Mark Zuckerberg and wife plan to donate much of their fortune to charity.
This news inspired Vox author, Dylan Matthews, to write about ways Zuckerberg could get the most bang for his charitable buck.
One striking omission from Matthew’s article: Invest in new ventures.
I wrote about that before here, here and here.
Zuckerberg and Chan’s letter is here. There’s much to like. This is all good:
We must build technology to make change. Many institutions invest money in these challenges, but most progress comes from productivity gains through innovation.
We must participate in policy and advocacy to shape debates. Many institutions are unwilling to do this, but progress must be supported by movements to be sustainable.
We must take risks today to learn lessons for tomorrow. We’re early in our learning and many things we try won’t work, but we’ll listen and learn and keep improving.
This causes me some concern:
We must back the strongest and most independent leaders in each field. Partnering with experts is more effective for the mission than trying to lead efforts ourselves.
Thinking back to Zuckerberg’s early days in creating Facebook, would he have been better off simply backing the founders of MySpace and Friendster or going at the solution independently, like he did?
Creating his own solution worked.
Rather than trying to fix schools, for example, by backing the education bureaucracy that does a poor job in certain areas now, I’d rather give people more incentive and freedom to solve those areas.