How Two Software Companies are Helping the Japanese in a Time of Crisis


When was the last time that you ran across a company that cared about something besides making a profit?

When I worked in New Hampshire, one of my favorite field trips  was to Timberland headquarters.  We would meet with some designers and tour an assembly line.  The best part of the day was when we discussed their commitment to "doing well and doing good".  As a company that is dedicated to community service and fair treatment of laborers around the world, we left feeling very impressed by the company.

As all of us are watching the tragedy in Japan, I came across two companies that, like Timberland, are putting their resources to good use.

Nozbe, my current favorite GTD app, just created Nozbe Public Projects.  These are essentially versions of projects that anyone can then view and use.  Think of them as repeating task lists that you might need for an event that is well, repeating.  Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe, happened to be visiting Japan when the earthquake and subsequent damage occurred.  He ditched his business schedule and began coding.  Public Projects was born out of a need for the Japanese to find their relatives more easily.

Kudos Michael for enabling your skills and your products to help people in need.

Another company that has impressed me of late is Evernote.  I use Evernote to share resources with colleagues as well as to capture information on the fly.  I have notebooks with scanned documents,  photos of things around the house and much more.

According to the Evernote blog, the following steps were announced the days immediately following the disaster in Japan:

  • Donating 100% of this month’s revenue from currently-paying Evernote Premium subscribers in Japan to local earthquake relief efforts.

  • Upgrading all of our free Japanese users to Evernote Premium for one month.

To both Nozbe and Evernote, great job!