You Probably Won’t Donate for Harvey

In 2004, I was sitting on the top of the stairs at my parents’ house.

I was brainstorming all of the things I could do with my engineering degree after I graduated.

Looking down at them, I started to imagine a fully immersive gym designed specifically for overweight children. Excitedly, I explained this new phrase I learned called “persuasive and ubiquitous technologies.”

“Floor to ceiling video games so they can race on stationary bikes! Imagine a gym for kids that aren’t good at sports and will grow bored quickly of lifting weights…we need fun technology that enables their weight loss journey.”

This is what I wrote about in my personal essay to UC Berkeley. It was this passion that fueled my move to Silicon Valley in 2005.

I was let down when I realized others weren’t as excited about the people part of tech.

From Hurricane Harvey’s wrath, we’re seeing how crumbling infrastructure, global warming and trifling politics can work against the greater good.

In 2017, I hoped we would be talking about tech that helps us thrive. But now I’m asking, what tech is out there that can help us survive this disaster?

As we’re all going to work today, what can us technologists do to help this immediate catastrophe?

You can sign up for a Hackathon, spin up an OpenData website or, even better, open up your startup’s services for free to support victims directly.

But, part of designing technology for people is designing technology to support what people are already doing well, naturally.

The most straightforward answer is to give quickly to the people that already work tiredly in disaster situations like these. There are millions of non-profits that can use our dollars.

But I guarantee some of you won’t even do that. You’re not a bad person, it’s just that giving to non-profits is a pain-in-the-ass. It’s such a chore to fill out these long forms on each website.

Poorly designed web forms asking for a host of unnecessary information compels us to pick just one non-profit to support or prevents us from giving at all. There’s a frustrating barrier to giving simply.

That’s why I need you to know about my client’s company GIVZ, non-profit giving the right way. They facilitate instant donations to any 501c3 in the US in a matter of seconds.

It’s an AMAZING improvement in non-profit giving. You can enter your information once and give to any and all 1.5+ million 501(c)3’s in the United States.

I team up with compassionate and people-minded entrepreneurs like Andrew Forman and his team to simplify the complex journey of building a startup so we can all design ourselves into the future.

It’s time to act as if we want to use technology versus letting technology use us.

Helping the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts while supporting a technology platform that’s trying to decrease the non-profit shopping cart abandonment rate (60%!!) seems like an excellent opportunity to optimize your actions this week.

It’s taken me 10+ years to realize the passion was not for overweight children but for designing technology for people. My heart beats faster when I think about systems and solutions that are designed to further humanity’s quality of life.


If you’re a (com)passionate and people-minded entrepreneur who wants to defy the odds so we can design ourselves into the future, I want to share this with you:

How I get investors’ and customers’ attention without putting blind faith into a software developer.

When you watch my case study, you’ll learn my 3 secrets that’ll attract investors, make a huge impact on your audience and join the 10% of startups that do succeed.