I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful holiday season. Last week I was asked by a high school student in San Jose if I could answer some questions for a report he was putting together. One of the questions that he asked me was particularly interesting. “Do you believe that the emergence of the Internet of Things or, more broadly, increased integration of technology in our daily lives, is positive or negative?”
Like all simple questions, this one isn’t easy to answer. The case can certainly be made either way. But I think ultimately, human beings are social creatures and technology is doing a lot to connect us in meaningful and powerful ways. This is the point of the Internet, afterall. Sometimes we don’t like the consequences - how it augments our ability to shut out the people around us, or enter into selfish pursuits which consume much of our time. However, technology also allows us to spread good news and expose those who are oppressing the less fortunate. At the end of the day, I’m a proponent of information and connectivity, and I think if you’re a proponent of those two things, you end up being a fan of high tech.
Perhaps as entrepreneurs and creators, we have an obligation to create businesses and technology that bring out the best in humanity. Or, if our inventions and creations are intrinsically neutral, that we use them in such a way as to make the world a better place, if only in a small way. After all, we don’t need our efforts to be more than 50.0000001% positive to set us on an exponential path to a better world.
So that’s my holiday wish to you this year. May your work bring you, and those around you, joy, peace and love. Merry Christmas.