Making History by Infusing Meaning into Our Work
A few days ago, I received an email from Darrow’s co-founder and CEO, Evya, with a really interesting question: “What would make Darrow worthy of being part of history books as a company that infuses meaning into its core business?” His question gave me pause as I thoughtfully considered my answer.
But in order to understand my response, it’s important to go back in time to just over one year ago (the spring of 2022) when I decided to accept a product role at Darrow – a unique, scrappy startup with a compelling mission to “bring justice to light.” I had recently completed a one-year fellowship through the Hoffman Kofman Leadership program for alumni of IDF’s elite units. I had been thinking a lot about purpose and was actively looking for a company that had true meaning and impact behind its work. In other words – not just another software company. I had read about Darrow and immediately thought there might be a match. When I joined the company, it felt like home immediately.
The “Meaning Revolution” and pursuing purpose-driven work
“Purpose” (like “impact”) can become just another buzzword… but when it’s real, it’s real. Pursuing purpose has become paramount in today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving business world. I’m definitely part of a trend.
I was greatly inspired by Fred Kofman’s groundbreaking book, “The Meaning Revolution: The Power of Transcendent Leadership” and look at Darrow through this lens often. Kofman claims that the biggest driver of motivation is “the chance to serve a larger purpose beyond our careers and ourselves, rather than salary, benefits, bonuses, or other material incentives.” He elaborates to suggest that “companies that are able to successfully focus their people, their teams, and their culture around meaning outperform their competition.” I tend to agree.
At Darrow, our purpose extends far beyond profits and bottom lines (of course, we care very much about this as well). We measure our impact by Gross Litigation Value (GLV): dollars redistributed from wrongdoers to victims of fraud and other illegal activities. But what truly guides us is our shared aspiration to revolutionize the justice system.
Drawing from the principles of transcendent leadership, Darrowers believe that by infusing purpose into every aspect of our business, we can forge deep and meaningful connections with our partners and society as a whole. I have personally participated in several conversations around our company’s vision, mission, and guiding principles. Our co-founders and senior leaders consistently chose the path that aligned with our values.
Product-Centric and Customer-Centric
When I joined Darrow a year ago, we were still building out our product team and trying to clarify our vision from a product perspective. We knew the real-world change we wanted to make, but we very much needed to work on the mechanism that would get us there. In other words, our “how” – our product.
Today, every product we develop and every iteration we release is a tangible representation of our purpose, and we ensure our offerings align with our overarching mission from concept to creation. By imbuing our products meaningfully, we address customer needs and tap into their aspirations to contribute to a more significant cause.
But being purpose-driven isn’t just about the products we create – it’s about the relationships we build with our customers. At Darrow, we strive to be customer-centric to the core. We listen intently, seeking to understand their needs, desires, pains, and values. This deep understanding enables us to go beyond mere transactions and cultivate authentic connections. Our goal is to fulfill their requirements and resonate with their longing to make a difference.
It’s all about the people
But to really bring our vision to life, we also understand the importance of empowering our employees. At Darrow, we aim to foster a culture of meaning and autonomy, where each team member feels valued and empowered to contribute their unique talents and creativity. By nurturing a sense of purpose within our Darrowers, we hope to unleash their full potential, propelling us toward our collective mission.
Furthermore, we recognize that addressing the challenges we face requires collaborative efforts. Darrow actively seeks partnerships with like-minded organizations, and amazingly enough – there are more of us out there. Through these joint endeavors, we amplify our impact, pool resources, and leverage collective knowledge. Together, we drive innovation, accelerating progress toward a better future.
And lastly, we know that measuring our impact is vital to understanding our progress. At Darrow, we establish meaningful metrics that gauge our contributions to society, the environment, and our customers. These measurements inform our strategies and enable us to improve and adapt continuously. We hold ourselves accountable for our impact and constantly seek ways to enhance it.
Darrow represents our collective belief that business can be a force for good. We can do well while doing good. In fact, we can do well by doing good.