What Does Our Brand Stand For?
The fin in FinMango stands for finance. For the eradication of poverty, finance is an important tool to use responsibly. There are generally two reasons that people live in poverty. The first reason is that there are no financial opportunities for people. We can help organizations set up microfinance loans in order to empower local populations, however this is not always the right answer.
The second reason that people live in poverty many times is because of consumption patterns. No, we don’t think that people who don’t have money are irresponsible. We need to provide people with the tools so that they can manage their own finances without outside help. We want to empower people, not create dependence.
The Mango in FinMango represents the sweetness of success. Even after a mango tree has been planted, it can bear fruit after a short period of time. With proper care, it doesn’t take long to see the benefits of planting the tree as it bears fruit.
Our logo was hand drawn. It’s meant to be organic, just like growth. Growth isn’t linear, but involves people.
The color orange is symbolic for the excitement that comes from releasing financial oppression. There’s nothing inherently bad about the color orange. It’s a sign of warmth and excitement. Unlike red which can represent passion and anger, orange has the intensity without the negatives of anger or danger. Yellow is another neighbor or orange, and also represents warmth like sunlight. However, yellow has the negative connotation of warning or caution.
The colors red and yellow represent our mission in many similar ways. Red is a vigorous color that’s associated with passion and intensity. Red is used by many fast food chains and other restaurants and is closely associated with food. In many ways there is direct correlation between our mission and food. Food is a big community builder and without communal meals, we wouldn’t know eachother well enough.
Yellow represents high energy and education. Yellow is the color or school busses, and has come to represent schools over the years. Yellow is the color or sunshine, happiness, and optimism. Yellow has a correlation with the sun which is the giver of life, but still yellow doesn’t represent FinMango nearly as well as orange.
Those colors have risk, but FinMango does not support this idea of risk because spreading good knowledge and resources is generally not a risky endeavor. Teaching and the spread of knowledge is also exciting. This does not mean that the FinMango brand is void of red and yellow.
When a mango is starting to ripen, it transitions from shades of green to shades of yellow, orange and red. In relation to fruit, yellow and red lose the negative connotation that they had before. It’s shows that the fruit is ready to be eaten.
In the past, people have sought to fix financial poverty by injecting money into economies of these areas. This works, but it’s like feeding someone a mango that is not ripened yet. The success is not sweet and will upset your stomach. Green mangos are not inherently bad. In fact, we need green mangos to stay on the tree to ripen, just like we need money in order to build the foundations for organizations by planting seeds.
It turns out that going overseas and dictating how people should do everything as if we are saviors doesn’t work. As people who have become successful over the years often find that throwing a crap load of money at something works, but it works much better if there is a solid foundation. Kevin O’leary on Shark Tank said that his money was like gasoline. His money is worthless if there is no foundation or flame to throw the money onto. In fact, throwing too much gasoline onto a fire could have the effect of smothering the fire. Our money, however, is not gasoline. There are no fires. Gasoline will light up in a glorious display of fire and power and then die off. We don’t intend to die off or need to constantly feed the fire. We intend to plant seeds. Not all seeds turn into mango trees, and mango trees are not right everywhere. We are not here to tell people what to do and order people around who need our help. We are here to help them to be successful their own way. Along the way we provide the resources and tools that show the way. We provide the seeds, but the farmers are the ones that go to the well, protect the saplings from being trampled, and inevitably are the ones who cause the tree to bear fruit, not us! Our hope is that they will be the ones dictating to us how to operate because they have been empowered!
The greenness of the mango plant represent the greenness of money. Money is a fantastic tool. People with more money can have more freedom. There was a man who I talked to at a technology start-up conference. While he was in college, he created a bicycle mount for cell phones. He made a few million dollars over the course of 5 years, and noted that it was an incredible growth experience. However, the money that he received wasn’t a golden hammer that magically made him full.
There are other things that make people full. Our connections with other people, in fact, are the number one predictor of someone’s overall well being according to psychologists.
