Recently, there have been several high profile stumbles for technology companies. From privacy scandals at Facebook to a delayed IPO at WeWork, the news stories might cause many to believe that technology is falling out of favor. While, these are temporary interruptions, our position continues to be that you should remain long term bullish on the game changing potential of technology.
Technology can save lives
There are examples all around us of how technology is making the world a better place. From a hardware device that initially allowed us to pretend like we were Michael Knight in Knight Rider, we are now discovering that the Apple Watch’s capability to monitor our health and our environment might just save our lives
. Or, in Chicago, there is a startup Tempus that is leveraging big data to attempt to cure cancer. There are also countless startups that are working on self-driving vehicles which while it will initially lead to a perceived loss of freedom will ultimately make our daily travels much safer.
Healthy industries have failures
The media is right to highlight the stories around privacy concerns and unprofitable companies attempting to go public despite not having a clear path to profitability. There are even some who have argued that this is the year 2000 all over again. What is different this time from the previous dot com bust is that businesses that had largely unproven technology went public at massive valuations simply because they built a website. It didn’t matter if there were an underlying business model or not. In a healthy environment, there are some companies that will be successful and there will be some companies that fail. Recognizing that companies with massive private valuations like WeWork are not able to garner the same valuation on the public markets is a great sign of a properly functioning market. Journalists from the Wall Street Journal figuring out that Theranos machines weren’t actually doing what they said they were capable of is great investigative work that saved countless people from erroneous medial diagnostic results.
Those within the financial sector who are connecting Facebook’s cryptocurrency ambitions with their previous challenges as it relates to privacy is a healthy part of the global economy. In fact, the ability to distinguish between technology innovations and advances that make the world a better place vs those that infringe on our rights or are not really innovations at all is great. When we should start to be concerned is when regardless of issues, we are asked to believe in technology for the sake of technology.
Knowledge creates wisdom
The next generation will likely witness an increase in the number of technology companies that are inventing the future. As we have previously highlighted, we believe that Every Company is now a Tech Company
. Having grown up learning how to build with technology will prepare students with a knowledgeable foundation to sniff out when something doesn’t seem quite right. Companies that seek to use technology for the sake of technology will be avoided. It will also convince students to double down on technologies like the Apple Watch or self-driving vehicles that have a clear and compelling value proposition. As they enter the professional ranks, future iterations of companies like Apple and Tesla will be in high demand.
Over the next several years, this culling of inventions and innovations will have a position impact on markets and society as a whole. Let’s continue to put the pressure on those who are in positions of power to make sure they are doing the right thing if they want to hold the mantle of those who want to make an impact. But, let’s not let the current narrative allow us to lose sight of the fact that we are in a long term bullish trend towards technology being the key catalyst for changing the world.