Many of today’s new tech ventures are pursuing relatively trivial bits of automation or entertainment. These ventures may be good enough to achieve profitable exits, but they have little chance of contributing to solutions for any of the complex problems that bedevil modern civilization.
There are only a small number of experts in the most important emerging technologies (artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, data sciences, etc.) The largest and wealthiest technology companies (Google, Facebook, Amazon , Microsoft and a few others) have massive financial resources and are aggressively hiring this scarce talent, including some of the already scarce university professors who we rely on for teaching the up and coming young talent in these fields.
The largest technology companies are also investing heavily in platforms, tools and services that can be used to accelerate breakthroughs, but there are some concerns that they will become so powerful that they will stall the progress of important innovations by outsiders.
We believe that with the right leadership, strategies and resources, some technology innovators will be able to attract the required funding, talent and business partners, manage risks, and build sustainable breakthrough capabilities. These innovators and their investors can “do good” by focusing on serious problems, and at the same time “do well” by building companies that do very well financially.