A recent @Wired piece on the ugly underbelly of the Silicon Valley startup couldn’t have been better timed. 2017 has seen expose after expose about sexism, tax evasion, workplace bullying and more: making us realise that our heroes have feet of clay. At this year’s Web Summit, speeches by senior staffers at Silicon Valley darlings like Facebook, Uber and many others just didn’t ring true: they felt like clever media training rather than authentic passion.
But why has what Wired calls ‘a merry band’ of anti-authoritarian rebels turned out to be so much like the very authorities they sought to upstage? I wonder if it’s because the pursuit of profit must be single minded and cannot be burdened by considerations like fairness or ‘doing the right thing’.
So maybe it is time for us to stop complaining about increasing regulatory intervention and embrace it as something that forces us to do right by our customers, employees and shareholders.
For example, @Telenor Research has predicted that in 2018 most companies / apps will be rewriting their T&Cs from gobbledegook to English to comply with strict new data protection and privacy laws. I for one am looking forward to understanding how all those free apps I use for e-mail, messaging and so on are using my personal data, aren’t you?