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The knee jerk joke of “There’s an app for that!” isn’t really that funny.
As an experienced Silicon Valley veteran, I am very familiar with many of its leading companies, luminaries and eccentric personalities.  Having spent most of my career in the midst of it, I believe that I am entitled to offer the following  criticism.   It is also not unique coming from me.
Many experienced Silicon Valley veterans have complained loudly about the current malaise of misplaced infatuation with mobile apps, as the apparent end all and be all of Silicon Valley. Vinod Khosla, Marc Andreeson, Max Marmer and a laundry list of others have asked rhetorically how Silicon Valley could have lost its way so badly? Silicon Valley was founded on Big Ideas.
It seems that our local tech community is living in a time warp, or at least is dramatically behind the curve in understanding how public opinion and the investment climate has changed for this fantasy world.  One might see this dilemma as predictable, as our local tech community is so far from the center of the tech universe, and therefore seriously behind and out of step.  A severe reckoning is nigh.
On November 18th of last year I wrote a post mirroring a NY Times article, “App Development’s Depressing Underbelly,”  about the depressing reality of those devoted to mobile and Web application development, losing their entire life savings and living like paupers. These people drank the proverbial Koolaid of the app development rainbow, and found out that it was a Ponzi scheme.
Read morehttp://mayo615.comm/2012/11/18/app-development-booms-depressing-underbelly-what-ever-happened-to-big-ideas/
The same question keeps being raised, over and over again, “Where are the BIG IDEAS that are going to make big impacts?”.  So far there doesn’t seem to be much of an answer.
Yet again this morning, the New York Times published another well-considered opinion piece on this topic, by Evgeny Morozov,  the author of “To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism.”
I was personally attracted to Mr. Morozov’s article, because of his reference to Jean-Paul Sartre and existentialism. Mr. Morozov’s point is that Sartre epitomized the human angst of having to make decisions.

SartreJean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness

Silicon Valley has recently seemed to say that “there is an app for that too!”   NOT!
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Post Author: David Mayes

Founder, Mayo615 Technology Partners Ltd., UBC adjunct faculty, Intel alumnus, technology assessment, international business, cleantech, fly fisherman, native Californian and citizen of France, who has been very fortunate to have traveled, lived and worked all over the globe. My wonderful wife, Isabelle has reintroduced me to my French Provençal heritage.

2 Replies to “Silicon Valley's Misguided Love Affair With An "App" For Everything”

  1. I think this is a symptom of a broader malaise in our society. We live in a world – or at least our part of it – where the current generation of young business people expect maximum reward for minimum effort. They see app development as an easy way to enter a market, little realizing that the market is a cold, hard mistress who will allow them their brief moment of pleasure before she moves on to devour the next naive youngster.
    I can only hope that our academic institutions realize this and start to put their students through a rigorous boot camp to prepare them for the harsh realities of life.

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