Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

What If We Understood

What if we understood how the technology industry is perceived?

  • the implications of perfect corporate buses transporting a small slice of the neighborhood to a campus far away?

  • that onsite haircuts, meals, dentists, massages, and coffee results in the loss of thousands of interactions with people in our communities every day?

  • that having skills that are currently in demand doesn’t make us better than others?

  • that users know when they’re being used?

  • that there are significant problems worth solving other than the ones people like us face regularly?

  • how it looks when we spend millions to celebrate our success, while 12 million of our neighbors are unemployed (one-third for 6 months or more) and nearly 4 million earn minimum wage?

  • that technology is not neutral, and profiting from people’s weakness is wrong?

  • that people deserve to being treated fairly even if we decided not to charge them for the product?

  • that we don’t have to accept how the press and others define success in technology?

  • that if we continue to game invites and use tricks to grow, we will be held in the same esteem as sketchy used car salesmen once were?

  • how harmful our lack of diversity is?

  • that just because we’ve embraced a fully open, online life, doesn’t mean the people who use our services have?

  • that the next generation is watching and learning from us?

I wonder what it would be like if we fought for the people who use our products first and foremost.

  • if we refused when asked to do something that violated the trust of our users.

  • if we didn’t settle.

  • if we thought more about the ripple effects of the technology we bring into the world.

  • If we focused on what we will leave behind.

  • if we realized how fortunate we are.