Trampled by Unicorns: Big Tech’s Empathy Problem and How to Fix It explores how technology has progressed humanity’s most noble pursuits, while also grappling with the origins of the industry’s destructive empathy deficit and the practical measures Big Tech can take to self-regulate and make it right again. Author Maëlle Gavet examines the tendency for many of Big Tech’s stars to stray from their user-first ideals and make products that actually profoundly damage their customers and ultimately society.
Offering an account of the world of tech startups in the United States and Europe—from Amazon, Google, and Facebook to Twitter, Airbnb, and Uber (to name a few)—Trampled by Unicorns argues that the causes and consequences of Big Tech’s failures originate from four main sources: the Valley’s cultural insularity, the hyper-growth business model, the sector’s stunning lack of diversity, and a dangerous self-sustaining ecosystem. However, the book is not just an account of how an industry came off the rails, but also a passionate call to action on how to get it back on track.
Gavet, a leading technology executive and former CEO of Ozon, an executive vice president at Priceline Group, and chief operating officer of Compass, formulates a clear call to action for industry leaders, board members, employees, and consumers/users to drive the change necessary to create better, more sustainable businesses—and the steps Western governments are likely to take should tech leaders fail to
do so. Steps that include reformed tax codes, reclassification of platforms as information companies, new labor laws, and algorithmic transparency and oversight.
Trampled by Unicorns’ exploration of the promise and dangers of technology is perfect for anyone with an interest in entrepreneurship, tech, and global commerce, and a hope of technology’s all-empowering prospect. An illuminating book full of insights, Trampled by Unicorns describes a realistic path forward, even as it uncovers and explains the errors of the past. As Gavet puts it, “we don’t need less tech, we need more empathetic tech.” And how that crucial distinction can be achieved by the tech companies them- selves, driving change as governments actively pave the road ahead.
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