Grafted Trees vs Seedlings vs Air Layered Tree
An air layered tree is a tree that you cut or wound one of the branches and then put pete moss around the wound. What ends up happening is the branch starts to grow roots into the pete moss. After the roots are sufficient, the branch can be cut off and planted and it will grow as its own tree. This branch that is cut off will be a direct replication of the parent tree. It will have all of the same genetics and is a sure fire way to get good fruit from a tested gene makeup. This sounds great, but
A grafted tree is when you combine a bit of a branch from a more mature tree into a tree that is more of a sapling. Grafted trees can produce fruit that is different and you can combine genes from two different trees. These grafted trees will start to produce fruit much more quickly than a tree that is grown from seedling. However, there is one downside to grafting trees. If you graft trees from areas that have disease, the disease can spread and kill many trees.
Just like grafting, we need to be careful how we inject new ideas and money into cultures. With proper care, grafting is a great technique, but when done recklessly, it has very negative consequences. However, grafting trees has been done for 3000 years, and is very effective when done with the right conditions.
The last method of growing trees is from seedlings. Seedlings are much less predictable than grafted or air layered trees, but they grow to be much bigger and stronger. Our goal is to eventually produce strong seedlings that can be used to plant air layered trees and that can be used for grafting.
In relation to our foreign and domestic projects, we need to use all three of these techniques to grow the highest quality fruit in predictable quantities.
Big Mango Trees vs Small Mango Trees
- Big trees don’t necessarily produce more fruit than smaller trees.
- Small trees are easier to protect from pests and disease
- Easier to spot disease
- Easier to prune
- Easier to spray pesticide
- Pruning trees prevents disease by allowing sunlight to come through the tree.
- Cut away unproductive flowers and branches
- All the trees resources need to be put into producing good fruit.
- Done after harvest
Traditionally, mango trees are planted on a plot that is 10m by 10m. However, these trees are hard to care for. They are too tall and can not be properly sprayed with pesticides, pruned, and harvested. In fact, it is much less efficient to grow a big mango tree than a small tree. You can get larger fruits that are more properly trimmed, and there will be less risk for infection or pests.
Growing the trees on 5m by 5m plots turns out to be a much better strategy. The trees can be pruned where there are no leaves or branches at the tops of the trees. This prevents fruit from being grown out of reach. When harvest comes, all of the fruit can be harvested without a ladder or climbing the tree. Clearing the branches at the top of the trees also allows more sunlight to pass through. The sunlight that passes through helps to evaporate all of the moisture that is left over from rainfall. If the moisture does not evaporate, the trees can then grow funguses and other disease that can potentially wipe out other trees from disease.
Just because the trees need to be grown to a small size to succeed does not mean that they don’t need to be cared for at a younger age. There is a process called Tipping the plan where you cut off the “Terminal Bud” when the plant is a little over hip height. This allows the tree to grow shoots in many directions. It is one of the things that mango farmers do in order to allow the trees to grow to a smaller size effectively. When the plant is tipped, the trunk doesn’t have to grow as tall before branches grow off in all directions. This allows for easier harvesting.
Tipping isn’t something that is just done once. It is done throughout the life of the mango tree. Doing this tipping process earlier in the life of the tree allows it to be more receptive to pruning throughout the rest of the life of the plant. When it is pruned, the plant starts to get used to the process of pruning and plants that are pruned much more often are more receptive than ones that have not. This is because trees that have already been pruned will not have large branches in the wrong spots. It’s predictable where they will grow, and then instead of using a saw for the pruning process, all the farmer needs is a pair of hand clippers, and possible a larger set for thumb sized branches after the tree is more matured.
Size control begins at the time of planting. After you have done the initial tipping, there will be multiple branches that start to grow out of the place where you originally tipped the plant. After those branches have grown slightly, you can tipp those branches as well. This allows us to control the general way in which the mango tree grows.