There is a danger, now that Coca-Cola have said yes (probably) to trials of our idea in Tanzania, the people at Google will think ‘job done’ and decide we don’t need their help. However, the truth is that we need their help now more than ever. Up until the Coca-Cola statement on Tuesday (21/4/09) all we had was an idea, a pretty amazing idea, but just an idea. Now we have a job to do. It’s not a case of ‘job done’, more the case of a huge ‘job to do’.
Although we are right to expect Coca-Cola to invest in the ColaLife idea, we shouldn’t expect them to ‘own’ it – and indeed they have no aspiration to. Coca-Cola will be one of a number of crucial partners that will be required to make ColaLife a successful, replicable reality. If ColaLife aidpods are going to be part of the trials this year we are going to need several thousand of them. We are going to need talented designers to build and test prototypes. Then we’ll need them made – preferably in Africa. Everything so far has been voluntary – but to do this properly we’re going to need funding. While the trials are underway in Tanzania we’ll need to be learning and understanding the key success factors. We’ll need to be working with local people in other developing countries to understand local conditions and the enablers and barriers to replication of the idea. And so the list goes on.
So, Google, if you’re listening. We need you now more than ever.
If you work for Google . . . when are you going to announce the top 100 ideas? (well, if you don’t ask?).