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Has the tech industry grown up or sold out?

Source | LinkedIn : By Nishant Bhajaria

America’s tech sector evokes interesting feelings across the spectrum.

Members of the elite editorial class like Tom Friedman, think of hi-tech workers as pioneers, inventors and sponsors of tomorrow. For Wall Street, our products and earnings are a source of wealth and jobs that could not exist otherwise.

However, those feelings of adulation are not universal.

In many conversations after last year’s election, friends from my days in the midwest as a student tell me that the tech industry, concentrated in urban areas in the coasts, is disconnected from “real America”.

The tech sector is also criticized for:

  • Being overrun by men (71% of Silicon Valley engineers are men) and run by white men (investors, venture capitalists, journalists).
  • Making products that create need rather than products that are needed.
  • Creating a separate wealthy class that drives up home prices and flaunts its resources.

Stephen Bannon, the president’s most influential advisor, has criticized the “progressive plutocrats” in Silicon Valley who cost regular Americans their jobs by worshipping at the altar of free trade and unrestrained immigration. Alluding to the tech sector, he characterized it as “these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It’s not reality.”

However, the tech industry is not just a subject of admiration or criticism. Many Americans just do not understand what to make of this very influential sector.

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