Recently we read this article. Apparently, a practice has started up where some people choose to not only buy themselves a coffee but also purchase a “suspended” coffee. The suspended coffee is held in reserve for the next homeless person who asks for one. Never mind the logistics,we love the idea. Not only were people donating to the less fortunate, they were doing so indirectly and in a way that required faith in people. Faith by the suspended coffee purchaser in the person who served them and also of the cafe they were served in. Faith then by the cafe that the person who then cashes in on the suspended coffee is really homeless.
Such a system is so easy to abuse, but, we think, very unlikely to be abused. You bring a worthy cause to something, and systems don’t need to be perfect, they just need to be consistent with the cause.
Although we’ve never heard of something quite like the suspended coffee, it’s certainly not uncommon to witness people giving back to the community. The web is a prime example of this. There are thousands of experts on every web technology available blogging their solutions to sticky problems all on the chance that there is someone somewhere out there who needs help on the same problem. We have a couple such bloggers here at Peek and they get plenty of joy out of saving just one person the pain they went through to solve even the smallest or most specific problem.
It got us thinking, would bigger, more “fortunate” clients be willing to contribute to a project that serves the community. We’re not necessarily thinking charity here, we’re more thinking an application or website that can benefit a community in need. Also, what’s to stop this website or application making money? But that wouldn’t be it’s primary purpose. It would be a project that progresses their cause in some way. Furthermore, the contribution from clients doesn’t need to be money, they could provide us with ideas, or constructive criticism of our own ideas, or merely vote up which idea, to them, seems most worthwhile.