I have a question for all the people that use their iPhone or Android to complain on Twitter, Facebook, or reddit about the lack of innovation…
Or message their friends on WhatsApp or Snapchat about how Silicon Valley only builds toys for rich people in between looking at photos from their family across the world in Dropbox and listening to almost any song they want on Spotify while in an Uber to their Airbnb…
What were you doing 10 years ago?
I think it’s remarkable how much of what people do and use today didn’t exist 10 years ago. And I hope that 10 years from now, we’re using things that today seem unimaginably fantastic.
And while I’d like to see us turn up the pace on innovation in the world of atoms, I hope we keep up the current blistering progress in the world of bits. I’ve really enjoyed working with some of the energy and biotech companies we’ve funded at YC and hope we see a lot more companies like SpaceX and Tesla get created.
There are some things technological innovation alone won’t help with and that we need to address in other ways—for example, I think massive wealth inequality is likely to be the biggest social problem of our time—but it seems to stretch credulity to claim that we have a lack of innovation.
I’m always in awe of the remarkable technological progress we make decade over decade. I think it’s important to try not to lose your sense of wonder about this.