Friday, July 05, 2013

Doing good, by accident

I have never thought about starting a social enterprise. I always begin from a need I have, and I go about solving it. For Funambol, I desperately needed a way to keep my devices in sync, starting with my address book and calendar. For, I was tired of watching sport on TV alone with my dog.

I am a big fan of social entrepreneurs (like my friend Villy, the CEO of Baycat, pictured left bothering Giants fans before a postseason game at AT&T Park). One day, I wish I could be one.

However, some days you realize that - even if you do not aim for it - you might get lucky and do something good.

On a late afternoon of a great 4th of July, I was checking the stats of TOK Baseball. Do not ask me why, it is a compulsive thingy for startuppers. We live and die by our stats and logs.

I usually do not care about usage per country, since our app is used almost only in the US. However, for some reason I clicked on the "session duration per country" link. At the top of the list, I saw Afghanistan.

Wait, who could care about baseball in Afghanistan? It cannot be a popular sport there... Ohhh, right, our troops...

Bam, it hit me. The longest sessions we have are from Afghanistan. Our troops talking baseball with their families.

How cool is that? On the 4th of July? Unreal.

I left home thinking about that guy sitting somewhere in Afghanistan, with an iPad in his hands, yelling for a triple with his kid, at home during a 4th of July celebration. It made my day.

Hey, even if you are a selfish entrepreneur, sometimes you do good by accident. I am a lucky guy.