Leaving aside the actual intiative (which I wholeheartedly support) I was interested that Rod is on the advisory board for this. Now of course there are those out there who would suggest that since increased broadband equals better uptake of web based functionality, and hence increased SaaS uptake, Rod’s involvement is one of self-interest, I myself would disagree.
We have an interesting ethos in New Zealand that is different from the ethos elsewhere (and especially it would seem in the valley). That ethos is that influential New Zealanders expect of themselves, and have an expectation thrust upon them, to work for the greater good.
Look at it this way, beyond the direct benefits to Xero of increased broadband in New Zealand, Rod has (I believe) a personal desire to see this country excel. From his perspective broadband is part of the formula for excellence.
On another level it’s reasonable to think that Rod and co could have flicked Xero pre IPO and made themselves a few tens of millions of dollars in the process. But they didn’t (and just the fact that Rod is doing Xero when he has no financial imperative to do anything anymore is a similar theme), they played it for the long haul.
So a hat tip to all those out there who put their money where their mouths are and do good, not only for themselves, but for all of us – together we’re building a better country