From the NYT:
The world’s cleverest designers, said Dr. Polak, a former psychiatrist who now runs an organization helping poor farmers become entrepreneurs, cater to the globe’s richest 10 percent, creating items like wine labels, couture and Maseratis.
And iPods. Today’s WWDC was pretty amazing: if someone like Steve Jobs (and, realistically, a core support team) donated 10% of their time to charitable design causes, the world would become a better place for many people in fairly short order. In general, I think creativity is often lacking in non-profit enterprises: too often charitable foundations see their mission as more-or-less one of wealth (re)distribution, and framed like that, there’s not much room for innovation, nor much reason to aggressively recruit top minds.
This is one reason I’m so excited to see Google.org coming online: it’s a “for-profit” charity, i.e., its fundamental mission is charitable but it has a freer hand as it can enter into for-profit ventures. They need not make money, but if they do, the money goes back into other charitable ventures. Google also took the step of giving it 1% of Google assets across the board– which includes $1 billion and 1% of Google engineers.