My favorite part from the song “Ugly Love” by EELS is when E (whose father, evidently, exchanged letters with Al Einstein) explains that he “dreams about so much it is absurd.” … That sounds like me!! … Well, except that my obsessions come minus the romanticism of “dreaming”. More accurately, I brood about so much it is absurd. Or, I analyze so much it is absurd. … The list could continue, but in the interest of time, energy, and cutting me a smidgen of slack, let’s just say that I think about so much it is absurd.
What are my finances? Where will I do the pool portion of the course? How many hours is the curriculum? What is the most practical business model? How is it possible that I’m not yet sick of bagels? … The list could continue.
The truth is that there is a lot to think about. As aforementioned, this isn’t the challenge for me. The challenge is that I don’t entirely know what to think about. But the good thing about thinking too much is that even if you don’t know what to think about, you’ll think about something anyways. And whether it has been a waste of time or essential groundwork for the program, I have been thinking a lot lately about the “buy one, give one” business model and how to make this work for Schooba. I have also been thinking about whether this would work best for The Academy in a for-profit or non-profit framework. I have begun a comparative analysis of two different organizations that use/have used the “buy one give one” model, one operating as a for-profit and one as a non-profit.
“TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One. Using the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good is what we’re all about. The TOMS mission transforms our customers into benefactors, which allows us to grow a truly sustainable business rather than depending on fundraising for support.”
(Please note: OLPC does not permanently operate under the “buy one give one” model. They have simply offered this to the public through different times in their history.)
“The mission of One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is to empower the children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child. In order to accomplish our goal, we need people who believe in what we’re doing and want to help make education for the world’s children a priority, not a privilege.”
… Absurd, you say? Tell ‘em, Don (Barthelme):
“Those who never attempt the absurd never achieve the impossible.”