“People sense human need and respond to their conscience in trying to meet that need. And when they meet that need, they see another, and meet that, and on and on. Little by little, they begin to generalize this sense of need and start thinking of ways to institutionalize their efforts so they can be sustained.”Stephen Covey, The 8th Habit.
Deceased author Stephen Covey made this comment about Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur and economist who was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize along with the Grameen Bank for their activities in microcredit. There are several takeaways from Covey’s insight and, of course, Yunus’ remarkable societal contribution. To me it’s the amazing sustainability of vision, collaboration and trust that both these leaders exemplify. These are the qualities that became the hallmark of my namesake company, TPG, and it is upon these foundation stones I embark on building a new accessibility company.
Onward and Upward!
After selling TPG I could have gone into full retirement, live a modest lifestyle and played a lot of golf. Believe me, there were many compelling reasons to do just that! But tugging at my heart was this intrinsic need to find a way to bring greater awareness of our industry and profession. I owe my entire career to the disabilities community and I am highly motivated to give something back to it. More importantly, I want to ensure that every individual with a disability has access to the information and technology they need to increase their amazing contributions to society. I envision a centralized platform that promotes pervasive awareness of the accessibility and disability community and industry. Why? How?
Several years ago during a CSUN assistive technology conference, I met Paul Silva and Jeremie Spitzer. They had developed an online interactive and accessible set of card games – All-In-Play. The beauty of the game was that it could be played both by users with or without visual disabilities. I recall later talking to Jeremie about their marketing plan. Spitzer often talked about getting to the ‘BV outs’ — that is, the much broader community of individuals with visual disabilities who weren’t connected to the digital world — a populace who made up the largest portion of people with visual disabilities. They were potential customers who didn’t realize that accessible gaming technology existed. I believe this challenge still exists and has the potential for creating a tipping point for a pervasive, inclusive society.
Which brings me to the “How”. I’ve always believed that a company’s greatest assets are its people. In fact, the first vital lesson I learned in my entrepreneurial career was to surround myself with a team of friends who are smarter, more experienced and committed to a shared vision. TPG was the ultimate culmination of that belief and remains the team’s crowning glory.
In my new venture I am building upon that same belief: that success is a product of vision, collaboration and trust. Already I have established exciting new relationships with Centrus Digital, KnoWhere, Accessible Web Design, WebABLE.TV and BroadPR. I like to call them my Lego’s. Intrigued? Interested in getting involved? Contact me.