How the smartest people are indeed solving the most difficult problems

Last Sunday, my father reunited with one of his close friends from college after 30 years. Even after no contact for around three decades, they seemed to go back in time just like they met yesterday. College friendships are indeed special.

It is great to see my parents reunite with so many of his past friends in the last couple of months or so. This was not a mere coincidence. I hadn't seen my parents meet any of their college buddies in years but this somehow had become a common weekend feature for them recently.

Yes, I am from India and my 50+ year old father who, 6 years back, would contemplate disconnecting the internet to stop me from using Orkut, now uses Facebook to connect with long lost friends and uses Whatsapp in his daily lingo.

Now, when people talk of technology, most people envision robots, machines like the ones seen in Transformers, technology which solves for world’s energy crisis and so on. While we also have a lot of work in that direction, e.g. SpaceX, Tesla and the likes, the advent of social technology/connective media, whatever you may like to call it, is having greater impact than it is often credited with.

There have been numerous billion-dollar companies before, but I wonder if any company has managed to impact personal lives of people in the manner and magnitude that technology companies are beginning to. These companies are beginning to shift the focus from solving for material and tangible needs to affecting human relationships, which represent a higher form of human need in the Maslow’s hierarchy.

The ability to share a piece of your mind with anyone at any given point along with being able to explore the world within other peoples’ minds has the potential to solve for (and create?) some of the toughest problems humanity has faced, which have never even been comprehended before.

Peter Thiel once said -

We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.

The question is if you really had flying cars, after the first few rides, what would you do, ogle at the scenery or instead start tweeting?

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