• 03.08.16

Silicon Valley Is Obsessed With First World Problems

Silicon Valley wants to transform our lives, but its increasing myopia points to a lack of diversity and imagination.

Silicon Valley attracts some of the best and brightest in the tech industry. Startups hatched in the Valley have transformed into million and billion dollar companies, some of which have changed our lives irrevocably. Many Silicon Valley startups are focused on tackling our day-to-day challenges—or rather, the challenges of an affluent, tech-savvy class of consumers. But when reporter Sarah Kessler received her fourth pitch to write about a gas-delivery app (a new class of startups that deliver gas to your parked car, saving you a trip to the pump), she realized that many of these startups are just peddling the same overblown marketing rhetoric, aimed at solving mild daily inconveniences with “life-altering” products.


It seems Silicon Valley, a trove of brains and talent, would rather make easy money in pursuit of first world problems than dig deeper and take on the problems that actually need solving. Look further into the bubble, and you’ll see that Silicon Valley’s myopia can be attributed, in part, to an ongoing lack of diversity—be it across gender, race, or socioeconomic status.

Do we really need another gas-delivery app? Should Silicon Valley feel an obligation to pursue grander designs? Click play to hear the discussion, then share your opinion on Twitter using the hashtag #29thFloor.