My life in Silicon Valley, back in the Nineties, was the worst I could imagine – and made an indelible impression on me. Ever since then I have been asking myself “Why (or How) did this happen?”
I was the only one asking this question – no one else could see a problem at all. Everyone was making plenty of money – and any pervasive craziness could easily be ignored – if you really wanted to.
Companies were coming and going like mushrooms on a manure pile – and staggering amounts of money were being wasted. Housing prices were going through the roof. Everything was wonderful!
Except for one thing – people we being treated like dirt!
This was not a stable situation – and sure enough, the boom turned into a bust. Any culture that destroys its people, destroys itself.
Business had to change itself.
I watched this happening from safe distance – from Costa Rica. This, in many ways, is just an economic extension of the States – but it still likes people – and is the best country in Central America. The others, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama – are in very bad shape.
From here, with my laptop, and a fast Internet connection – I can watch American Business trying to reorganize itself so it could function successfully in the Information Economy. And make itself more people-friendly.
It is being urged to do this by MIT – that has been very business-oriented – but also sees that Business must change.
Software Development has also changed for the better – and become more people-friendly itself.
But on my last trip back to the States, I could see these changes had not soaked into the Americans I watched – hurrying back and forth as though the Devil was after them – which, no doubt he was.