Chinese noodle soup for the discouraged soul

By | November 17, 2013

I was thinking it was worth 10 minutes to make a donation to the Philippines. There were a dozen bank account numbers all over the internet. Just transfer to the account. How easy! Everyone must be doing it!

So I fired up Xoom. I like the site because I can transfer money to Brazil for only a $4 fee. Oops. They need the organization’s street address and I can only guess which address they want. Not so simple. Visions of spending hours tracking down my money (like the first time I tried to transfer money to Brazil) flashed through my mind.

So I jumped over to my Bank of America Web banking. $35 in fees was sounding better all the time. But still, the freaking street address was required. Who has a street address these days? It’s like a pencil. Christ. Let go of the past, world.

No worries! There on the same Web site was the logo for the mini-mart where my father bought me tamales as a boy in Las Vegas, proudly stating I can donate there. And what are the chances, there is a location one block away from my condo in Kuala Lumpur! It seems God always gives me the red carpet! One problem…my requests brought only looks of confusion. No tamales. Even bricks and mortar are failing me.

I was hungry and I could smell the Chinese noodle soup kitchen across the hall. I guess I will eat my soup thinking of people who have none.

Later, with some blood sugar reaching my brain, Google was able to lead me to, who took my donation via credit card. Thanks Americares!

Do you ever get the feeling, even in the best weather, things are just too damn hard in this world? I think a few people save a few minutes or a few dollars by not taking the time to imagine how things will work in the real world and the rest of us stumble over it until we figure it out. But we are thousands of people duplicating the stumbling thousands of times. Can we just pay one guy to think it through before putting it out there? Remember the ultimate user might be just some hungry guy on his way to get some soup.

I think the Chinese noodle soup for the discouraged soul (or blood sugar for the starving brain) lies in something called strategic design. More on that later…


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