By Katy Steinmetz – The world’s most valuable venture-backed company is no doubt in crisis. And the story of Uber, in its extreme success and what may turn out to be extreme failures, is in some ways singular. But it also hits on issues in the technology industry that are far bigger than one company.
Silicon Valley has struggled for years with diversity and inclusion, as critics have wondered whether the industry can achieve its grand self-image: a bunch of brilliant minds set on making the world a better place, for whom no problem is too tough to solve, no status quo too established to upend.
Despite whistle-blowing at other companies about hostile office cultures and widespread acknowledgement that the industry needs to “do better” when it comes to hiring and retaining women and people of color, those problems have persisted.
The fact that Uber, the brightest product of the Silicon Valley ecosystem of the past several years, could become such an influential global powerhouse while seemingly neglecting its own workplace speaks to some of the reasons that broader progress, as many see it, has been slow.
The pressure for startups to grow fast — and the prospect of profits or an enriching “exit” for investors — can be blinding. Taking time to think about unsexy HR practices often feels antithetical to hard-charging disruption.
Company culture and bias can be hard things to see, much less change, especially if the people at the top believe they’re running a meritocracy. more> https://goo.gl/WwGncQ
Posted in Banking, Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Leadership, Media, Net, Regulations, Technology
Tagged Capital, culture, Exit strategy, Silicon Valley, Startup, Workplace
By Henning Meyer – The digital revolution, used here as shorthand for broader technological change, is one of today’s most hotly debated topics in politics, economics and business.
We are undoubtedly faced with large-scale disruptions in many areas that require adjustments.
To analyse exposure to the digital revolution and potential policy solutions you need to start breaking it down into manageable dimensions. Three areas in particular warrant special attention: What are the forces shaping the application of new technologies? What does the digital revolution mean for the future of work? And what kind of policies could help to address these issues?
There is a general lack of structured analysis of the ways in which technological progress translates into real life. This is an important shortcoming as it leads to a distorted view of real-time developments. Here we try to structure this process and identify five filters that in effect moderate technology’s impact.
First, an ethical filter. This filter restricts research itself as it sets a permission framework for what can be done.
Second, a social filter. Social resistance against technological change is not new and it is likely to be more intense in areas where there is a perceived threat to people’s jobs.
Third, a corporate governance filter.
Fourth, a legal filter also moderates what is possible and what is applied in the real world.
Last but not least a productivity filter. This filter means in principle that the application of new technology does not have a dramatic effect on productivity because either the productivity bottleneck lies elsewhere or diminishing marginal returns mean that there is little real improvement in products or services. more> https://goo.gl/nZdclG
Posted in Broadband, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Bottlenecks, Capital, Digital transformation, Productivity, Public policy, Technology adoption