Silicon Valley used to be regarded as the global hub of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. It was the home of the world’s best technologies, new products and services. Yet today, Silicon Valley’s tech companies seem to have become the twenty-first-century equivalent of mediaeval robber barons. They are condemned for fleecing customers, evading taxes, and pocketing monopoly profits. Once associated with freedom, Silicon Valley is now condemned as the agency of global surveillance. Has it gone from overhype to over-reach? Or given emerging new technologies – such as express transit systems, autonomous vehicles and biotech – is the criticism mostly unfair?
director, Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, Demos; author, Radicals; presenter, BBC’s The Secrets of Silicon Valley
journalist; author, Ferraris for All: in defence of economic progress
author, The Capitalist Manifesto: the historic, economic, and philosophic case for laissez-faire; affiliate, Ayn Rand Institute
managing director, Flibl; award-winning writer and consultant