My Fatal Flaw

There’s a new project I’ve been considering after hearing about an idea a classmate is pursuing for his Ethics & Entrepreneurialism final project. This project would be a fulfillment service for charities that would automate the resale of goods from a fundraiser to maximize impact. The problem that this is rooted in (as cited by James Rimmer) is the fact that in developing countries like Kenya, much of the charity provided is in the form of items that are useless in the environment, like shower heads in places without running water, or digital photo frames. The first facet of this project would be an educational campaign, perhaps through such a course as Serve Smart, but more likely through a more widespread publicity campaign to the groups that often facilitate this sort of fundraisers: churches, schools, community centers, etc. This campaign would aim to teach the facilitators in these communities the need for participatory charitable engagement: providing what those one is helping actually need. After this, the service would buy all the raised goods from the group at retail price, with a commission, and sell them via Amazon or the like. While solving the problem of unnecessary charity, this service could then also provide access to appropriate resources, or connections to existing organizations.

Anyhow, this isn’t what I had meant to write about in this post: that, rather, is an aspect of my actual implementation of such a project, should it ever take place. This problem is one that I’ve faced significantly with MoneySense, and faced both the advantages and disadvantages of in the planning of TEDxEastsidePrepYouth: the difficulty I have with working with a team. On one hand, I recognize the enormous advantages of being part of a group with diverse skills, but on the other hand, I have a difficult time disseminating the mission of a project to others. Furthermore, I often develop a conviction surrounding my own ideas that, being mine, it’s my responsibility to develop every component of them. TEDx is the perfect example of when I’ve been able to accept something otherwise because the original idea wasn’t my own.

In mentally discussing this idea, I’ve struggled to conceive of how I might face such an issue. Knowing that I likely couldn’t devote myself entirely to this pursuit at any given point in time, it’ll be essential for me to avoid doing so by indeed relying on a team. As difficult as this may be, it’s an issue that I’ll have to face, so I thought I’d recount it here for the sake of the said internal discussion.


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