I: The place I want to start is a very interesting transition that I think many people hear you speak would be interested in how this happened, that you started with this interest in psychiatric practice and practiced as a psychiatrist for some years, right? PP: Uh-hmm. I: And then made the transition or I think may be at the same time, ran small businesses? PP: Oh yes. I've been an entrepreneur all my life and I've always … I'm still doing business stuff on the side today but to a lesser degree. So as a psychiatrist, I also was an entrepreneur. I was an entrepreneur when I was a kid. So I've always been an entrepreneur. I: Do you think that your work in the psychiatric area carries over into making you effective in other places? I think people are interested in how … That’s the way people think. People think that all this training in psychiatry helped me deal with people and understand people. No, no, no… but what I learned in psychiatry was that what I had been taught in training programs to be a psychiatrist which is basically learning to understand the processes in people's heads. What I learned very quickly was that that was useful for individual psychotherapy which was in turn useful for people with neurotic illnesses. You start dealing with major mental illness, psychotherapy and individual psychotherapy was not very useful, in fact in many cases quite useless that you had to learn about the real life, social and environmental context of illness. So I spent a lot of time, because I got curious about this, I became head of the crisis division of the Fort Logan Mental Health Center which is a major community based state hospital system for Colorado in Denver, and when people came in through the crisis unit to be evaluated for admission we put them right in the car and went right back out to their work place or their family setting to learn about what was going on there and that was profound. So I introduced a whole thing called social systems intervention where I taught mental health professionals around the world to go to the real life space and learn about the social and environmental forces pertinent to the development of symptoms of illness but also to the social process involved in hospitalization. And that ended up after checking this out with hundreds of people, taking them… going with them to their real life setting both in Scotland, I worked at _____ Hospital with Maxwell Jones and in Denver, basic thing is that two-thirds of the reason people get admitted to psychiatric hospitals is social forces and when we started looking at environmental forces there was poverty. That was the biggest life space issue. People who are chronically mentally ill, what happens to them in their careers and their degree of happiness and dependency is very much related to poverty variables. So we started doing poverty stuff, we started working on housing, work, self-respect issues for the chronically mentally ill. That was one of the things that got me curious about how you deal with poverty or what the characteristics of poverty are in very poor countries. Because the poor people I was dealing with in Denver were after all making a living on $600 a month. That made them fabulously wealthy in the world scale. So part of my interest in learning about poverty in Bangladesh was to find out how this was relevant to the lives of people living on a dollar a day. So when I … so I went to Bangladesh. I had Mennonite connections. The Mennonite Central Committee in Bangladesh introduced me to some farmers. I asked them why they were poor, they said they were poor because they didn’t have enough money. What did they need? One of the things they needed was irrigation. I networked in the Mennonite community and found somebody that had a very low cost irrigation device. So we thought. Oh let's give this a try and one thing led to another. So that’s one whole connection about the transition and I in fact then took some of what we learned after five years back to apply to the mentally ill with my friend Dick Warner in Boulder. We actually got… that’s another whole story. We applied what we learned in Bangladesh to homeless and chronically mentally ill people living in the community in Boulder, Colorado. But another thread… so three threads, and I apologize for being long winded. Second thread is that I'm an avid scuba diver and went on a diving trip to Belize 40 years ago to Half Moon Caye where I met a fisherman named Willard Young. He was a lighthouse keeper. There were three families on this island 50 miles off the coast. He and I became friends because we stopped there on a dive boat. He invited me back with my family if I could bring him an him Aqualine sail 'cause he had a canvas sail on his sailboat. I came with my wife and three kids for vacation to his place. We were upset, astonished to learn that we would sleep in his bed and they would sleep on the floor. It was a whole learning process. We ended up doing a project to help him catch fish and that was the first economic development project. So that fishing project which we self financed taught us a whole bunch … taught me a whole bunch of stuff, got me curious. So that was another thread. The third thread is maybe the most important one which