There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about how privileged I am. I believe that with privilege comes responsibility to give back.
For years we lived hand to mouth and then everything changed. It become more important than ever for us to give back not only because we should but to show leadership to the community and most of all our children.
I remember giving the opening speech at the Mouse event in 1999 where we raised $1m from the tech community. I spoke about the importance of closing the digital divide because I couldn’t imagine what a boring terrible life it would be if our kids grew up in a world where everyone they knew was just like them.
Fast forward, we got involved in several organizations from Donors Choose to Hot Bread Kitchen to CSNYC because we cared about their mission and we wanted to make a difference.
The leaders in our tech community have not done much of the same. The wealth that has been created in tech companies is not even fathomable. Why haven’t more people been more philanthropic and taken their abilities to shake things up to communities? There is literally human feces on the streets of San Francisco and there does not seem to be a rabble-rousing from the top of the tech community with dollars and sense.
Bill and Melinda Gates have been leaders in this but not many have followed. Why? We should all be asking ourselves the same questions? Why are there not more leaders in the tech sector taking their dollars and making change where change is truly needed? Why aren’t more leaders in the tech community with tremendously deep pockets getting behind something now and making a difference in the world?
At one point they might all cure a disease but how about just writing a few checks now?