Is Tech Disruption for the Greater Good?
Updated: Jul 13, 2020
I was up on LinkedIn today reaching out to some friends and colleagues, when I came across someone pitching their company’s disruptive technology, bragging about the amount raised in VC money and their company’s big valuation. I just wanted to puke.
I did my first start-up in 1983 – oil & gas accounting software on the IBM PC-AT. At that time, I believed technology could do great things. I didn’t believe we were about destroying markets and putting people out of business. I wasn’t thinking about how my father lost his career to word processing software. Or that my brother lost his to automotive technology. When does anyone think about the ramifications of what they are creating? It’s like Facebook which I hate but am forced use to get the word out about my blog. I find it serves little purpose of value and was instrumental in determining who is sitting in the White House. It’s also a significant source of bullying and our growing problem with suicide. We don’t need technology that causes this level of problems.
When you look at technology companies to work for or invest in, start thinking about whether they are bringing positive value into the world. Are they making the world a better place? Are they creating good jobs for some people and no jobs for others? Or are they creating a brand new market where everyone can benefit? Because, the last the we need is another greedy company where the only people who make any money sit on the board or in the C-suite. Bill Gates understands this. That why he left the company he created that made some good, useful products (I can’t hate word processing software as I use it every day) and took his millions to try and stop world hunger.
Let’s stop trying to disrupt stuff unless we are doing it for the common good.