Silicon Valley has a Problem Problem by Melissa-Riva Tev is the most important thing I’ve read in a couple of weeks. It seems that what Silicon Valley identifies as a problem typically isn’t a problem.
This is true when it comes to health. A onesie sensor that texts a parent when a baby rolls over doesn’t represent the solution to a problem.
Access to drinking water and mosquito netting for children in the third world is a problem.
When Silicon Valley moves beyond apps that serve the worried well we’ll be getting somewhere. Until then SV has a health problem problem.
While it appears that the greatest minds of our generation are working on nothing more disruptive than the next great step counter, perhaps there’s hope. Consider the Steve Lohr’s take in Dataism:
New technologies always go first to where it is easiest to make money, and then spread more broadly. The early markets for the printing press, in addition to the Gutenberg Bible, were religious tracts, political screeds, and pornography. Only later did the printing press become a vehicle for democratizing knowledge and for mass education.
I adore Melissa-Riva Tev, by the way. Check out her stuff over at The European
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