Over Half Way.

When we set out 4 years ago in my first TEDx talk we were asking the question, ‘How do we get 1 billion people into the habit of giving?’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2n5rn6cIoc If a billion people gave $1 to brave projects risking it all to try and solve our worlds deepest and biggest problems we would be a real force to be reckoned with!

Last month we moved $150,000 in donations from awesome people like you to amazing charities solving real problems and in the next couple of weeks we will have moved more than $1,000,000 in the last 365 days!!!

Our social network helps you make social donations in the moment and share that ‘feel good’ moment with your friends.

Network effects are not linear, The goal is not to grow from $1m to $2m, the leap of development is to go from $1m to $10m

A personal goal for me is to get to $1,000,000,000 of $1-$100 donations processed within 365 days globally for amazing causes

We’re currently running at $1,000,000 per year

The next step is to get to $10,000,000 per year

My goal is to get to $1,000,000,000 per year

Many would argue we are 0.1% of the way and still have 99.9% to do.

I say we are well over half way!

Of the 10 digits I want to see we have already achieved 7 of them!!

I wrote the following blog almost 4 years ago when we launched, this was where we achieved our first 2 digits https://archive.daveerasmus.com/the-most-important-pound

Social Web adoption works unlike any other kind of growth we are conditioned to understand.

I have moved to Palo Alto because I need partners who also believe that that we are over half way and also have the resources and scale to help us sort out the next 3 digits.

Who knows after that, I just take one step at a time. I just wanted to take a moment to be thankful we are over half way!

This City


Let’s fail together trying to create genuine value rather than succeed in creating or capturing value which is not ours for the taking

We must try, not merely to work harder or smarter but more painfully, at greater personal cost, for in that price is where we find ourselves, our futures and find systems and institutions worth building.

Business is a method not a sector, it is a way of thinking we need in every sector, when we limit business people to the private markets we screw ourselves, our charities, our governments and our schools. We need creativity, clarity and compassion to underpin servant leadership everywhere.

I always rejected the idea that I was a businessman because it suggested to me that the end goal was making money. I can now see business is simply a method of moving and organising value that is useful but does not define me. Technology is a tool to serve but not a godsend. It amplifies the voice we give it.

We must not let these ideas of technology or business define and limit us but lets define ourselves by our ability to endure failure, embarrassment to push for childlike dreams, beautiful moments and to use the right tools for the job when we need them. To live a compassionate life supported by our minds and skills and enforced by our anger. We should not settle for anything else from ourselves or our leaders.

As we go back out into the city I propose to you a few simple thoughts
Live simply and be careful what voices you listen to, design a life that allows you to get outside of yourself.

Acknowledge that your environment dictates so much of your thinking, so climb a tree, lick a shoe, run up the escalator the wrong way. Spin round on the kitchen floor. Grab a cheap Ryanair flight with no plan. Sit the other way on the toilet 🙂 Listen to some reggae, talk to a kid about how the world works. Ask a granny what is still on her bucket list

Please do not try things you know you can do, your avoidance of embarrassment does not serve your city, neither does allowing your thinking to be defined by it.

But if you can learn how to dare to try and try and try again and try and try and try again.
This, I believe is where the real hope lies for the future of this city

Do Something.

Do Something.

Last week I saw this meme flying around social media land
from a few people.
And it bloody excites me! So much of advertising is not built on true relational principles of listening, value adding and permission. But perhaps a little ironically this meme flying around Facebook without any kind of leadership or solution is nothing more that a disgruntlement engine.
Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 10.29.00
We require those who sit near the artists that unsettle our apathy to take the baton from them, move forwards and DO something!
It seems Banksy (if he did actually write this) is bothered about our consciousness being cleverly invaded by commercially minded capitalists without our permission – Well what can we do about it?
I see 3 options.
  1. Do Nothing
  2. Spend energy protesting
  3. Create an irresistible option
A lot of people choose Option 1 as it is easy and safe, I read the article below this morning which explains a bit more about that option!


Option 2 just doesn’t fill me with joy, excitement, adventure and pleasure, it feels hard and would fill my days with lots of negative energy
I prefer Option 3 the idea of spending my days trying and failing at option 3
So can we actually do anything about this messed up world of intrusive advertising?
YES – Absolutely!!!
Every year Mary Meeker puts out her awesome summary of Global Trends focusing on proliferation of the
internet and her latest version came out this week! If you get a spare hour check it out! http://www.kpcb.com/internet-trends
The slide that captured my attention more than any other was the Advertising Attention Vs Spend Slide
Our conscious attention is our most precious commodity.
Because what we spend our attention on grows!
Everybody wants a piece of yours!
Marketing opportunities grow and decline where there is a mismatch in supply & demand of attention
In Mary’s slide we can see that we are spending 20% of our media time in our mobiles but currently businesses are only spending 4% of their marketing budget on mobile leaving a 16% and $30bn opportunity in the USA alone.
The print industry has lost our attention but the execs haven’t cottoned on yet, because they are older and like doing what they know and what they won’t get fired for. All the other verticals like TV, Radio and Internet are stable in their commercialisation
A big swing from Print to Mobile is inevitable over the next few years and presents us with an awesome opportunity to reimagine brand engagement with individuals.
I am not interested in challenging the paradigm shift to mobile itself but I am interested in trying to inject a better social contract, better values into this $30BN opportunity that is staring us in the face.
If you get stirred up by banksy’s sense of injustice then I challenge you to build an irresistible brand engagement engine that through its boundaries and constraints forces brands to act with more relational integrity, transparency and mutual value whilst rewarding them with commercial success if they act better all whilst building yourself and your crew a billion $ business
According to “Father of Advertising” David Ogilvy, his contemporary, Howard Gossage, said that “advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest—it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes.
It can be done – look at these great examples of were marketing can help change our thinking and drive behaviour that is actually better for us http://www.boredpanda.com/powerful-social-advertisements/
This world sucks when good people take option one.
If you don’t pick up this $30bn opportunity someone else absolutely WILL and it will probably SUCK and we will go round this carousel again. Banksy will say more stuff, you will be stirred enough to click ‘share’ again but nothing will change.
Don’t let that happen, don’t hide.
Do something Irresistible.

