October 06, 2016

Can another piece of technology reshape us like the smartphone did? Will Silicon Valley continue to exercise tremendous power over the world for the next 50 years? For answers, try Roger McNamee. He’s an investing legend in the Valley who served as an early advisor to both Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. He’s the co-founder of Elevation Partners, and someone who thinks a lot about what’s just around the bend. In a candid discussion, McNamee tells us about the current landscape of Silicon Valley, and why he has some serious concerns about the direction of tech.

Three Takeaways

  • Silicon Valley isn’t as progressive as you might think. McNamee sees a battle between the hippie ideals embodied by Steve Jobs and libertarian ideals promoted by folks like Peter Thiel. According to McNamee, the libertarians have won.
  • There isn’t much diversity in the tech industry, and that’s an enormous problem. Lots of people working for Silicon Valley companies have similar backgrounds, and McNamee says that prevents firms from effectively appealing to a broader audience. That’s bad for the public, and it’s bad for business.
  • The issue of tech taking away people’s jobs isn’t a new thing. McNamee believes that the economy is always changing, and an industry shouldn’t be protected just because it’s been around a while. We have an obligation to the workers left behind, he argues, but not to the companies themselves.

And if you just can’t get enough Roger McNamee, we’ve got some more tech predictions from him - areas of the economy that he thinks will be hot - and that need some serious attention.

More Reading

technology, Roger McNamee, Silicon Valley, Election 2016, innovation hub, WGBH, tech, Kara Miller

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