Do great things: A talk at TechCrunch Disrupt

On May 5, I will be speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt NY on using technology to help humanity thrive. I hope some of you will be able to attend, either in person or via livestream. After the conference, we’ll share the full video in this post.

As technologists, we have greater capacity to change the world today than the kings and presidents of just 100 years ago.

Incredibly, we can now design the world we want to live in, and have the engineering skill to make even global-scale designs a reality. As designers, engineers, and technology leaders, we are a tiny portion of humanity, yet we hold an astoundingly leveraged ability to affect all of it.

How are we using this power? How do we want to be using it?

With our powers combined, we could fix education, end poverty, connect everyone to the resources they need, scale clean energy, democratize democracy, create a sharing economy to rival the ownership economy — potentially within our lifetimes. We could design and implement a post-scarcity world. We could engineer a world of abundance and thriving for all people, in the image of our imaginations.

There are effectively two tech industries. One is focused primarily on these ambitions — on helping humanity thrive — using capital as a means toward that end. The larger one appears to be focused foremost on wealth, valuations, exits, competitive landscapes, and ad revenue.

During the keynote and Q&A, I’ll question the most basic assumptions of the tech industry, exposing subtle but perverse addictions that the Valley takes for granted. I’ll share:

  • A vision for how our industry could choose to transition from “change the world” platitudes to a deep commitment to the future, born from a love for our species and our planet — with new success metrics, new stories, and new heroes.

  • A worldview that sees the tech industry as a single distributed company/team, rather than a set of warring tribes.

  • Practical steps for how each of us can discover our purpose, make our greatest contributions to the world, achieve deep personal happiness, and win the respect of friends, peers, and prospective mates — all at the same time! Starting today!

Would you recommend this article? Yes / No
  • Kunal Nagar
    Loved the talk Justin. You have an immense fire inside of you that wants to do good for the people of the world. Technology is a great gift and more and more people are doing great things. But there are a lot of them who just end up playing Candycrush as you mentioned. I really feel that the talk you gave was absolutely brilliant. I look up to you as a mentor and I am trying to embark on a journey to help the people of India lead a better life by leveraging the power of Technology.

    Thank you.

  • Raphael Wild
    Great talk Justin, keep up the good work!

    Thank you

  • Daniel
    Love that vision that inspire us to do great things.

    I just can expect same vision in the next version of Asana…with a greater/modern UI and faster UX because the features are already here :D

  • Timothy
    Is asana still alive?
    • Timothy
      Or…are you about to be bought
      • Tim
        Thinking exactly the same! Maybe about to go down the pan?
  • Roger
    I was also wondering if the developers are cashing out on Asana. Not that money is bad but I hate transitions to something other than primary business model of a startup – always lumpy when the bean counters get on top.
    Hope they are just so busy they don’t have time to post.
  • Florian Hollender
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