Writing on tech in the early 2010s was largely an exercise in hype. The field focused on a small set of actors in a specific place - Silicon Valley. The industry was a media darling. Smartphones were democratizing knowledge and social media was toppling dictators, all thanks to a few brilliant college dropout boy-kings.
The late 2010s, however, were Big Tech's reckoning. After a slew of scandals, regulators looked to put an end to the free-for-all. Public trust evaporated. Endemic racism and sexism in the industry were exposed. Political pressure mounted. It turns out "connecting people" also means connecting violent extremists and bigots. Moreover, the public realized the boy-kings weren't scrappy rebels fighting the system anymore: they'd become the new establishment.
As we head into the 2020s, the future of tech, like the rest of the economy, is in dispersion. Workforces are becoming remote, employment is being diffused, and competitors from outside Silicon Valley are challenging the old order.
This series will talk about Silicon without the Valley. We'll discuss the effects of tech beyond America's shores, looking at how these companies impact the rest of the world. We'll talk about emerging issues, looking beyond the cryptowars of the 2000s and towards the challenges of the next decade. Most importantly, we'll take these issues out of the cloud and into the context of the real world, where their impacts are felt in people's homes, families, careers, and wallets.