Tariq Krim fell out of love with technology

Tariq Krim recently posted a Facebook note that resonates well with this year’s NEXT theme, albeit from a critical point of view. Given that he is a seasoned internet entrepreneur, we should carefully listen.

The uncomfortable truth is that I fell out of love with the technology world and that I am not excited by the future anymore. At least the future that is being built today.

Tariq names three reasons for this:

  1. Mega platforms (‘the McDonald’s of the minds’) have a negative impact on culture and subcultures.
  2. Algorithms and machine learning start to decide what’s important for us.
  3. Most products are designed to accelerate time and stress, but don’t help enjoying the present time.

Read Tariq’s note for more details. The most important point he makes is a call for human-centred design and for what Gartner has dubbed ‘digital humanism’ (Tariq doesn’t use any of these terms) — to put the human being at the centre, not the consumer or the user.

Life and people are not like lines of code. We can’t break things just to see how it will work out. Everything we create online can have a huge impact on the real world. And we spend so little time studying the consequences of what we build. Competition for attention has slowly replaced the values of the founding fathers of the internet.

This is a highly relevant debate we need to have. And we intend to have at NEXT16.


Originally published at nextconf.eu on April 30, 2016.