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Insights / August 13, 2015

Excellence is Not Enough

By Software for Good

Not too long ago I read “Where A Life Worth Living Comes From” by Umar Haque and I was reminded why Software for Good exists. If you haven’t read his post yet, go read it. I’ll wait here.

Good right?

As a business, we can help you answer Umar’s first set of questions. We build software, apps, algorithms. We can solve your Difficult Problem. We even love doing it. Can’t help ourselves. All of the other smart people in our industry, working on other tough projects — our competitors are smart, too.

But that second list of questions? The List of Truly Great Questions he posts? Well, that is why we are here. That is why Software for Good exists. We don’t wan’t to be just another company cranking out the profit and selling you time for money. We show up at work every day because we want to make a difference. Because we believe we can make a difference. We want to dig into the mysteries, to understand what makes life worth living, and then do that. Doing a good job on a project? Even doing an excellent job? Sure. That’s fun. And we are pleased when we step back and can be proud of the work we did. But that’s not what makes us tick. Excellence is not everything. We want to see change in our world and change in our community. For the better. For good. Doing a good job on your project? Well, that’s really sorta our side gig. We do that so we can keep on with our real job: making the world better.

Our Truly Great Questions

Umar listed some great questions that deserve to be answered. At Software for Good, we want to answer some similarly great questions:

  • How can we reduce gender inequality?
  • How can technology and design help end racial injustice in this country?
  • How can we remove corruption from politics?
  • What can we do to be better allies to the oppressed?
  • How can we build a sustainable city with sustainable transportation?
  • How can we structure work-life and home-life that acknowledges — even embraces — that the two are no longer separable and that they could complement each other?
  • What does a well-functioning distributed team look like?
  • How can technology be used to improve the world for everyone, instead of just for its own sake?

When you work with Software for Good, you will see excellence in the products we build. Excellence is a necessary starting point and you should expect nothing less from any of your partners. But better than that, by working with Software for Good you are supporting a team that is actively working to make the world a better place. We have big dreams, and you should, too. More than excellence, more than efficiency, more than a better bottom line, more than just another great product. Dream big. Dream for a better world. Because, as Umar says, “Our lives do not truly begin until those selves have the improbable courage to ask: what else might be?