is at a certain point, I don’t know how this happened but I learned to give up control and be in touch with the deeper things, and it's a thing about doing what I was put here to do. And being open to stuff and it … it's putting one foot in front of the other and being willing to take advantage or opportunities that come up and that’s really what … that’s why I'm here today and that’s the way I live now. I don’t really plan very well. I let things unfold according to the deeper spiritual connections and that’s the real reason why I did this and I can't tell you where I'm going to be five years from now. I: It's taking you down a very interesting path. I wanna go back for a second to talk a little bit about the going to a place and immersing yourself in the mindset and the life, so you get a perspective on what's important to that person and not. What seems to me could be basically applied to any marketplace right. But … Deb, we were talking to some students who were working on housing in a favela and got into a very interesting discussion about they can learn their … how they can learn from the people who live in the favela about their values about housing and what the economic meaning is of improved housing and why they invest in improving their housing and so on, and it's those basic things that shape everything else. I: So talk a little bit… talk through the process and what's behind my question is something you said at the conference which was that you go there… someone said, well, do you have an interpreter or what do you do and you said, yes, I have an interpreter but I can … it's more than just what people tell me. So I wonder if you can just talk through when you go to a place, you're listening, you're … what things do you watch, what do you pick up on the subtleties of what's important to these people's lives? PP: Where everybody lives is at a deeper level than the words. Some people are more in touch with that than others. We're interacting now and you're … you’ve done a lot of these interviews, you're picking up what part of what I say may be superficial, what part may be sounding nice and what part is real and what part is meaningful and I'm picking up your reaction, you're very interested right now in what I'm saying more than 30 seconds ago. Everybody does that. That’s the essence of learning about other people and the essence for me, the reason I get a lot of information is I'm truly curious. I'm curious about what you're thinking and how you're responding. People pick that up very quickly and they like it and they want to interact, so that’s an important part of it but I've got a routine also when I visit a village. And very briefly it is to pick one family, doesn’t matter much who it is although it should be typical and I spend five hours with that family. And I learn everything. I learn what they had for breakfast, I learn what pets they have and what they feed them. I learn if they have a pig, how long it takes before they eat the pig or kill it. How much the pig weighs, how that compares with other people growing pigs efficiently, what they feed the pig, so it's really like in the central hills of Vietnam, I found that people were feeding … the rare times they had fish crabs, they … fish, they fed the fish crabs to their dog but the pig had a deficiency in essential amino acids. So the growth rate was about a third of what it should have been and probably the humans, a lot of the humans in the village, a lot of the people also had illnesses related to… 'cause you've got to have … pigs are like humans, they’ve got to have all the essential amino acids and if there's one missing, you can have a surplus of all the others but they won't thrive. So that kind of stuff becomes very, very important. It in fact became a central thing in what arose out of that which was totally unexpected which was a pig rearing operation for these people. We went there to help them with their citrus crops, drip irrigated citrus and coffee. We ended up helping them raise pigs because the women, when we asked them what their major source of income was, what their problems were, they talked about borrowing money from the government to raise pigs which were culturally highly priced and all the pigs died. So we sent a veterinarian 'cause there were no vets in that area, to find out why the pigs died and that led to a whole new pig business with veterinarians being paid with a percentage of the profits but the process is to start with one family and learn everything in exquisite detail and that depends on their … on a relationship of mutual respect, otherwise they won't tell you nothing and it depends on who the interpreter is because if it's … it's somebody they respect, you're likely to get better information and then I go and talk to 15 more families in the village but talking is really 10% of it. It's the non-obtrusive signs. It's … I would say about counting cabbages… if they're making their living from farming, I walk through all their fields and I see where they have their animals. I see what shape they're in. I really quickly count … you can count cabbages or lettuce or anything by counting the number of plants in a row and counting the number of rows. Then they tell you they're going