27 May

Three strikes and you're out

By Jason Sadler | 27 May, 2010 | 6 Comments

How many times can you fail?

I’ll admit, I’ve never failed in business before. I’ve never been an entrepreneur who tried 50 ideas and 1 became successful. I’ve been very lucky, but I’ve also done a lot of research and done a lot more planning and thinking. With 1MillionShirts I’ve only led the way with my emotions and my heart, not with my head. I need to stop thinking with my heart and to start doing research before broaching a subject (especially sensitive ones I know nothing about).

I kindly ask that you accept my second apology for making uneducated and uninformed decisions. If there was ever a 3-strikes-and-youre-out rule, I’m putting it to the test. We have a lot of people contacting us that see we can reach people and we can’t try to help everyone. We need to talk with our advisors on our specific focuses of disaster relief, sustainability projects for rural villages in Uganda and how we can help use 1,000,000 t-shirts to raise money for these causes.

I’ve been trying to think too big picture. We need to focus and we need to stop trying to think we can do more than we can. 1MillionShirts needs to do 1 thing and do it well.

Thank you for taking the time to give me (and us) advice. I truly do appreciate it and hope you understand.


Aurora Sola May 27, 2010

Great that you’re looking for local solutions instead of thinking “too big picture.” Way to go.

cooper May 27, 2010

Yes, start small, and local. Get yourself some street cred. It’ll also help to learn how to evaluate success of a smaller project, before you decide to take on something larger.

Perthamy May 28, 2010

If it still has to be about t-shirts – I urge you to fund a local initiative to produce and manufacture the t-shirts locally, then hire vendors to sell them cheaply for the disadvantaged community.

The education you will aquire from succeeding in one village initially, will set you on your way to supplying the one million you aspire to without hurting anyone else’s income in the process.

I’ve always said about this project:

It is much easier to see the shirtless child on the street today – than to imagine another child, who’s parents can’t make any money from their t-shirt stall, going hungry tomorrow.

joe May 28, 2010

I think the essence of the problem, Perthamy, is that it is easier to collect t-shirts – which have some sentimental value to the donor – than cold cash which doesn’t.

Peter May 27, 2010

Don’t think small picture. Think big picture. That is what went wrong with the idea.

The road to the (humanitarian) hell is paved with good intensions…

At least you recognize your mistake. Many others don’t and persist.

cg June 01, 2010

Apology accepted. And thank you for reconsidering one of the worst arguments and plans for getting involved in child trafficking I have ever heard. Thank you for not forcing me and colleagues to track down “Bob” and prosecute him. Thank for taking the time to try to actually understand the chain of cause and effect that stretches beyond your previous experience. Please don’t give up, and please do ALWAYS think about the way your actions might impact the actual world, not the one in your head. Ground your plans in evidence, find the data for effectiveness, scout out the territory. The romance of aid is only romantic for those who see what they want to see.