The Power Of One

by The Guy November 13th, 2007 

In 1989 Bryce Courtenay published The Power Of One, a novel I read and was young enough to be able to dismiss as relatively inconsequential, certainly by no means as ineffably good as THE GREATEST NOVEL EVER.

I like to think I'm older now, at least the graying hair informs me of such with daily reminders. Along the way, the power of one has become ever more intriguing. Not because it's a great novel but because it's a novel perspective.

The power of one is a facile premise, but an engaging one nevertheless. Der Google boys got that with the creation of their search engine. Index sites one at a time (hardly a novel concept) but then make the cost of entry for advertisers low enough that everyONE could afford to be there. Microtransactions.

Affiliate marketing works in much the same way and Amazon has certainly understood that from the outset.

More interesting of late is Kiva or Kiva.org.

Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.

In short, microtransactions facilitating a microeconomy that seeks to change the third world one microloan at a time. A noble venture to be sure, but one borne out of technology, capitalism and the ability to effect change one person at a time.

The power of one.

Oh, and the backstory of the founding couple, he of Silicon Valley and she of a need to bring about change is also quite compelling and romantic.

Have a good one.

~The (SEP) Guy

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One Response to “The Power Of One”

  1. Kiva is certainly interesting, but they aren't the only player in the microfinance world. I found an article on the differences between Kiva and Microplace to be quite clear and the comments equally enlightening on how these things work.
    http://www.nextbillion.net/blogs/2007/10/24/kiva-vs-microplace-whats-the-difference