Zach Wi­gal, founder of the Gamers Out­reach Foun­da­tion

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I’d cer­tainly at­tribute an aura of magic to the first ever GO Kart, [a por­ta­ble, med­i­cal-grade video game kiosk that can be eas­ily rolled into wards], that we con­structed. Build­ing a tan­gi­ble prod­uct is dif­fi­cult and, to a new­comer, the process for get­ting started can be neb­u­lous. Our ini­tial chal­lenge was fig­ur­ing out how to cre­ate a so­lu­tion for hos­pi­tals that was of med­i­cal qual­ity, low vol­ume, ac­ces­si­ble and se­cure.

We started as a bunch of high school stu­dents who en­joyed host­ing video game tour­na­ments for char­ity. [Dur­ing de­vel­op­ment], our team was ac­tively in­volved with our lo­cal hos­pi­tal. We so­licited feed­back, and learnt as much as we could from the peo­ple who were work­ing di­rectly with pa­tients daily. This type of learn­ing can be a ma­jor in­di­ca­tor of whether or not a prod­uct will be of use to its in­tended au­di­ence.

Our first unit re­pur­posed an ex­ist­ing med­i­cal prod­uct. I don’t think we ever felt our goal was out of reach. We were a very de­ter­mined group of young­sters. That’s the great thing about work­ing on some­thing you love: pas­sion is blind­ing, and naivety is of­ten an ally of in­no­va­tion.

Our first GO Kart was built in 2009, two years af­ter the for­ma­tion of Gamers Out­reach. We were ec­static to de­liver some­thing to our hos­pi­tal that we knew would be of use to pa­tients. Cre­at­ing a prod­uct that’s of ser­vice to oth­ers has been one of the most ful­fill­ing things I’ve been a part of.

Com­mit your­self to the joy you have for your work, and main­tain faith that your per­sis­tence will lead to your en­vi­sioned re­sult.

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