Launch Festival is happening this week in San Francisco. If you visit the festival site, you will notice the logos for the companies launching today are blurred out while the ones for previous days are visible/linkable. After they “launch”, they come into focus and you can read about them to see what each is about. Each day, I have been making it a point to read the “elevator pitch” for each new logo that appears (and more if the pitch looks interesting enough). Overall, there are a few really impressive ideas along with some that seem to be solving problems that either don’t exist or have basically been solved by some other platform in one form or another.
I am certain the folks behind all these start-ups are intelligent, talented and passionate. They are looking to “disrupt” different industries or players they view as complacent in their respective markets. They want their work to make a difference. These are all admirable goals and I applaud them each for putting the thought, work and effort into their dreams. More importantly, I applaud them for actually building the things they dreamed up-a step most “I have an idea” folks simply don’t take. But, what I found so conspicuously and sadly missing from the roster at Launch (as I do with most similar events), were social entrepreneurial start-ups designed to help people and change the world in a truly meaningful way.
With all of the time, effort and talent; all of the resources being poured into this start-up frenzy, why aren’t we spending at least some of it to make our world a better place? When will we start to harness the powerful start-up culture and entrepreneurial spirit sweeping the world to start doing some good by making real change? When will we applaud efforts and value a start-up like Sama Source, the way we do a snapchat?
More importantly, when we talk about disruption, when will we start using it in reference to poverty, global warming, hunger, injustice, inequality and the many other things that desperately need disrupting in this world of ours?