Kara Swisher writing for recode:
It's clear that putting out an image of extreme humility — even if almost no one in tech really is — has become the approach that a lot of tech leaders are taking in the wake of the Trump victory, reacting to the raging mood of less than half of the electorate that got him there. While there is clearly no true mandate, Silicon Valley's top execs have become quickly acquiescent, as if the walls of the citadel have been breached by the mob.
Over the last 16 years, across multiple parties and countries, we've seen a profound erosion of civil liberties and personal rights and freedoms.
For the last half-decade or so, the technology industry had become increasingly proactive about it. Tim Cook, who became Apple's CEO in 2011, in particular, has stood up for everything from equal opportunity and employment to personal privacy, even in the face of the FBI.
Swisher lists off examples of the recent change in tone from the tech giants, though, from Facebook to Amazon — and Apple.
Where has that once-celebrated sentiment gone? Pirates. Break things. Disrupt. Resist. Win by being smarter and better. Believe in and embrace the future. Gone, it seems, with the election of one loud-mouthed politician, which makes me worry about what will inspire the next generation of innovators. As the old saying goes: If you stand for nothing, you fall for everything.
We're less than a year into Brexit and only a few days into the Trump administration. Other countries will soon be facing elections and decisions all their own. There's an intense climate of uncertainty around the globe and uncertainty breeds fear.
These are the most powerful companies in the history of powerful companies and yet they can be sucked into brand-battering news cycles and stock-devaluing chaos in the span of one or two early morning tweets. I can't imagine what it's like to have to measure your every action and reaction under that multi-curved lens.
There are rumors Zuckerberg and perhaps other tech billionaires are planning their own political runs. I have no idea how to feel about that, at least not yet. For now, for today, I hope the big tech companies, including Apple, continue to do what they've done for the last decade: Hold fast to their beliefs and ideals — and stand fast for them when they need to.
I wonder if [Steve] Jobs would do that now, given it was he who urged the world via inspirational marketing to "Think Different" and fight the man. And I wonder why, given how celebrated that attitude was for so long in tech, it seems to have fallen out of favor.
The advice Steve Jobs reportedly gave Tim Cook keeps coming to mind: Don't worry about what Steve would do, just do what's right.
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