Finally, someone in Silicon Valley stood up and said "You guys are all kidding, right? Oh, you're serious? Really? You're serious? Sweet christ on a cracker, we're all doomed."
Ok, so I'm paraphrasing. (Some might even say "hyperbolic-ally paraphrasing.")
But the key thing is I'm paraphrasing! Not just making shit up!
Over the weekend at TechCrunch's Disrupt NY Conference, investor and former Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiva, stood up and said, the tech world should be "utterly ashamed" because "we are at an absolute minimum in terms of things that are being started." He went on to point out that essentially the tech world has (mostly) stopped innovating and pretty much is just "re-hashing ideas from 2003."
Palihapitiva even went so far as to shame the tech world for frivolity at a time when "people are dying left and right" and "significant income inequality."
And he's absolutely right. This is all true. And I appreciate him coming out and saying it because when I say it I look like a cynical curmudgeon who's tinfoil hat is fastened too tightly to my head.
Unfortunately, in the same article covering his presentation, we can see exactly why the tech industry will applaud his speech and then continue on to do jackshit about it:
What kinds of big ideas is he talking about? Well, Palihapitiya mentioned a couple of sectors, including health care, but he said he also likes to invest in startups in sectors where “we know nothing,” because then the firm doesn’t have a lot of preconceptions and it learns along with the company.
That's right. This whole "big ideas" and "changing and fixing the world" thing literally had to be spelled out for the tech world.
Seriously, if you need help figuring out the sectors where innovation and change is needed to improve society and don't just automatically think "hmm, health care. Maybe some green tech and infrastructure ideas-like working on clean drinking water. And R&D did lead to the internet, which created a new industry, so maybe some super high-end up that we haven't quite thought of yet." then chances are you either aren't bright enough or have enough awareness of the world around you to work in these sectors.
So to re-cap: someone pointed out the obvious-and it's about damn time-but we're all still fucked anyway.
And-bless their hearts-Tech Crunch even had a second article explaining things further for everyone who couldn't connect the dots themselves from their first article: "Chamath Palihapitiya Chats about Why Big Ideas Are Harder to Find, but Could Be Easier to Get Funded."