We all did our part. I, like many others, was in New York during Hurricane Sandy. Wow! I've been in New York for many years. I saw the blackout, the winter of 2010, the blizzard of '96. None of those came close to what Sandy brought to this city. Luckily everyone I know was safe (though some displaced), and though Lucky Ant offices did not have power for a week and our servers went down, we can't help but count our blessings.
Many in New York City (and surrounding areas) are still reeling from the chaos that was caused by one night of rain, wind, and surge. As I write this, more than 55,000 New Yorkers are still without power. If you want to see devastation all you need is a quick bike ride down to Red Hook, Staten Island, or The Rockaways. This was one heck of a storm.
A few days after the storm, I took a bike ride to survey the damaged area. We were offering free crowdfunding for those in need and I wanted to meet the people who were on the front lines. I went out not knowing what I was expecting to see, but what I found was my city pretty much in ruins. Storefronts were gone, lights still weren't on, people walked around aimlessly trying to figure out where to start rebuilding. My city, the greatest city in the world (no offense to the rest of you guys) had been knocked to its knees and was, for the first time in a long time, having a hard time getting back up.
So why do I say this here? What does this have to do with crowdsourcing? Well, like Katrina and 9/11 before it, Sandy brought out the best in people. In a city where individualism can sometime be suffocating, people came out and helped. Period. We were once again a group, a crowd if you will (see what I did there). All of a sudden, all together we were united in a noble goal: helping.
Thousands went out and volunteered: nobodies and millionaires (I even saw a picture of Lloyd Blankfein picking up debris). Friends offered homes and hot showers to those in need. The techies of NYC and beyond did their part too offering free offices, free rides, and yes: free crowdfunding. And hundreds of thousands of Americans and people from around the world took out their credit cards and made a pledge. I'm proud to say that we played a part in that and we are continuing to do so.
I guess all I'm saying here is thank you to all of you that participated for reminding the world that when we come together we can do great things. And I want to assure you that New York will be fine, and we'll be cursing out tourists again in no time!