Next week, if all goes as planned, Kiva will be moving into our new office in the Mission. We’re in a great big brick building across the street from the Atlas Cafe, which is my favorite cafe in SF. For a long time now, I’ve been going to bluegrass night there every Thursday. It’s a great idea to have a standing appointment with good friends at a cafe with bluegrass playing in the background. I highly suggest it. If you want, stop by this week and check it out.
It’s probably not a coincidence that Kiva’s office happens to be across the street from the CEO’s favorite cafe. That said, off all the places we viewed, it’s by far the best. Big open spaces, wood floors, big windows– perfect for collaboration. One thing about this place inside — it’s all wood. The walls, ceilings, floors, doors and halls — wood wood wood. It very much feels like a finnish sauna.
Kiva is about two years old now. Is this the end of the beginning? I don’t believe so. Beginnings can be long. Companies take a long time to build. What you see at Kiva today is just a small flavor of what is possible in an unfolding space of ideas. We had a vision a while ago for what it would look like, and have tried our hardest to catch up to that. However, the harder we try, the bigger the idea becomes and the further behind we get. For two years now, I have felt constantly, urgently, behind.
There’s a tendency to believe that, "If I only get this done, then we will have really accomplished something." Or "then I can rest easy." Nope, this has been pretty far from my experience. The truth is, work causes work. The more work I do, the more work I create for myself and this goes for everyone on our team. Now that we have had a small amount of success and made a small social impact in the areas we work, we are more motivated than ever. We also feel more behind than ever.
This is a meandering blog. I’m in the Minneapolis airport right now, just returning from a Pittsburgh PA wedding with Jessica.
Some great things are happening with Kiva in Africa this week. First, I believe the power outage situation in Uganda is improving. Carl, from (www.carlsbigadventure.com), has been working for quite sometime in a 50% power environment. What this means, essentially, is that he spends one day charging his laptop battery and writing code. The next day, there is no power, so he can only write code for a few hours. He has power only every other day. I notice this in his irregular checkin patterns. The other day, he checked in a few files with a note — "Sorry for the typos, it’s hard to see with no power." He spends the rest of the time working on a thatched roof house in his back yard.
Also, Kiva is sending two interns to East Africa as well this week — Katie Camillus and Nick Easley. Katie and Nick are college students who have each received fellowships to work with Kiva. This is very exciting stuff and they will be blogging about Kiva businesses on our site all over Africa. They will be writing journals right to the site. Also, they will have a blog of their own about their experience : http://kivareports.blogspot.com/ .
Gotta go catch my flight now.