A Call to Arms to Build a Better World
- James Isaac
- 10 May 2014
I'm sick of looking around and seeing such fundamental flaws in the values our society is built on. Enormous problems which such a small minority are even aware of, let alone attempting to address. I'm not talking about the little problems - we're very efficient at solving those - developing a new smartphone model every 18 months for us to lust after? That's a trillion dollar industry.
I'm talking about problems which actually matter for the sustenance and progress of humanity. To name a few: irreversible destruction of the planet as fossil-fuel empires and governments collude into inaction, widening wealth inequality as more are pushed into poverty, and an education system designed to repress any true form of critical thinking or creativity to produce corporate drones who can follow orders and become completely dependent on an employer to fulfill their culturally-imposed unquenchable appetite for consumption.
We've already plundered the majority of third-world countries for all the natural resources and exploitable labour they're worth. We should be living in some kind of utopia, right? Wrong. What are we actually spending most of our time doing? Engaging in a rat-race forever attempting to acquire "more", in a bizarre consumption/capitalism hybrid where we don't realise we're really just fighting over scraps whilst lining the pockets of corporate executives and actively contributing to the ever-growing wealth inequality.
A big problem here is the convergence towards market domination by profit-driven multinationals. Think the average startup is any different? Nope. Any exciting idea with a good team behind it is very, very likely to be gobbled up by one of the tech giants (Google/FB etc) in an acqui-hire.
I want to do something different here. No more regarding profit as the key metric of success. Instead, one thing which matters above all else: Improving people's lives, and making a positive impact on the world. Forget which niche problems have a "gap in the market" and the biggest potential ROI, and instead take a step back and look at what the biggest unaddressed problems are today, and start working on ways to solve them. It may not be the most direct route to a quarterly profit; venture capitalists may not find it appealing; I couldn't care less. It will very likely eventually lead to profit anyway, but that's not the focus.
Here are a couple of videos which should help explain my motivations:
Summary: "Everything around you, that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTJt547--AM (first 2 mins give the gist)
Summary: When Elon Musk was in school, he decided that the 3 areas where he could make the biggest difference in the world were the Internet, renewable energy, and space travel. What did he do? Read a lot of books, and subsequently (1) redefined the finance industry by founding PayPal, (2) started Tesla Motors and pioneered the consumer electric car industry, and (3) tackled a problem no government or superpower even dared to think about, and launched a space company with the goal of colonising Mars.
In my eyes, these are the kind of problems that are worth getting excited about, and where aspirations should really be placed. Not in systems that perpetuate fucking each other over with overpriced consumables, becoming the next social media millionaire, or rising up the corporate ladder in something which is ultimately a zero-sum game.
I've already been dabbling with this sort of approach with Nach. My mission behind it may not be immediately clear, as it bears resemblance to the many primarily for-profit productivity apps which already exist. To put it simply, I've poured a lot of my effort into making the most feature-rich app I can which will help liberate people from going through life beholden to others, and encourage them think instead about what they want out of life, and start planning how they can go about getting it. In my opinion, this is a crucial first step in helping people reach their true potential, and break outside the oppressive lifestyles subtly put in place by existing power structures.
I've taken things far enough on my own. I have big ideas but not the means to execute them single-handedly. I want things to move faster. If you want to work with me to create things which put improving lives first, and solve real-world problems, please get in touch. It doesn't matter what your experience or skill-set is, just that you're aligned with the vision.