I Left Tech When It Sold Its Soul

By Nicole Karlis : thebolditalic – excerpt

Five years ago, when I was working in publishing in New York City, I became captivated by an article about the women who were shaping the San Francisco start-up scene. Their job titles were as diverse and exciting as the companies they worked for. Some spent their weeks traveling for work, while others spent days solving interesting problems that no one had ever solved before. The women in these start-ups were coming together to execute the unlikeliest of ideas and truly exhibiting the definition of innovation. Start-ups and apps were popping up all over, most of them — at the time — changing industries for the greater good…

Everyone wants to work for the next start-up that gets acquired by a big tech company. I’d be lying if I said that that wasn’t a big part of it why I was attracted to it. But it was also the feeling I got from creating something new — the opportunity to be myself and let my creativity shine in a professional work environment. It doesn’t seem like that’s an option anymore. Besides that, more companies are creating products without a thoughtful sense of purpose.

We are trying to solve problems with the touch of a screen, which only isolates us further from each other. What we should be doing is thinking of ways to bring each other together.

How about instead of spending millions of dollars to start another food-delivery app, we put that money toward finding a more efficient way to feed the hungry? Instead of creating another type of software that curates content for people who “don’t have time to read,” why not find ways to help impoverished children learn how to read? Innovation is slowly dying in tech because everyone is copying each other and focused on “being in tech,” but the industry is still full of incredibly intelligent and talented people.

Imagine what would happen if we redirected that intelligence and talent? If you make a lot of money in the long run, great — if not, at least you tried to make a positive impact on the world, rather than destroy it with useless distractions. Because that’s exactly what more of these apps and products of start-ups and tech are becoming: distractions. We are trying to solve problems with the touch of a screen, which only isolates us further from each other. What we should be doing is thinking of ways to bring each other together…

What used to be an industry that prided itself on being unique and different has just become another commercialized scene filled with people who are there for the wrong reasons. And that’s why I left. In the long-run, tech didn’t end up being much different from the industries they vowed not to become…(more)

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