to sell them for this but before you go there, you go to the market and talk to people and see what cabbages sell for. So by the time you're done, you really know a lot of stuff and you can see what shape the house is in. you can see whether it's got a thatched roof. You can see what clothes they're wearing. You can see people who say they're poor and they've got a television antenna. You can see people who are … who have a watch but when you look at their house, it is a disaster, and so by the time you're done with interviewing 20 people in the village you know a lot but that is from seeing with open eyes. The other thing that I often say is that if you learn to really keep your eyes open, you should be able to walk through a village once and write a book. So it's stuff like that and I'm aware I'm giving very long answers. I: No, that’s fine. That’s part of the joy of eClips is we can break it down into several parts or do whatever. I wanna maybe broaden it out a little because I think this observation, more like I would call it more openness, more taking in of all things is one of the transferable things that can go from developing environment to any other marketplace, right. You could learn those things in any other marketplace. What are the things that you’ve learned in IDE and now with D-Rev, do you think are applicable to people and problems no matter where they are? Well it goes both ways. I'm an entrepreneur. Probably I've applied more from being an entrepreneur to the whole field of development than the other way around. And those things apply across the board. I've done a blueberry business, a wild blueberry business in Nova Scotia. I got there because I bought some land, it was 160 acres and it was very cheap and it was on the ocean. Then I found that there were wild blueberries growing, so I talked to the … my friend had a cousin who was in the blueberry business, so I got him to tell me about the blueberry business, then I learned that … so I learned from him how you do wild blueberries. Well to my amazement, people in that area don’t make soil tests, I don’t know why. So I came up with a whole way of what I think will triple the yield of wild blueberries and I'm trying it out but it's not rocket science. It's all about learning stuff. So that involves … some people did an experiment at an agricultural college where there … there are literally hundreds of species of wild blueberries in a field and some of them have much better yield than others just like when you're breeding race horses. So they took the highest yield species and created seedlings and they ended up with a yield on their test plots of ten times higher. So … but they ended up with strategy of planting fields from scratch with these seedlings which cost a fortune. So instead of that I'm simply interplanting with the natural wild double rose of high yielding clones. But nobody could get them to grow. They all died. So I asked the nursery that was selling these things who had the best success. That was again Prince Edward Island. I called him. He was glad to tell me. He said the secret to keeping a high survival rate is to keep a dirty field which means instead of putting herbicides on, seedlings are very vulnerable to herbicides. So you’ve got to keep weeds which keep the plants in the shade. It helps prevent heaving from frost. So I kept dirty fields for a while. So the weeds got ahead but it looks like the seedlings are surviving. I won't know until I get the first idea this summer of whether this is working or not. But what I'm saying is this applies across the board. If you're curious and you … I did the same thing in Nova Scotia as I do in Bangladesh. I just asked and learn stuff and that’s what I do in business too. You get these niches in business that are highly profitable by asking. I owned … my partner and I bought an apartment complex in Riverton, Wyoming which is dependent very much on the gas industry. There was a big slump because oil prices went down and gas prices went down and all the apartments… this was … what was it… I think it was 90 units. We bought them at a third of the cost of building because nobody was renting. Well, the high end of the apartment rental business was unfurnished because then people buy their own furniture, they're more reliable. In a slump you actually need furnished units because the only jobs available are six month construction jobs. So we bought furniture at garage sales from people who were leaving, furnished our apartments and went from a 50% vacancy rate to a 10% vacancy rate and sold it a profit. Well this is all the same. It's exactly the same. If you're in a slum in India what you’ve got on the global market is low cost labor. If you're working as a potter you're making very cheap flower pots. Why not see if you can make high end designer pottery and sell it in the west. Then you're really going to kill the market 'cause you got low cost labor and you can do custom jobs for … now I don’t know if that will work or not but you see what I mean. So the marketplace is the same and this is the stuff that any successful entrepreneur with an entrepreneurial eye if you really push him, will tell you is how … how do some people always find things that make