Dan Porter, CEO of gaming company OMGPOP, wrote an article for Business Insider about how tech founders should be working to solve huge problems that were exposed by hurricane Sandy. He and his wife used Facebook and Twitter to reach out to people and foundations that needed help after Sandy hit. Though many came together to help those in need, Porter also cited the extreme disorganization in relief efforts. He wrote, “There was an imbalance between the support of the NY community and its impact on those who were suffering.” At the Occupy Sandy church that Porter and his wife visited, there was an overabundance of volunteers.
Porter, recognizing the inefficiencies in the market, wondered why there wasn’t an open source answer to disaster relief. He made a list of what entrepreneurs need to rise to this challenge:
- Real-time volunteer management solutions that can be updated by any device- Porter talks about a single site that would list every volunteer opportunity as well as if there is a current need or not. He explains that there was not enough real information available after Sandy, which left the relief effort unorganized.
- Real-time supply chain analysis- a system where volunteers could update from their phones what supplies are needed.
- Direct contribution and donations- this would allow teachers to request specific things for their classrooms from one universal platform. This would provide one single place where everyone who lost all of their belongings could ask for help, and where volunteers could verify and help them.