Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How did Edison do it?

Imagine yourself 100 years ago listening to Thomas Edison talking about the need for an electricity industry and infrastructure to enable light bulbs to be in every home, street corner and business of the country.

Most people at that time did not know what a light bulb was. How many were thinking of transformers and power plants and all the thousands of little details that add up to today's giant electricity industry.

I face the same challenge. Maybe you can help me communicate this better. To me the "light bulb" is a tutor/mentor program. We still don't have a 100% proven method of connecting youth and volunteers in non-school neighborhood tutor/mentor programs of high poverty neighborhoods in ways that result transforming the life and future of the youth, and the volunteer. We probably have a hundred different definitions of what we mean when we say "transforming the life".

Yet, these programs won't be in most of the places they need to be and they won't have the resources to hire and retain quality staff to support tutors/mentors and student, or to support the operations of the organization, unless we create an industry dedicated to this purpose.

Is this something you're thinking about? Now, how can if earn some revenue to pay my own bills, and cover the costs of the ideas we generate and the tools we've developed at while helping you apply this thinking to your own industry-development effort?

If you were Edison, how would you describe what you're doing and what you want others to do to help you?

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