How Jason Fried and Kiva are Changing the World
Jason Fried, CEO of web app company 37 Signals, has been named an MIT Tech Review Young Innovator.
But Tech Review got it wrong.
Fried's significant contribution isn't in online collaboration software.
It's in creating meaning for thousands of people, many of whom aren't even paying customers.
He, and 37 Signals, do this by showing people there's a different way to develop software.
It's a way that's simpler, quicker, and more aligned with what users want.
Basically, it's more fun to develop software their way.
And showing people how to have fun while doing something they love is incredibly meaningful, for both Fried and for people who buy into his philosophy.
Now, let's talk about Kiva.
Kiva.org enables people with money ($5, $20, $100, whatever) to provide micro-loans to people in the third world.
Reminds me of my
smart cheap friend Noah, who, in high school, borrowed ten cents from ten people to buy a bag of chips.
I found Kiva a couple months ago and loaned $20 to Jane Gathiru, who runs Muranga Best Butchery in Kenya.
Her $750 loan was complete shortly afterwards. Within a month, Jane has paid back nearly 10%.
Umair wrote about Kiva eloquently, but this is about more than loans.
It's about Meaning.
Anybody reading this blog has the ability to create meaning by loaning money through Kiva.
And creating meaning for yourself and for others is what it's all about, whether the subject is software development, or micro-loans, or something else.
So what about you? How are you making meaning?