9 February 2021

PLTW Capstone #5: Products Made for Profit Versus Products That Benefit Others

This post was written for the Project Lead the Way Capstone program.

What is the difference between products that are made for profit and products that are made to benefit others?

While I don't know enough about products to research this question well, I found a page on Lumen Learning that lists the differences between for-profit companies and nonprofits. Here are some of my key takeaways:

  • Business and non-profits operate on the same basic business practices/principles.
  • In a business, profit goes back to the owners, while in a nonprofit, profit is spent towards its cause.
  • Businesses and nonprofits can both make money from sales, but nonprofits can also receive donations.
  • Businesses are taxed, while nonprofits are not.

Similarly, I think that the design process for a product made for profit versus the design process for a product made to benefit others is largely the same. Any other differences stem from the fact that these are just very different goals.

Research the pros/cons of developing a product that is made for profit vs a product that is made to benefit others. Provide an example of each type of product.

Products Made for Profit


Many people are motivated to start a business or design a product for profit because they get to work on their own terms. This includes setting hours, deciding where they work, controlling all aspects of the design, and deciding what to do with their profit. If the business is successful, then they will also make more money for themselves. Products can also have investors.


More autonomy means more decisions. Without prior knowledge or context about how to make those decisions, it is very hard to sell a product.

An example of a product made for profit is Google Ads, an advertising platform that is responsible for the majority of ads seen on websites.

Products Made to Benefit Others


Products that are made to benefit others can be eligible for public and private grants.


Because of the goal of the product, no one involved will make very much money. Since all the profits of a nonprofit are given to its cause, Additionally, if the product isn't researched properly, there's a chance that it could do more harm than good for its targeted cause.

An example of a product made to benefit others is the Embrace Nest, a portable infant warmer. This is used to regulate the temperatures low-birthweight infants in the developing world and reduce their mortality.

Made with Gatsby and smiles by Isabelle Wagenvoord