Today, I am feeling particularly grateful for risk takers who go out on a limb to try something new and different. We got to hear from dozens of them at the Lean For Social Good summit yesterday. And the main organizers of the event themselves set the example, taking a huge risk (and putting in serious elbow grease) to put on the first such summit. The event was designed to showcase the power of lean startup principles for social enterprises. After several speakers, including entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, funders, and investors set the tone, 15 social i/entrepreneurs presented specific cases (inspiring favorites to brighten your day: http://wellowater.org/ and http://www.ihollaback.org/) of using Lean Startup principles to develop new ventures or new projects within an existing organization.
I was thoroughly impressed by speakers' creativity, conviction, and courage to buck tradition, accept criticism and adapt, and defend one's positron to funders and investors through tough early days. As one speaker pointed out, it takes a brave investor to fund a project with a clear problem to solve, but much about the solution still unknown. Similarly, it takes a brave individual to decide to create a venture to attempt to build that solution.
These courageous individuals make our world a better place, on a one-on-one level by providing great role models and bosses, on a community level by solving problems, and some of them will reach global impact when their solutions scale or inspire copycats elsewhere. I feel so fortunate to work with these people on a daily basis, and wholeheartedly recommend finding a way to make them a regular part of your life too, whether volunteering, donating at home or abroad / investing, attending related events, or just buying gifts that support them!