By: PeteCC BY 2.0


This weekend I’m taking a break from ServiceChat.

I’ll hang out with my family and go to some friends on Saturday for a BBQ and on Sunday, we’ll head to Salobreña for our first San Juan celebration (no , I don’t really know what it is either!).

This weekend also, I want to try a little experiment, an experiment for good – well, at least start it off.  It is a lovely juxtaposition between my dream and an idea for a game that I have kept putting off.

The Dream

All through my career I’ve met people who have said things like ‘give X away!? why – I’m not a philanthropist’ or ‘why give it when you can sell it’. I’ve quietly listened and argued with that thinking internally.

I am a philanthropist, there I said it.  It’s not a dirty word (at least not how I interprete it). I don’t have much money, nor even much free time.  But I do have creativity, innovation, curiosity and skills and I can/will and do give those and their various products freely to those who can benefit from it.

When I dream about my future, it always involves a few businesses that are generating incomes sure, but also joy.  The money they generate is doing something wonderful in the world, not simply going to pay for expensive, unnecessary stuff.  I’m delighted that I don’t have to wait long to start doing this – I support a few charities but mostly use Kiva to do microlending.  I find microlending to be one of the most respectful and empowering ideas of our age (if you aren’t already doing micro-lending, I encourage you to check it out, you don’t need very much to start and the joy you generate far outweighs whatever limited risk of losing money there is).

The Idea

It’s called Twumps and it’s a game. If  you ever played trading game cards or something like Top Trumps – a stats comparison game based around themed cards, you’ll love what I want to make.
Plus you don’t even have to wait very long to experience it.

The Experiment

Here is what I want to discover:

Can I launch a revenue generating thing that pretty much runs itself and use that to perpetually and increasingly fund the change I want to see in the world?

So, I want to build something (Twumps) that people can play and enjoy and possibly either make donations to or pay something for (this will emerge) and/or generate advertising from and can I extend that by making it continuously and totally fund some good in the world.


I want this experiment to be done as transparently as possible. Why?  Well, why not?

Prior to its release, I’ll open a new @kiva account for Twumps  and make it’s transactions public.  Initially I will make all  revenue payable to Kiva directly  (from donations or advertising). If this experiment succeeds, I may deduct enough to cover operating costs (pretty much just the hosting) to keep it running smoothly and pass everything else to @Kiva.  All those costs will also be entirely transparent.

Who knows, this might encourage other entrepreneurs to consider this as a business model – only one in which they do not personally benefit financially but one that they can leave a living trust for good work in the World. Now wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing?

What Next?

Stay tuned, I shall be asking for help.
Very soon I shall need some UI and graphic design help (I’m great at functionality but suck at making things look wow!) and later I shall need players and feedback and later still I shall need things yet unknown!

It’ll be fun.

ps. Please share this.

3 thoughts on “An Experiment for Good.”
  1. Paying for change you want is nice idea. I hope you’ll get revenue from Twumps. I ran with Flattr and all income proxied to other opensource projects. Flatter was never enough to pay a hosting 🙂 If my only goal was help to those project it would be better to donate directly…

  2. Hi Mike. Here is some feedback.

    I read the Twumps “how to play” but was still a little confused, I had to come here to figure out what the “good cause” angle is. You say here:

    “I want this experiment to be done as transparently as possible. … Prior to its release, I’ll open a new @kiva account for Twumps and make it’s transactions public.”

    i think you also need to mention that in the “Once you’re in a game” section on Twumps. Until I came here, I thought it was a way to contribute to my own selected good cause. 🙂

    Have fun experimenting!

    1. Hi Debs and thank you for the comment. I will be clearer in the content on the site about the good causes (I haven’t yet opened for donation ware, nor the Kiva account – trying to get something people would be willing to donate to first!).

      However I can share some of the ideas as they currently stand:

      The goal of this is to fund good causes in a sustainable way – and also sustainable good causes. I can’t think of a better way right now (not saying there isn’t) of doing this outside of microlending. Hence, Kiva.

      Once the good causes part of it starts (assuming I get the traction to reach that point), then the idea is engage with the playing community to help administer some of the lending (at least the folks who are interested). So there is an opportunity to support the types of initiatives that resonate (of course within the microlending space).

      Also, categories of funding might be brought to the playing community (perhaps at the end of a game, perhaps during) and participants can vote on how the next tranche of lending is distributed (schools, women in africa etc).]

      Later on, I’m absolutely open to the idea of funding other good causes. Would love you input as this develops.

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