Waking up to the fire, Zucked…

Its been interesting to hear and read about Roger McNamee and his new book Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe.

I’ve listened to a few podcasts with him talking away and I find it insightful.

I took him talking with a massive bucket of salt being a investor in Facebook in the past and even now. To be fair I heard about Roger before in previous articles such as An Apology for the Internet — From the Architects Who Built It, The Ugly Unethical Underside of Silicon Valley and Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia

Roger McNamee, a venture capitalist who benefited from hugely profitable investments in Google and Facebook, has grown disenchanted with both companies, arguing that their early missions have been distorted by the fortunes they have been able to earn through advertising.

He identifies the advent of the smartphone as a turning point, raising the stakes in an arms race for people’s attention. “Facebook and Google assert with merit that they are giving users what they want,” McNamee says. “The same can be said about tobacco companies and drug dealers.”

That would be a remarkable assertion for any early investor in Silicon Valley’s most profitable behemoths. But McNamee, 61, is more than an arms-length money man. Once an adviser to Mark Zuckerberg, 10 years ago McNamee introduced the Facebook CEO to his friend, Sheryl Sandberg, then a Google executive who had overseen the company’s advertising efforts. Sandberg, of course, became chief operating officer at Facebook, transforming the social network into another advertising heavyweight.

McNamee chooses his words carefully. “The people who run Facebook and Google are good people, whose well-intentioned strategies have led to horrific unintended consequences,” he says. “The problem is that there is nothing the companies can do to address the harm unless they abandon their current advertising models.”

Thanks to Herb who recommended links to me.

Updated….

I knew I heard him 3 times in recent times and thanks to Eastmad for reminding me he was on Team Human too. I actually recommended him to Herb.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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