Addicted to Giving?

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 18.12.41

Reading a tech crunch article by @nireyal on habit forming products has brought to the surface some thoughts that I acted on many moons ago but never articulated (http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/31/is-some-tech-too-addictive/?ncid=tcdaily)

We are trying to get people to habitually give as part of their every day lives which means making it as easy, rewarding and pleasurable as possible

There is an extent to which you can have ‘too much of a good thing!’ I wouldn’t want someone to use Givey to donate if it was going to cause them personal financial problems especially if was driven from a place addiction or people forgetting the value of their gift altogether, in a ‘What the Hell!!’ Moment

(See this article : http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/may/24/this-column-change-life-what-the-hell-effect)

“Companies who know when a user is overusing their product have both an economic imperative and a social responsibility to identify addicts and intervene.” – Nir Eyal”

I agree with Nir and even in attempting to drive good behaviours we must critique the value of our efforts and this is why we focus on giving ‘something’ everyday.

There are deep philosophical reasons why I believe engaging in a giving lifestyle is vital to our wellbeing and goes way beyond ‘Charitable Donations’ but it is a good place to start and drive these behaviour sets from.

Laying the Philosophical reasons aside for the purpose of this post and looking purely at the behaviour drivers, we needed to think carefully about who we wanted to be the winners in Givey’s giving community.

If we focus on the ‘amounts donated’ then we reward those who earn more money and can make big one off donations.

If we celebrated ‘recurring passive donors (Setup and forget)’ then there maybe very little active engagement in the givers consciousness

If we focused on ‘number of donations’ then we may be celebrating binge donors who want to give 100 times in a day to hack their profile to look good over the year.

We wanted the winner in the Givey community to be a person who authentically and openly engages with the online and physical world around them and allows themselves to be moved by issues they encounter and choose to take action on a daily basis.

We exist to reinforce the link between Empathy and Action in our modern society.

Our goal with Givey is to reduce barriers and increase incentives to complete a ‘real donation’ once someone has been authentically moved to contribute.

I believe what we measure defines our culture, defines what is cool and ultimately, how we define ourselves. Whether we adhere or rebel, we are affected, so have to consider carefully what we measure as it will end up defining us.

At the heart of Givey is a metric called ‘Wavelength’ or λ  

A Givey users wavelength is the length of time in days since their last Givey donation Moment

If a user ‘Binges’ and makes 20 donations in a day, only one will count towards their ‘wavelength’

Equally a donation of £1 or £1000 has the same value when calculating the metric we celebrate most, A Givey Users Wavelength.

This is our attempt to drive no more, and no less than the behaviour we want to see more of in the world. Engaging in an active giving culture in which we give a little every day.

There are 3 simple factors I believe the pursuit of which are paramount to the underpinning a progressive global society.

  1. Freedom
  2. Safety
  3. Education

Please check out @shepleyGreen work at the Social Progress Imperative as I learn heaps from him and they go into a bunch more very helpful detail.

Addiction looks to an external source of energy or escapism to feed our wellbeing. It inhibits our freedom and sense of autonomy and responsibility by giving that right to other sources.

I hate how addiction affects people! It limits principle 1, our freedom so I can’t allow it to be a part of the product we are building, even if it would be ‘Good for Business’ to have ‘Bingy Users’

Having said all this I Googled ‘Addicted to Giving’ and found this 🙂 I enjoyed it

Enjoy! Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts….

Designing Culture



I’m sitting, tapping this out on my iFanboy device on the steps of the apple store in NYC

The apple store is a unique experience and there is so much that could be said about it,  however what struck me the most about this store has nothing to do with the devices or customer service…it is the culture the design of the entrance creates.

The designer has subtly and brilliantly made those unable to use the stairs the freaking bosses!

No grotty side entrance with an ugly disabled sign above it making those using it feel second rate humans, just amazing elegant design that brings old people and physically challenged down on a chariot fit for kings.

I was envious of the disabled entrance!!!

Apple could not write a message of words that reads ‘ we are inclusive! We love old people and those in wheelchairs’ but here they subtly demonstrate it with elegance and class

This is pure genius, as most companies struggle to comply with minimum requirements for accessibility someone in the NYC / apple fold has looked at it in a completely different way!

For all the hype and hysteria, gluttonous and discontenting consumption habits the world’s number one brand invites in me and in lots of you, I have to say this was a brilliant creative and inclusive design choice

I don’t know who did this, whether it was an explicit apple choice or a covert subversive move but I like it and I am inspired so thank you. 🙂