money whereas other people don’t. That’s because they got an eye for it and they're willing to take a chance and fail miserably but that also works for bottom billion enterprises. It works totally and it's the same thing. To me it is so simple that it puzzles me that people keep asking about it but it's the same thing. I: I think a little bit of it is all of the actions that you talk about, all the results of observing and what you do once you understand the results. That’s not that complicated. PP: No. I: It's the mindset that’s complicated. The cultivation of this opportunity obsession, you know, switching that on, it seems like that’s part of what you're trying to do with D-Rev, right? Oh yes. The big problem is how we think. That’s it. D-Rev, the private company part of D-Rev is to create a revolution in how international businesses design price and market their products and to get to designing for extreme affordability is a major, major turnaround of current thinking which people have a tough time negotiating but many people, it's very easy once they see it. But what corporations tend to do now is to take their current product line and see how they can tweak it and find some stuff they can sell to the poor. You’ve got to take your current product line and throw it away, and start with the price points that are attractive to poor customers and negotiate at big change from … towards high volume, low margin. You’ve got huge global markets that are virgin markets that are big profit opportunities that are virtually unexploited. That’s the real issue in global business in my mind. I: And can you talk a little bit about the designs that you … that are working and that have come out of D-Rev. PP: Well D-Rev is only four months old. I: Yeah. That’s why … I'm just following her script of saying you know, can you talk about in very specifics about the designs … the ones you have existing and working… Okay. So some of the designs that we have lot of experience with came from IDE, the organization that I started. A good example of that is the one that I talked about which is low cost drip irrigation. So drip irrigation is one of the most miserly ways of delivering water to plants. It was really historically… there's some controversy about this but clearly a big part of it was Israel that really has water shortages and somebody noticed that there was a very healthy plant beside a leaking pipe. So they basically figured out how to make consistent leaking pipes and deliver water drip by drip or drop by drop to plants and that created a big increase… that generated a big increase in yield and quality using much less water because a lot of the water that’s delivered to plants in conventional ways evaporates or is lost or runs off the field. It's more complicated that that. So the question is … so the global situation is that drip irrigation is only 1% of global irrigated acreage, even though it's one of the more efficient things. Why is that? Well, that’s because it's very expensive and very big, and really most of the farming in the world today is on small farms. Drip irrigation is for large farms. There are 525 million farms, of those about 450 million are under 5 acres. It's a huge area and nobody… the drip irrigation systems are too big or too expensive for small farms. So we designed a low cost drip system and that’s part of the … that’s a typical example of design for affordability and I'll just touch on a couple of the points. We reduced the pressure in the system. So for a small plot you just take a little rope or a quarter acre plot you take the equivalent of a 55 gallon drum, put it on a table and use gravity to bring water to the fields. When you have low pressure you can make the walls of the tubing that deliver to each row much thinner, so that’s a lot cheaper. You make a very much simplified emitter which is just a hole in the pipe in which you stick a microtube and that gives you pretty uniform flow. It was used 30 years ago by drip irrigation. Now they have higher tech systems. Doing that, we cut the cost of drip irrigation by 80%. It's 1/5 of the cost now for one acre system but we also dumped it down so you can start at a kitchen garden drip system that costs $3 and each one of those things gives … the $3 drip system creates a return, generates a return of $10 net in the first growing season. So now that’s for drip irrigation that’s selling in very large quantities. The potential market for it is at the very least 10 million of them, and the current drip irrigation companies have not responded to this need and that’s why it's only 1% of global irrigated acreage. The same thing then applies to hundred other things that are desperately needed around the world, way beyond farming. There's a billion people who need eyeglasses and don’t have them. If you're a tailor and you don’t have eyeglasses you're out of business. About 80% of the eyeglasses that are needed correct for presbyopia. You know, when you get old, you're whole thing is this far away. The solution to that, the cheap solution to that … anybody can walk into a pharmacy in the US, you get a choice of 12 different levels of magnification. You pick the one that fits and you buy your glasses, 12 bucks here. If you formed