The Buy One, Give One Effect

It’s 2006. TOMS Shoes is founded. Hardly the first Buy One, Give One¬†foundation but one that many people will recognize in the years to come. Regardless of what circle you find yourself in you have probably heard about TOMS. They sell simple shoes and glasses and give you a sense of accomplishment when you buy them, because you just put a pair of shoes on another person’s feet half way around the world.

(c) TOMS

(c) 2015 TOMS “One for One”

The Problem -> Solution

First the problem. In America our poverty level is $11,670/year for one person.[1] Compared to the rest of the world our poverty level is higher than 85.32% of the rest of the world.[2] Now this hardly tells the whole story. Barter systems exist in many parts of the world that don’t account for the currency conversion, but there is no denying there are people in need in this world.

A lot of people and organizations have tried to be the solution. Most of the ideas have good merits and big problems as well. Often it’s the ideas that specialize and focus on one of the smaller problems that end up getting somewhere. TOMS wanted to get shoes on the feet of people in third¬†world countries. How to pay for it though? Donations might work at first but you are relying on people giving money. Instead they went the B1G1 route. The idea is simple. Get a consumer in a more wealthy part buy something and then use part of the profits to buy/make something for someone in need.

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One small step for man… one giant Leap for mankind.

“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

The year is 1968. 2001 A Space Odyssey just came out and people all over the world are imagining what the future will hold. 44 years later I’m asking myself why we are still living in the past.

Sure we are futuristic to a point. We have phones that are mini computers. We have tablets that are suppose to be our portable window into the world. We have computers that have immense power and yet we are still in the 1960s. We are still managing our digital lives with files and folders. We limit ourselves to the two-dimensional world and the few times we try to go into a three-dimensional digital world it kind of sucks!

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