11 Big Ideas to Watch in 2011

Yoko Furusho
10 of 11

10. Adding Bottom Lines

It's become fashionable for investors and entrepreneurs to talk about double-bottom-line businesses—that is, businesses that make money and do some good in the world. That sounds impressive—but not as impressive as the triple bottom line, an increasingly popular bit of marketing jargon for socially responsible businesses. (The three bottom lines are generally profits, people, and the planet). Lately there's been talk of adding yet a fourth bottom line that would capture a business's cultural impact. We wouldn't be surprised if 2011 is the year of the first self-proclaimed quintuple-bottom-line business. Hey, it worked for the razor blade industry.