Moving Tech’s Moral Compass From The Inside Is Harder Than It Looks


Whether or not it actually lives up to its ideals, the tech industry has a long history of trying to hold itself to a higher standard in its rhetoric. (This literally goes back like 50 years or more.)

But as founding a company has become de-risked over the last 10 years and many growth-stage companies begin to veer into highly regulated areas like education and transportation, this messaging can miss the mark.

A classic example of this mismatch came up a few weeks ago when Asana co-founder Justin Rosenstein gave a speech at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York based off an essay he published two years ago called “Do Great Things.” In it, he urged other engineers, product managers and founders in the industry to devote their talents and limited time to meaningful work instead of products that quickly and solely produce revenue or exits.

On stage, he repeated…

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