Get wealthy and solve the world’s problems—this was the message that I absorbed early on. You couldn’t do one without the other, the argument went, so don't feel bad about becoming rich. The profit motive is the only way that we can possibly solve problems at scale.
I truly believed that. And it remains a widespread belief in the industry, and in the engineering departments of elite institutions. But to move forward, I think we are going to have to challenge that belief very directly. That's why I'm skeptical of some of these newfound regrets expressed by Sean Parker and others. I don't think they're actually attacking the core notion that the profit motive is the best way to make the world a better place. They still believe they can centralize large amounts of capital in these massive corporations and pay themselves well and solve the world’s problems. I think there are some inherent tradeoffs that they're not yet acknowledging.