment. We’ve done so many things, but it’s just now we’re passing that step where things starts to shift completely.

[00:09:53] And I’m very, very excited of where we are right now and how things will go from there, where we will go from a stiff ice cube to flowing water.

[00:10:03] Right. And I think this perspective is valuable for anyone who’s running a business because it can be really slow and to start. You don’t see any results. But remember that you are slowly melting that ice cube. Focus on the process and the results will come at a certain point.

[00:10:19] Yeah, definitely. I think that applies to pretty much anything. Yeah. Let’s go to part two where we explore. Is this really a good idea?

[00:10:35] We haven’t made any money at all yet. How come we’re still prioritizing to invest a hundred thousand dollars as a charity donation?

[00:10:46] So what’s important to understand about great is that our entire mission is to give away money. That’s what we are and that’s what we will do. Making money is a secondary thing. We obviously need to make money to give it away. But we’re an organization that gives away money. And that’s why everyone has joined. Great, because they want to be a part of giving away money. So for me, it’s such a crucial thing to do at this step because it is what we are doing. And a big reason is to kind of unify the team, get everyone to feel that, OK, we are really giving away money. This is not just some crazy idea, Eric, that we’re giving away money and everyone in the team is chipping in to this in various ways and helping out and. It feels very, very important to do this even early on to make sure that we’re living that identity, that we are in this, and we’re getting everyone to feel inspired about working on this, to see what were happening and getting everyone on the same page with everything. Are you worried as a founder that this is gonna slow down our progress?

[00:11:54] I guess that one hundred thousand dollars could be used for. To market us, build a better product, get more people on.

[00:12:04] Yeah. I mean, I’m sure it will slow us down, like I said earlier. We have this 50 year plan and whatever decision we’re doing right now that doesn’t give us short term results, doesn’t give us short term results. I mean, this is one hundred thousand dollars that could have been focused on hiring developers and increased the pace. And instead, we’re investing the money in a good cause and unifying the team and things that are long term good and the same thing. Our entire team now are focusing on making the most out of this donation. We’re doing PR work for it. We’re getting material for the Web site about we’re doing a lot of things that doesn’t bring in any money anytime soon. And once again, it’s a long term decision for his short term goals. It definitely worries me in the sense that we will not make the progress as fast as we could hope. But in the same way, it aligns very well this long term vision and getting things to where we want in the long run.

[00:13:02] Right. So the whole team is unifying and creating a big PR campaign. We are talking about it here. Everyone is involved to spread the message that we are doing this. And some people might feel unease about that. I know at least I in the past and people that I know feel like charity is something you should do only from your heart. It’s something you shouldn’t speak about that to anyone. It should be something nice that you do, not something you do to get PR.

[00:13:30] Yes. I don’t really like that view of charity. I think that’s one of the one of the biggest problems that charity has is that people think that it’s something that you want to do in secret because you want to do it for the pure intentions of yourself or whatever. And I believe that if people were allowed to be proud of donating money, if people were more allowed to do it with a specific cause, more people would donate money. More people would see other people donate money. More people will feel like, oh, I want to do what they are doing. They’re giving away a lot of money. I want to be a part of that and making that big a part of society in general. Like, if we’re keeping it a secret, then society doesn’t see it and it doesn’t inspire others. And we want to give away a lot of money. But we also want to be an organization that inspires others to give away a lot of money. And that’s really hard if we’re not talking about it.

[00:14:22] Ryan Mack chaired a cool and a symbol of status, just like posting a picture of a cool car would be definitely.

[00:14:30] I mean, if if it was as cool to give away money as it was to drive a Ferrari, we would have a very different world.

[00:14:38] So we’re hoping to change the perspective of. Giving and charity in general. What else do we hope to get out of this campaign? PR wise, what would be a good result?

