This changes everything

Never mind the buy 1 give 1 (a great idea). Don’t wait until November when you can directly buy laptops for kids right here: One Laptop Per Child — XO Giving. I just bought five. (Hit the Donate button).

This is a story about tools and bravery and marketing.

The tools: when you give a kid a net connection, access to wikipedia and to the rest of the world, things change fast. Things you wouldn’t necessarily predict. Like a ten year old who can diagnose his dad’s illness. Or a farmer that can ask his daughter to find out where to get a new part for the tractor. Or…

The bravery: When Nicholas Negroponte and his team started this project, they had nothing but obstacles. The status quo of software and hardware and skeptics stood firmly in his way. And he took a lot of grief for the effort. Even when you’re doing nothing but good, fear of change is going to cause a lot of people to object.

The marketing: Everything, even laptops for kids, works its way through the innovation diffusion curve. That means that most countries, most organizations and most communities aren’t going to adopt this tool for a few years. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect… these things take time. Smart marketing embraces the curve and doesn’t insist that it must change for this project, right now.

One kid (or five kids) at a time. It’s enough. It’ll happen.