To help the homeless bootstrap themselves out of poverty and add value to society, a cross-functional team of Silicon Valley executives was deployed at local homeless camps to teach mission-critical jargon.
“Let me just level-set this meeting,” said Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, who appeared via Skype video to the camp residents. “We’re here to provide the single most actionable business resource that separates you from us: a robust set of dynamically generated terminology assets.”
Stone’s executive assistant, who stood in the camp, held an iPad up so the homeless participants could see all the executives who joined the video conference.
More than 7,600 homeless people are living in Silicon Valley on any given night of the year. Though homelessness has declined nationally in recent years, it has risen steadily here.
“Well, I guess the private sector hasn’t innovated us out of this problem,” observed Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google. He added, “But you can’t expect to succeed in life without embracing and fully leveraging the potentiality to deploy linguistic solutions generating incomes far exceeding your talents.”
“And don’t forget the halo effect,” said Don Valentine of Sequoia Capital, a firm named after the same kind of redwood that many homeless people sleep under. “Going forward, how is this homeless camp differentiating itself from other camps in its market? Is it disruptive? What’s in it for the consumer?”
“Is this homeless platform as elegant as it could be?” asked Schmidt. “Would Bono invest? Would Ashton invest?”
“Exactly,” said Stone. “Where is the tipping point at which you are enabled to transform the dark cloud over your camp into a fully monetized mobile-enabled cloud-based solution?”
“At the risk of being a buzz-kill, let’s be honest. This camp is obviously in beta. You’re not ready for investors yet.” said Valentine. “Repeat after me. We’re in stealth.”
In unison, the group of homeless people said, “We’re in stealth.”
“Excellent!” said Schmidt. “This camp could be the next Foursquare for the homeless. Can you people sign an NDA?”
As the lone assistant at the camp ended the video conference and the homeless participants dispersed to nearby tents and makeshift shelters, he took a moment to look at the desperate faces around him.
“Determining effectiveness going forward depends on capturing everyone’s pain points,” he said, asking that he not be named in this article. “In full confidentiality? I’m not entirely sure we have buy-in.”