According John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, capitalism has done a bad job marketing itself. Looking at how pretty much everyone sees Wall Street and business everywhere, it’s easy to think he’s right.
If you ask the ordinary person what the purpose of a business is, they’ll say, “Well, it’s to make money.” Which is kind of a strange answer, because you don’t get that answer if you ask what the purpose of a doctor is or what the purpose of a teacher is or an architect or an engineer or any of the other professions, yet they all have to make money. To be a doctor, you can’t operate at a loss, at least not for very long.
Most entrepreneurs I’ve known—and I’ve known lots of them—none of them started their businesses primarily to make money. Instead, they were pursuing some type of dream, some type of passion. They wanted to make the world a different place…It’s not why I started Whole Foods Market, to make as much money as possible. It was to sell healthy food and help people earn a living, do something I felt good about. I was on fire about eating healthy food; I had passion about that.
He explains more in his interview at Reason. It’s definitely worth the read.