I had a brief conversation with a colleague who is an inventor. He mentioned offhandedly that while he’d been granted more than 25 patents, he only knew of 2 ever being licensed. This led me to question why our company and many like it file so many patents.
It seems to me that the point is to protect profits, but the outcome is stifled innovation.
I’d like to run a little experiment. I want to know what happens— to others and self when we purposefully spend an hour or two each day helping them connect with the people they need to meet. This week, I’ll focus on two things:
1.) Introducing a friend to folks who can help him export Brazilian made artwork and import it to the US.
2.) Connect another friend to oil and gas consulting opportunities in Austin, Texas (or jobs that can be done remotely).
Homelessness in Austin is everywhere. My heart breaks for the people who take to street corners each day and rely on the kindness of others.
Each morning, on my drive into work I see the same two people begging for spare change— a disabled veteran and a single mom. I watch as other motorists change lanes to avoid stopping next to them, lock doors and roll up windows, fidget with phones to avoid eye contact, etc. I wonder who these people are or used to be. I wonder what led them to that corner— and the courage it must take to stand their, with a sign, asking for money. I pray for these people, chat with them when I pull up next to them at a stoplight and sometimes even give them some money.
I wish I could do more.
This afternoon, I saw an entire family— mom, dad, and two small kids on the corner imploring passerby’s to help with a job, housing, or some money for food. I emptied my wallet and now from my perch across the street at Starbucks am watching many others do the same, but still I wish I could do more— help him get a job or give them housing.
I’ve recently encountered some pretty cool entrepreneurs who find people in similar situations and then help them setup businesses and through support of others, bring them out of the situation they’re in.
I want to do this, be involved in this, be able to direct folks to this.
So the question is, does it exist in Austin or do we need to build it?