In the last few years there has been an incredible display of tech leaders transcending the status quo and jumping into new markets with both feet. Sometimes they do this with financing alone and other times they exert elbow grease.
Google is a great example of a company that constantly pushes the envelope… They are involved in green energy, self-driving cars and wearable technology – pushing forward in all these areas to create new markets. Amazon showed the world the power of ecommerce but also of cloud computing where they not only were responsible for pushing this market into the mainstream but also for reducing prices so quickly that some competitors are scrambling to stay in the game.
Facebook for its part not only has the world’s most popular social network they also have pushed open data center standards.
The founders of all three of these companies are not satisfied to innovate at work – they have taken it upon themselves to help push innovation beyond tech in their personal lives as well.
For example Google cofounder Sergey Brin revealed yesterday he has invested $325,000 to grow cow meat from stem cells in a laboratory. Why? He wants to disrupt the cattle industry. In other words, cows are inefficient as they require 100g of vegetable protein to produce only 15g of edible animal protein. Other challenges with cattle are the amount of greenhouse gases they produce – not to mention the land they require. In theory you can make the process of producing a hamburger 85% more efficient. Finally, a big benefit of growing meat without cows is the reduction of antibiotics in the meat produced... Especially in the US.
Jeff Bezos for just personally purchased the Washington Post to help transform it in the age of the internet. The Post is an important paper as it is an important hometown news-source for the nation’s capital.
Not to be outdone, Mark Zuckerberg continues to push fwd.us – an organization devoted to immigration reform in the US. TMC reported on this initiative back on tax day a few months ago and more recently he discussed his desire to help undocumented aliens get into college.
Mark ties this post together nicely explaining how Silicon Valley is an idealistic place where tech leaders try to change the world. The good news is the dreams and goals of these titans are not just limited to the world of tech.