Spiderman Ethics

How can technology be a force for good for all members of society? For starters, the people in charge of building, funding and distributing tech products and services should look a lot more like the communities they are created for. But the lack of diversity among tech founders, investors, and operators has translated to a disconnect between the industry and the rest of the world.

“Tech can actually exacerbate existing problems in our society because the pace of tech innovation is outpacing the pace of innovation on policy responses,” said Michael Tubbs, the former mayor of Stockon, CA. “Those with the most power are oftentimes the most removed from the consequences, and most removed from the people who bear the brunt of those consequences.”

Tubbs, who was recently named by Governor Gavin Newsom to serve as California’s Special Advisor for Economy Mobility and Opportunity, recently joined Greylock general partner Reid Hoffman for a virtual discussion on the tech industry’s impact on society, and how the sector can play an active role in building healthy, functional and inclusive communities. The event was co-hosted by Greylock and Concrete Rose Capital, a venture capital firm that focuses on underrepresented founders and founders who are committed to building diverse teams and inclusive company cultures. The firm has partnerships with several venture capital firms including Greylock.

“You need to have Spiderman ethics in tech – you need to recognize that with power comes responsibility, and with great power comes great responsibility,” says Hoffman. “Making society healthier and more functional is part of the responsibility that you have as a tech leader, and as your company grows it becomes more and more center stage.”

The conversation was recorded in February and moderated by Concrete Rose Capital co-founder and partner Sean Mendy. You can listen to the podcast here.