The Coronavirus Hunger Crisis

If 200,000 (on the way to 400,000) deaths from Covid-19 were not enough to worry about, there is the coming hunger crisis across at least half of the world caused by the lockdowns and economic collapse. I predicted this a month ago and have been talking almost daily with entrepreneurs in Africa with actual stories of the food system collapsing. The New York Times wrote about this crisis a few...


Back in 2011 I left the world of tech and joined a world that has no universally agreed upon name.  Back in 2011 it was the world of “social enterprise” and “social entrepreneurs” and those terms are still commonly used, but these definitions vary from organization to organization.  These are terms that first arose in the nonprofit sector, and nearly all my work is with...

Sorry Jeff, but Mary’s Place isn’t enough

(This is in response to Jeff Bezos’ call for feedback/ideas on his philanthropy) Jeff, If you want to immediately help a few homeless in Seattle, do that.  But what about the other 10,000 homeless in Seattle and the other tens of thousands of homeless in other American cities?  And what about the billion others who live a life with even less food, less shelter, and less chance of a...

Don’t forget to have fun

Sure, once you are a successful entrepreneur, life can be fun.  But don’t forget to have fun along the way too.  Startups are intense.  If you pick a startup solving a real problem, it’ll pull you along, rather than require you to push it to the finish line.
Meanwhile… a fun video from two highly successful entrepreneurs:

Philanthropy is so 20th Century

When ideas are 100 years old, we tend to not only not know their origins, but also think of those ideas have been around forever.  So it is with the large, organized philanthropic organizations today known as private foundations. The first of these was the Carnegie Corporation of New York, established in 1911, by Andrew Carnegie, who invented the idea of giving away one’s fortune.  That...

Philanthropy doesn’t scale

Philanthropy does an amazing amount of good in the world.  However, when philanthropy finds a solution to a problem, the solution only scales through yet-more philanthropy.  In contrast, when a for-profit company finds a solution, the profits from the solution pay for more. In a world where 7 billion people have access to a Coke within a half day’s walk, the same should be true for clean...

Understanding (the draw of) impact

Impact investing is not a mindset, it is a spectrum of opportunities.  A spectrum, as impact investing spans the plethora of investment opportunities, asset classes, and risk profiles, plus the vast array of impact. This post comes midway through my first trip to Africa, on a trip organized by Investors Circle, and thus with events focused solely on early-stage mission-driven for-profit...

Philanthropy is another form of Investment

Most people follow a century-old paradigm of philanthropy, popularized by Andrew Carnegie back at the turn of the 20th Century.  Simply put, maximize the return of investments, and give a portion of those earning to charity. In Carnegie’s case, those investments provided him so much wealth, that despite giving away an equivalent of $5 billion in his two decades as philanthropist, enough of his...


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