I had a professor that once said he "knew a group of people that died by jumping from their egos. But they didn't die from hitting the ground; they starved to death along the way." This saying is scary and funny, mainly because we all know people like this. And unfortunately, if I'm honest, I'm guilty of this many times. With the N50 Project, it was clear that no single person or company could solve the digital divide problem. It's just too big. Yes, a single company or person can solve it on a community-by-community basis (and many are). Still, it cannot solve the mass issues. And so, with the N50 Project, we strive to operate with humility and inclusion with a partner-driven model. We listen to the communities, listen to our partners, and then do our best to work the problem, develop solutions and then scale them.
In October 2021, we decided to tease the N50 partner model idea to see if we could land a few partners to assist in the effort. We wanted to know if we could enable this to be a cross-industry initiative. One that would attract those from Non-Profits, Fintech, Healthcare, Education, Agriculture, Entrepreneurs, and yes, Tech, Integrators, and Networking companies.
We wanted to try and get a handful of partners before our launch, and to our surprise, in just a few months, more than 50 partners have joined the cause, and it's growing daily. You can see the latest list here. These partners are great companies, and they are run by incredible people who have a passion and drive to help close the digital divide. They're humble and inclusive, and we work together to solve this global issue.
Early on, we had a competitor to one of our partners who wanted to join the N50 Project Alliance. So we decided to approach our existing partner to see if they were okay with this new firm joining. Their response was simple - "I think with an addressable market of 3.8B people, there's plenty of opportunity for all of us". Grateful for this partner.
There's an old saying that the wise and the fool will soon be forgotten. So true, isn't it? If I'm honest, if you threw a million dollars on the table and said I could have it, if I could name one Nobel prize winner from 2021, ugh, I'd probably fail (there were 13, by the way, and you can see the list here). But I'd bet these individuals' and organizations' impact will be long-remembered.
If you want to join a group of companies coming together to solve this audacious digital divide problem, click here and jump on board. We'd love to have you, and we need your help.
About the Author, Daniel Gutwein
Daniel’s passion and purpose are to bridge the gap between technological advancement and the betterment of humanity. He does this by leading the incubation efforts for the Emerging Technologies team in Intel’s Internet of Things Group. The team’s efforts include work in AI, CV, robotics, Social Equity, and most recently, the N50 Project, which is an effort to connect and gain meaningful participation from the next 3.9B people on earth.
Daniel successfully founded two companies, including a non-profit that motivated 50,000 people in 38 countries to raise funds to build schools, hospitals, and computer labs in rural Africa.
Daniel is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and teaches marketing courses at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. In addition, he serves on the advisory board for the Retail Orphan Initiative and the board of directors for the JSIM Hope Foundation. Daniel holds multiple patents in RF technology. LinkedIn.