Back in August of 2006, we served up The Thought Kitchen as Nau’s first foray into stirring the pot. After nineteen months of collective inquiry, we’re proud of what we’ve mixed up here. We’ve delved into topics as diverse as farmers’ markets and break beats, public bikes and moonwalking bears. And so it is with deep sadness that we announce that Nau, Inc., and with it this blog, will immediately begin the process of winding down our business operations.
We’re grateful to all of the readers who have followed The Thought Kitchen, offered comments on our posts, and joined us in energized exchange. You’ve given us faith that while the party may be wrapping up in our house, the thoughts, ideas and inspiration for these conversations will carry on. Though Nau is winding down, we as individuals will continue to participate with you as part of the larger collective sharing ideas and exchanging dialogue in this movement around positive change.
In the meantime, we have posted the following letter on the homepage of our website:
In the current highly risk-averse capital market, we simply could not raise the necessary funds to continue to move forward. We believe this is not so much a reflection of the viability of our business, but the result of an unfortunate confluence of events. Just as we could not have predicted the sudden groundswell of environmental consciousness that blossomed at the time we launched our business, we did not foresee the current crisis in the capital markets. At this time, investors are loath to invest in anything; especially, it appears, a company like Nau that has the audacity to challenge conventional paradigms of what a business should be.
We are, of course, eternally thankful to a large community of people, including the investors who got us this far”those who saw our potential and gave their support when the risk was greatest. We would also like to express our most sincere gratitude to our customers as well as our partner non-profit organizations, our business associates, our friends in the media as well as the countless others who have cheered us and challenged us along the way. It has been an honor working with and serving all of you. Your unflagging support and enthusiasm has inspired us to work diligently on your behalf and we regret we will not be able to serve you in the future.
In the end, we are proud of what we have accomplished as a company. After less than one year of business, we donated over $223,000 through our customer-directed giving program, Partners for Change. We feel this model, were it widely adopted, could have staggering potential to influence the common good. We are thrilled to have watched the community of individuals who have strongly identified with Nau’s mission and who have shared their thoughts and feelings with us online and in person, in our local markets and around the globe. We also salute the larger community of artists, athletes, and activists whose passions have inspired us to do what we do and who have welcomed us as a part of a much greater movement devoted to positive change.
Nau set out to show the world that business can be a force for positive social and environmental change. Although our current financial obstacles have proven to be insurmountable, it does not mean the ideas associated with Nau are unattainable. Nau was merely one attempt to express a larger idea that was around before us and will survive long after. It remains as urgent as ever for businesses to take the lead in creating a sustainable future for humans and the planet. We, as individuals and as members of a grander collective of the change-minded, look forward to continuing that journey.