Tom Siebel, who founded software company Siebel Systems and sold it for $5.8 billion to Oracle in 2005, has been doing something nice with his cash. Unlike other tech do-gooding billionaires—maybe you’ve heard of a guy called Bill Gates—he doesn’t get much press. Poor thing. Maybe that’s because he’s chosen to tackle the highly unglamorous problem of methamphetamine abuse. In Montana.
Through his Siebel Foundation, Tom launched the Montana Meth Project, aimed at reducing first time meth users.
The clinic just made a very high profile hire that is big news in Montana. Erik Iverson, chief of staff for Denny Rehberg, a Republican congressman from Montana, quit to consult for the Project. He’ll also remain chairman of the Montana Republican Party. (Hmm, interesting combination.)
The Project certainly seems like a creative place to work. Check out some of their crazy ads we’ve embedded below. Bizarrely edgy for that state. (Or, any for that matter.) Not to mention ubiquitous. The Project is now the largest advertiser in Montana.
Best of all, it looks like it’s working. According to the Project’s site:
Montana Market Results: 2005-2008
As of April 2008:
- Montana ranks #39 in the nation for Meth abuse
- Teen Meth use has declined by 45%
- Adult Meth use has declined by 72%
- 62% decrease in Meth-related crime
In 2005 when the Project started, Montana was #5 in the nation for Meth abuse.
A lot is made of people helping others overseas. And that’s great. But more should be made of charity right here at home.