You may have heard that Bill Clinton officially kicked off his publicity tour for his new book: Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.
A big part of the PR tour was taping an appearance on Oprah. Several news outlets have been reporting the story from the angle that Oprah and Clinton are both big donors... but for me, the show was stolen by Matt and Jessica Flannery, co-founders of Kiva, who were sitting in the front row.
You can read Matt's intense description of the event on his Kiva Chronicles blog:
I couldn't pay perfect attention. About 45 minutes into the show, the Kiva segment began. A tape rolled highlighting Anne Brown, an artisan in Seattle who lent money to a seamstress in Ecuador. I didn't watch too closely because I didn't want to be too emotional as the biggest interview in my life would begin.
Then she called on us. Our most likely scenario was that Oprah would focus on Jessica, given that is a women-centric show. We were wrong -- she focused on me. How much has Kiva loaned so far? How does it make you feel? How long does it take for an entrepreneur to get funded? I could answer these questions in my sleep. However, they came out in slow motion. I didn't make any big mistakes. I was serviceable, not incredible. Since that time, I've replayed the answers in my head, second guessing every word. I'll probably never get the chance to address that many people again in my life. Thinking about it too much can drive you crazy.
She turned to Jess and asked about her inspiration. Jess got emotional. It was an emotional moment. She delivered a heart felt account of how we began Kiva. It was one of the more moving parts of the show.
The President and Ms. Winfrey spent the next few minutes talking about the power of the Internet and "the Kiva model." Watching this was truly surreal. If you had told me a year ago that I would watch these two people discussing Kiva in front of millions on TV, I would have laughed. I cannot tell you how ridiculous it would have seemed. It still seems imaginary.
My hat goes off to the Flannery's amazing work these past 10 months.