Burnishing the Silicon Valley brand

Marc Andreessen announced the gift of $27.5 million that he and his wife, Laura, are pledging to Stanford Hospital, in Palo Alto, California. 

He writes at length on his blog of what motivated the donation and where the funds will go.  And he does it in a way that is the opposite of self-serving.  A remarkable feat not just from an editorial standpoint but in terms of our local ecosystem as well. 

I hope that other achievers of the Andreessen level take note of not just what success can deliver but what it is for — to pave the way for more success by others via example, not mandate.  It helps to remind oneself that while talent and skill are the primary factors of success, the luck of the draw figures into it, too.  Takes away some of the unseemly stuff associated with wealth.

Robert Scoble applauds this generous act today on his blog, too.  One of the commenters there notes that he is uncomfortable with private donations going to support healthcare. 

Friend, private funds are exactly where such gifts should originate.  American civilization — as tarnished and as weary as it is in the current decade — was built upon and will revive again through the efforts and sacrifices of the independent individual.  It’s the corresponding sense of accountability — whether it’s taking responsibility for our own health and the costs of maintaining it or making it possible for others to do so through private means — that has distinguished our civilization through the ages. 

And by the way:  personal charity and stewardship clearly set the foundation for the finest healthcare services in the galaxy.  Combating the greed and bureaucracy of today’s insurance sector by turning over management to another set of inept bureaucrats is the last thing we need.  The first thing?  Those of us in the position to recognize that we will never spend all the money we’ve amassed — and listening to that little guy on our right shoulder reminding us of what that money can do.

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