A Note from Co-Founder, Ken Miller
Hello. I’m Ken Miller, co-founder and principal of DADU Homes. When Stephen Baldwin and I started the company in 2018 we wanted a particular kind of good time, combining aesthetics and collaborative relationships, social purpose, challenge. We didn’t need work. We wanted adventure.
In this post I’d like to talk a bit about our “why.” We have a relationship, right? Even if it’s just this blog for just this minute. And relationships work better when we understand each other.
DADU Homes has three goals: to build better communities; to make money; and to demonstrate a company can do both at once.
Let’s start with better communities. We see housing at the intersection of equity, economics, and the environment. It’s a busy corner, with lots of fender benders and sometimes a major crash. We help traffic flow more smoothly by offering alternatives to traditional housing. Investors make money, homebuyers can afford their homes, and renters find less expensive spaces.
We protect farms and wilderness from sprawl, make mass transit and human-powered transportation more feasible, bring families closer, and enable greater diversity in traditionally homogeneous neighborhoods.
Not everybody likes what we do. That’s too bad, but we won’t stop. That’s a nice thing about being a business: we steer our own ship. If we make money we keep going. And so far it’s working out. We don’t make a lot of money, but enough to be encouraged.
Then why worry about showing the compatibility of values and profit? Because our system of democratic capitalism is at risk. Millions of people think profit is wrong. And millions more think a free market will handle any social issues that pop up. Good grief!
I happen to think we have the best large-scale system in the history of the planet. It’s deeply flawed but so am I; I sympathize. It’s not Norway but we don’t have nationalized oil to pay social costs. And it’s not easy. It’s hard for a lot of people in a lot of ways. For some people it’s hard every day.
Yet I don’t see a better alternative than value-driven businesses, combining the best elements of capitalism and progressive ideals. We’re a tiny player and late to the game. But we’re in it up to our necks, and glad to be.