[00:14:50] You know, it’s an important thing to understand about our business model is that it’s very based on how to rank in search engines and Google. And we want people to find us when they’re Googling for best casino bonus, for example. And a part of that is getting links to what your sites like a link from someone else is like a vote on your site in Google’s algorithm. So the more links you get to you, the higher you will rank upping Google. So when we’re doing a donation like this, our goal is to get newspapers and magazines and blogs and whatever to pick this up and talk about us and links to us. So that also benefits the business. So that’s why we’re doing all these PR efforts around is hiring a PR consultant, talking to different companies. And for me, a good result would mainly be the team learning about this process to know what can we do better the next time? And unifying a great result will be us getting a lot of magazines and newspapers and stuff, writing about this campaign as something unique and something inspiring to do, because I would also help the business and would actually give us short term results as well. Well, so we’re going for the long term results, but obviously wouldn’t be disappointed if we got short term results, too.

[00:16:07] Right. So we make a donation that makes other online sites write about us, which gives us money that we don’t can give away and we create a positive feedback loop.

[00:16:18] Yeah. Exactly. I think it’s important to know that we don’t know if this is going to bring these results in. I don’t know if this will unify the team or is actually going to cause stress for the team because we’re doing something that is outside of the actual business. We’re not doing what we kind of supposed to do. And I’m not the only one being stressed about not seeing results. But I believe that this is a part of running a business. You need to test these things, see what happens, evaluate. And it’s also the exciting parts. I don’t know if this is gonna work, but I truly hope it will.

[00:16:50] It is a lot of fun trying. Thanks. We have no idea what to do. So this podcast got started, doesn’t it? All right. So let’s move on to the third part of today’s episode where we look at the Founders Pledge, an organization that in less than five years made donations of two point four billion dollars possible.

[00:17:18] What do you think would happen if you took a thousand brilliant entrepreneurs that want to make the world better and you put them all in the same room without question?

[00:17:30] Well, start by looking at the founders pledge is doing to become a member of the Founders Touch, which is an entrepreneurial network. The first thing you need to do is to sign an agreement saying that when I do an exit from my company, when I make money from the business in different ways, I’m going to give away X percent of this to charity and X you can decide yourself and it’s common to have 10 or 20 percent of those profits to go to charity. So everyone is a part of this network, have signed this agreement, has said I’m gonna give away money in the future. So I actually don’t get me to do it right now. You can do it in the future, which is a lot easier to commit to, especially if you’re running a business and hopefully it will sell for millions in the future is going to be a big donation. But you don’t need to give away the money at the moment. And this is a legal binding agreements if you die or whatever, that money is going to be donated. And to answer your question of what happens when you bring 1000 brilliant entrepreneurs together, this is what they’re doing. You sign this agreement and then you become a part of this network, which is people who wants to make the world a better place, who have already committed to make the world a better place. And they help them to share ideas among each other as they give them research about what charity organizations are the best at what they do. Who is the most need of support where you can make the most impact of your money? And they help entrepreneurs to create the legacy.

[00:19:00] They help entrepreneurs to easily donate money, because it’s quite complicated to know what organizations are that. And it’s not always easy to know how it works with taxes. So they are experts in how does it work with taxes when donating money? It’s not always easy to know how to process these payments and do these things today. Streamline everything that an entrepreneur would need to do because a lot of entrepreneurs want to make the world a better place. I know many of them, but they get stuck on not knowing where to give or how to get in. So this is what they’re doing. And as you touched upon before, thanks to this or the last five years, they managed to get entrepreneurs to sign agreements to give away a total of two point four billion dollars in the future. And I think out of those three or four hundred million dollars have already been donated. Both donated and also shifted towards the most effective courses right now on the planet. Their important thing is, well, the housing, they’re not just giving it away, they’re giving it away. Based on the research that founders pledged and some of the other top organizations in the world have put together saying these are the best organizations at what they do. Those are the ones who want to give money. So they both create more donations, but they also create more donations to the right place, which is usually hard. Right. That’s incredible. That’s incredible. Yeah. You had an interview with David Goldberg, the founder.

