I don’t like the idea because it’s too faddish.
We’re helping Cause A! We rock!
We’re doing something amazing for Cause B! Wow we’re so amazing!
And so on and so on…
It’s not my style, and it doesn’t make sense to me that it would be the style of a community who could accomplish more. Obviously some people like that, maybe some people feel obligated to. To me it always looks like people are making a lot of noise around donating a couple bucks. And at every opportunity to make a lot of noise, way too much “self-stroking” goes on.
Enough Charities, Let’s Tackle Some Problems
What we should be doing is creating longer term projects, that can help causes over a long, or continually. Developing solutions like that actually take some serious problem solving to accomplish. A project with the schedule flexibility to develop a plan and deliverables that take advantage of what real expertise and skills can offer. Something concrete and sustaining that lasts beyond our involvement in it.
Anything but a big deal.
We could start by looking outside the scope of what current charities and organizations cover, or what they are able to provide. What groups have needs that aren’t being addressed, where is there an opportunity to do more beyond one time fundraising.
What value could we be adding in a long term, continual way that might really make a long lasting difference? What could we offer more than just money? And to what groups? Maybe there’s even ways that a small group of 4 or 5 could contribute something meaningful.
We should be able to create:
- Products that exist to help groups of people.
- Public resources that go beyond what the city offers.
- An application to systematize this process of discovering and analysing problems (what I’ve been working a lot on)
- Some that gives repeatedly to groups in need.
Anything but a big deal.
Let’s Not De-emphasis Technology
I’m going to say it. Technology is fucking amazing.
It always rubs me the wrong way when people who have no tech background, shout out that we should not focus on technology. It might actually do the same to developers, who’s careers it is to build applications that help people solve problems.
Technology is not code – it’s products that solve needs. Sometimes the application to solve a need doesn’t exist yet, and we need developers to make it. That argument is enough for me to think that sometimes we should emphasis the fuck out of creating technology that can accomplish big things.
And we should create that technology, just for the joy of what it will provide.
Don’t Do It Out of Self-Interest
Not being transparent about self-interest destroys trust.
So don’t do it.