Bias for Action

You have skillz. Now make a difference.

I met Roushan Zenooz, VP corp dev at Groupon acquiring my company Ditto. Negotiating against each other, we became friends.

After seeing the widely publicized photo of the drowned baby boy on the beach, Roushan decided to skip his own 40th birthday party and used the money instead to fly to the Greek island of Lesvos, where refugees from Syria primarily land in their rafts.

What Roushan realized was that many of the deaths happen when the rafts struggle at night, and the refugees are hard to spot out at sea in the dark.

Roushan called me and said he needed drones or other tech to help spot them. Luckily my friend Rafal, CEO of ICEYE a satellite company we just invested in, is a radar expert. Rafal put a radar in his suitcase and got on a plane, and within hours had created an ad-hoc mobile radar imaging system for spotting the refugees from the beach. (The photos here are from Rafal).

This week it has outperformed any other system for search & rescue and really is saving lives.

Margaret Mead was right: we continue to underestimate the power of a few thoughtful individuals who have a bias for action.

Many talented people in the Valley work on things that matter little, at best. Doesn’t need to be so.

Tomorrow Roushan is going back to Lesvos, and he could use your help.

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