How ‘Designing for good’ is profitable

Do the math: one laptop per child, almost a million children. Even though the profit margin is relatively tight due to its non-profit policy, when managing these huge cuantities of production and sales that ‘tight’ margin enlarges proportionally to the size of the project. Without judging the decision of staying as non-profit, I want to recognize the audacity of concieving a project based on the people and not in money. Sure, financial sustainability is required, but it must not be the primary objective of a company or product, but it should come as the result of concieving projects with the vision to positively change the lives of people, without requiring them to pay a single cent. This social-oriented projects are only financially successful when any of two business models are applied: you may well, as OLPC, charge the price (low) to organizations that are capable of financing these projects or by developing a product destined to ‘the base of the piramid’. The importance of understanding the potential of these projects is not a call for charity, but to understand that orienting projects and companies towards people may be as profitable (if not more) than other ortientations; this vision was recogniced by many Indian entrepreneurs who have earned millions in the base of the pyramid, and it may be the option of shifting wealth in developing countries.

Related Article:

http://edgeperspectives.typepad.com/edge_perspectives/2010/01/challenging-mindsets-from-reverse-innovation-to-innovation-blowback.html