PITTSFIELD — At first, #R3SET sounds like it could be the name of a droid in Star Wars and, in a way, it is. Like R2-D2 and C-3PO, this local startup, an interactive media company which bills itself as “the first member-owned media network for change makers,” seeks to meld technology with organic human emotion and interaction.
Like their film counterparts, #R3SET’s four founders — two of whom live in Pittsfield — are part of a band of rebels seeking to liberate themselves and others from what they see as an evil (media and advertising) empire by aspiring to a nobler ideal while simultaneously harnessing and capitalizing on the power of the small screen, which looms so much larger than the big screen in the current cultural cosmos.
When Star Wars first came out in 1977, the # symbol was still just a number sign. Nowadays, the hashtag is a way of classifying and grouping topics together in the digital multiverse, like a Dewey Decimal System for the 21st Century. It is also the coat of arms of the millennial generation, which is one reason #R3SET’s founders — three of them millennials — chose to make it part of the company name.
According to 27-year-old co-founder and Pittsfield native, Patrick Danahey, #R3SET evolved from RESET for three main reasons, reflecting the 3 in the title.
– The first was branding. Substituting 3 for E distinguishes them from all the “resets” online.
– The second reflects the partners’ belief in thinking on three levels — self, community and world.
– The third reason builds on the second one. #R3SET is incorporating as a benefit corporation, a type of for-profit entity authorized in 30 states and the District of Columbia, that includes positive impact on society, workers, the community and the environment in addition to profit as its legally defined goals. #R3SET’s founders believe in the B corporation mantra of having a triple bottom line — profit, people, planet — as the bedrock of their by-laws. This commitment to core values permeates everything the company does and is, right down to its ownership structure.
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