Alfred E. Mann is trying to put the company he started out of business.
Mann established a company called MiniMed (now owned by Medtronic) and ushered in an age of diabetes therapy using insulin pump technology. In response to Warren Buffet's challenge to the world's richest people to donate half of their wealth, Alfred has pledged an estimated $1 Billion* to charity - the lion's share going to curing and treating diabetes. It's a bit ironic. If wildly successful, his donation could theoretically eliminate the need for anyone to EVER buy another pump.
It's inspiring to see how deep Mr. Mann's commitment is to making life better for those of us who deal with diabetes. His show of generosity demonstrates that he didn't get into the insulin pump business just to make a buck. There's a genuine caring for the customer there that is rare. His recent actions prove it.
The MiniMed 508 was the first pump we got for Cassie 10 years ago. Until an artificial pancreas comes along, we'll think seriously about making the next pump we own a MiniMed/Medtronic. Hopefully, they'll be closing shop soon.
*CORRECTION: According to NPR's Marketplace, Mann is worth $2.2 billion and plans to earmark over 90 PERCENT(!) of his estate to philanthropy.