Recently, a friend of mine – Joel Manzer – got an iPad. This alone might seem ordinary, however, the means by which he came to do it are pretty cool and a reminder to us entrepreneurs that it isn’t always all about us.
Joel gave me a call out of the blue and asked where the best place to buy an iPad was. This came as a surprise, because Joel, like myself, is the father of a boy on the autism spectrum, and the lead editor of the biggest autism blogging site in the world, Autisible. We had been talking about an iPad for his son for about a year and a half, yet it was always out of reach for him as therapies for children with autism are extremely expensive, prohibitively so. When I asked him how he got the funds, he told me something great.
A friend of his decided to take it upon herself and launch an Indie GoGo campaign to raise funds for the iPad, but she did it in secret. She was able to raise $800 and informed him once the campaign had ended. I am so happy that Joel was able to get his hands on a learning resource like the iPad for his son; yet, when I think about all of the circumstances surrounding this event, I’m still blown away by the kindness and support.
Entrepreneurs, whether we know it or not, are changing the world and helping people everyday. Without crowd funding through Indie GoGo, the funds for Joel’s son would never have been collected. Without the innovation of the iPad, Joel’s son and millions of other children with autism who have iPads would still be forced to use equipment that costs thousands of dollars (and, on top of that, was ineffective). Without innovative, fun, affordable apps being created for children with autism, there wouldn’t be the sudden boom of affected children learning to talk because of the applications that can be catered to their needs. All of this is possible because there are a few crazy people like us, who are willing to take a chance, and build something great.
Today, take a moment and think of how your product can help people. You shouldn’t be building a startup to make money alone. If you are, you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Making money is great, but when you think of your product potentially changing a life, your perspective can become less introspective, and more of a quest to solve your customers’ problems, which is the key to a successful business. So, try to help someone today with your work – you’ll be surprised what will happen to you and the people you reach.
Keep on creating.