What's happening with Semafores.
With Thanksgiving coming this week it seems a good time for the Semafores Team to say our own thank yous to the many people without whom we could not continue to operate and make progress as a company. No names will be used but we hope you know who you are.
First, we each thank our teammates, without whose support, understanding, and hard work our individual efforts would be pointless.
In a recent report, Valuing the Invaluable, 2015 Update, the AARP estimated the value of family caregiving in the United States in 2013 at $470 billion (http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/ppi/2015/valuing-the-invaluable-2015-update-new.pdf). That’s more than total Medicaid spending, more than the total of Americans’ out-of-pocket medical expenses, and almost as much as Walmart’s sales for that year. The way Semafores sees things, this number is undoubtedly too low. The AARP is concerned with issues affecting older Americans and the definition of family caregiver that they used for this study included only those people who provided unpaid care for elderly or disabled adults. Another report, Caregiving in the U.S. 2015, from the AARP, in association with the National Alliance for Caregiving, looked at family caregiving in a wider context and found that 10.2 million people provided care for children with special needs, often caring for an adult as well. (http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/ppi/2015/caregiving-in-the-united-states-2015-executive-summary-revised.pdf). The value of this care provided to children was not even considered in the economic impact study.
It is hard to say much about Semafores’ corporate culture today. We are a tiny enterprise and our culture could be summed up as three friends working together to found a company. There is little need for formal structure or policy in our daily working environment. It is sufficient for us to meet regularly and keep lines of communication open. Beyond that we make our own hours and keep our own schedules. Everyone in the company is a co-founder. We all have an ownership interest and there can be no division between management and labor.
To be successful, however, Semafores must grow. There will come a time when the team is larger and not everyone is a founder. Company culture will become a key part of our corporate identity. It will be critical in attracting and retaining talented people in our organization, and it will also be reflected in our relationship with our customers, especially with our end users.