Edward Norton
Actor and Philanthropist

Don't Accept Conventional Wisdom

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Crowdrise was much less expensive to set up than everyone originally said; websites don't have to be top-heavy or front-loaded, says Norton.

Edward Norton

Edward Norton is an actor, director and philanthropist. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards, for Best Supporting Actor in "Primal Fear" and "Birdman", as well as Best Actor in "American History X."  His other notable films include "Fight Club" (1999), "25th Hour" (2002), "The Incredible Hulk" (2008) and "Keeping the Faith" (2000), which he also directed. Norton is also known for his work on environmental and social issues like renewable energy and low-income housing. In May 2010, Norton co-founded the website Crowdrise, an online platform that harnesses the power of social networks for charities.  


Edward Norton: Definitely, do not get sucked into the mindset that these things are inherently top heavy or front-end costly or anything.  It’s absolutely not true.  It was possible to do it much more efficiently than a lot of people told us was the case.  

When we kind of surveyed the landscape of what was out there in this particular sector even of IT stuff and we dug around a little to sort of investigate what kind of costs, labor, what goes into this, we were pretty stunned to find out what people were spending on the front end to engineer these things, put them up -- we had a really hard time figuring out what people were spending all that money on to create, we think, very bad products. 

What is possible for a young person with an idea, in terms of executing it today, even more than five years ago, and certainly more than 10 years ago, in terms of the speed in which you can engineer things to software that’s available in an open source way for you to construct these things . . . suffice it to say, I think if people knew what it cost us to set Crowdrise up, they’d be staggered, I think.  It was like fractional compared to some of the other big named things that you’ve heard about.  

Recorded December 9, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller
Directed by Jonathan Fowler
Produced by Elizabeth Rodd

 Image courtesy of Flickr user Creative Tools


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