What is happening in Ukraine is horrific and terribly wrong.
Many of us have colleagues, friends and/or coworkers in the Ukraine, and what they are now enduring is almost impossible to comprehend.
Like so many in our industry and around the world, I want to help. It feels so powerless to see the suffering and death of so many from thousands of miles away without a sense of how to make a difference.
Thus, I was so happy earlier this week to see a Twitter post from tech entrepreneur, investor and friend Alex Iskold. Alex is the managing partner of 2048 Ventures, the former head of Techstars NYC, the founder of AdaptiveBlue and GetGlue, a brilliant engineer and scientist, and an all-around great person.
Alex was born and grew up in Ukraine and had reposted a tweet string of his from 2019 when he had just returned to his high school in Lviv to deliver a graduation speech exactly 30 years after his own graduation. His wrote about the amazing transformation he had seen across the country in the ensuing 30 years, all of which paralleled its independence.
He wrote about everything from the food to the buildings, to the growth of the cities and the energy and excitement of everyone he met. We are all now watching in real time as all of these are being bombarded by the Russians.
Alex decided to make a difference once the pandemic started, launching an initiative called the $1K Project -- https://airtable.com/shrOjsUE9kgQ0LquA -- to leverage his network of relationships both in his home country and in the technology industry, connecting donors directly with families in need for food, medicine and other necessities. He has now extended that program to families suffering as the result of this war.
My family supported a family. It is a very small step in the greater picture, but we’re making a difference.
Thank you, Alex. We can and will do more. It matters. All of Ukraine is depending on us -- all of us.
Putin must go, one way or another. The West must absorb hardship in order to make the sanctions strong enough to incentivize the Russian people and military to over throw Putin. That means the West must stop buying Russia's oil and gas and close all businesses there (yes, even McDonald's and KFC). This is the only way to show our resolve, and the hardship will not come close to what the Ukrainians are experiencing.
If this does not work, we must resort to the Bin Laden solution.
Anthing less is shameful.
Dave, thanks for listing this and allowing us to help in some small way directly. I just got this note from the family I "adopted".... Hello Karen. Many thanks. We are relatively quiet so far. But trenches are already being dug near the city and defensive lines are being created. We didn't plan to leave the country. I have a father. He is 75 years old. My wife has a mother and a sister. I have three children. Daughter, 13 years old. Son, 6 years old and son, 1 year old.
My heart breaks for this family and I am glad to have found a way to help someone. Posting this so others do as well.