[00:20:22] I had so much fun when we were running a shared a podcast on the side of this become a great dot.com podcast. And they went through shared organizations.

[00:20:31] And to me, this was the most inspiring and engaging episode I have done so far. Wow. David Goldberg, the founder, is a brilliant speaker. And I think he managed to explain a lot of the tricky concepts that you need to know to really understand charity in a simple way that was engaging and inspiring. And we talked about his story, of course, and the collaboration with Great. But we also explored two interesting topics right now. The first one is what is their approach towards covered 19 and what they do to help and what you can do to help. And then we also talked about a heart question for great, which is climate change and how to best solve that.

[00:21:16] So did you feel that you got a better understanding of how to do it with both Kobie than climate change? I did. I did. And.

[00:21:25] So I don’t want to spoil the podcast. I just think you should go and check it out. But the most interesting thing I learned that I was wondering about before is.

[00:21:33] I want to donate money. It’s not much, but on the side myself. And I want to support organizations that combat climate change. Yeah. And I’m wondering now with this crisis situation, is it urgent? And should I direct my money to Kobe 19 instead? Or should I stick with climate change? Because so many people probably right now are investing their money in covered mining. Like the more attention something gets in the media, the more people donate. So I, I wanted to know, should I switch my focus to covered 19 to help right now in this crisis? Okay. And I’m not going to ask you, if you will, because then people can go and hear the podcast instead. I think so, too. I let you take a guess. You can take a guess. I think that you’re going to stick with climate change, I guess. No. Unless you go watch that episode.

[00:22:26] One thing I think is important to understand about Sandra’s pledge. I mean, why are we donating money to them even though they’re so good at raising funds for others? So a cool thing that they’re doing is that they they don’t ask entrepreneurs to donate to them. They say donate to these guys. Those are the best ones doing to these guys. And instead, they raise money externally to run their organizations, to do all of these things, recommend all these things. All the staff, the research you’re doing. And we want to support that research. So when it comes to Corona, for example, they started doing pandemic research already last year. It started recommending which organizations are the best in the world at battling pandemics even before a pandemic was the topic of everyone’s eyes. So for me, it’s so important to support the research they’re doing so they can give their recommendations to the people with a lot of money that doing donations because they’re not taking anything from anything from the founders. Everything is free. The only thing you need to do is to commit to give away to any way to anyone in the future. You’re not committing to give the founders pledge. You’re committing to give away to anything that you believe in. So we want them to keep reaching out to entrepreneurs, to keep inspiring tomorrow’s building this network and for them to be able to do this. They obviously need money. They need to pay their staff. They need to pay their officers. They need all of these things. So we’re supporting what they’re doing and the research they’re doing to make all of these things possible in the network. And so they can keep being, you know, keep not asking other entrepreneurs for money, basically.

[00:24:01] Yes. It’s a brilliant idea for how to run a charitable organization. And if you want to know more about funders, pledge, we give a link in the description below. We’ll also give a link to the interview I did with David Goldberg, their founder. And we’ll put in a link there to the organization that they believe is the most effective charity organization in the entire world right now. If you want to know that for your own way of thinking about charity. Nice. So what can someone do if they want to support this podcast? If you like these kind of dialogues and if you want to support us in any way, the most important thing you can do is to press subscribe in your podcast app. And that really helps us out because we want to get into different podcasts, top lists. And if you do that or not is based on how many subscribers you have compared to your viewers, which is cool because we’re a teeny tiny podcast, but we can still get that ratio and get into top lists and then we can grow. And more people can hear these conversations and we’re actually starting to get into topless. [00:25:03] Now we see that. So thank you, guys. Yeah. This is all things to you that you’re subscribing. Starting to climb in UK. In the U.S.. In Australia and Sweden. So we’re actually seeing things happening. And that’s huge. That’s huge. And we hit one case subscribers on YouTube yesterday. Coro. Yeah. So please come back next week for another conversation about something. Happy to have you here.