a global company that got volume … I'm talking about 2 million at a time in China where they manufacture… you can get them for under 50 cents. You'd have to pick the characteristics that are attractive to rural customers, then you build a global company that delivers them in rural areas in very attractive peddler carts that does the same thing that we do in the drug store, allows people to pick one out and allows them to see and they pay 2 bucks. Now you’ve got a margin between 50 cents and 2 bucks. You can do a viable business. It's a global business but you'd have to design the business from scratch to reach sales of 50 million a year. That’s not rocket science. The issue is not in the design of the technology, it's in the design of the global marketing and distribution system. I can give you a hundred examples of that. From a $100 house, most of the people in rural areas now have houses that have zero market value and zero loan value. You can do $100 starter house that is based on the concept of following what people do in poor areas. There are no construction loans, so they build… the very small proportion, maybe 2% of people that build a house that they pass on to their kids and their grandchildren, build at 25 bricks at a time or 25 cinder blocks at a time. So I've outlined the concept. We haven’t done it yet but I've asked architects, architect firms, students to come up with a design of a $100 house that is 8 beams and a good roof, let people fill in with mud and waddle, fill it in 25 bricks or whatever at a time. It's a 200 square foot module. Once you got that built, it has loan value and market value, so they have an asset. They can borrow money to buy seeds or to improve their farming and they can build another module. There are hundred desperately needed things like this in the world. A thousand or thousands and just in the four months, we've stumbled across so many different products that are crying for a global market that we can't fill the need. It's impossible. So I'm trying to create a revolution that will allow international businesses to enter this market and not for the moral reason or social responsibility but because there's money in it. That I think … and like in self interest is the major motivator that works in large scale, so that’s where I think the real opportunities are. I: So we have to close pretty quickly to get to class on time. Let me ask you just one last thing. What does success look like for D-Rev? What do you think success will look like, when you look out there and you think if this has accomplished, you know, I feel it will be a success. There are two parts to D-Rev. Let's talk about the private company. Success will be when every multinational in order to remain competitive in the marketplace, has a real not a cosmetic branch, a division for emerging markets and when each multinational has a number of products that are major profit, bottom line profit centers by serving this market. The big challenge is to serve the dollar a day market, that’s a billion… 1.2 billion people. The key products that are needed initially are income generating products but there's tremendous blow back from these products to $3, $5 and to the west. So the success is … we're starting four global companies. Success will be that they'll be tremendously profitable and we'll stimulate competition but some of these already we're doing partnerships. That’s on a private sector side. Success on the nonprofit D-Rev entity is to create a revolution in how design which I call… which to me creative problem solving, how design is taught in the west and in developing countries, that’s number one. Number two is successfully create a platform for 10,000 of the world's best designers to work on the problems of the poor. They love it. We've done this with a lot of them. Number three is to act as a social incubator to bring products and services for the bottom billion to the market ready point. So I think it's fairly easy to see… so we're working right now on for instance, creating design courses in a hundred schools that will allow students who are incredibly interested in this. There's a mass movement that can't be stopped already, giving them opportunities to go to the village and design things that solve practical problems of dollar a day people, and these courses allow them to do that, give them some structure for how to do it and many of them are going out and starting companies to commercialize the things that they come up with. We already have a lot of world class designers and they love this stuff, partly because it teaches them so much about … that energizes the design process in the west, and we already have several products that are under development to reach the market ready point. And we already have several products that we're working on, on the commercial side that … and we're forming a private company. We're doing a global search for a world-class CEO. I'll be chairman of the board. So all of that is going on and … I see that I've always taken one of your simple questions and turned it into a long winded answer. So I apologize but not really… it's fun. I: It's all part of the fabric. And I wish we could have talked for another couple of hours but I think we’ll wrap.