Since my company is based in Austin, we get pretty excited about South by Southwest (SXSW), the weeklong annual music, film and interactive festival held in town every March. I'm particularly excited about 2011's keynote speakers for the interactive portion (surprise, surprise).
First up on my list of speakers to not miss is Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes. After traveling to Argentina in 2006 and befriending children that were living in poverty and without shoes, Mycoskie created TOMS Shoes, a company that matches every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. This one-for-one business model made it possible for his company to give its one millionth pair of new shoes to a child in need, just four years after its founding.
I appreciate companies that have a deeper motive beyond making money. I started my time management business with the message that time is fleeting, and we should all strive to spend our time – and lives – on things that matter. While I'm not necessarily saving lives or helping impoverished children like Mycoskie is, I appreciate his spirit of goodwill while still running a successful business, and certainly look forward to hearing him speak this March at SXSW.