After discovering several small charges to her credit card that totaled upward of US$900, Rana Foroohar figured her card must have been stolen. She quickly realized those micro-transactions were coming from a game her son was playing. Unknowingly, he was spending real money inside a free-to-play game. As a journalist, Rana was fascinated by the way in which apps were capturing people’s attention and wallets.
In this episode of Big Tech, co-hosts David Skok and Taylor Owen speak with Foroohar, global business columnist and associate editor for the Financial Times and global economic analyst at CNN, about her new book: Don’t Be Evil: How Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles — and All of Us. They discuss the cognitive, economic and political impacts that Big Tech companies are having on our societies and economies.
Foroohar discusses the risks that Big Tech firms’ current business models present to the global economy. While these businesses are motivated by growth (rather than profits), investors want to see profits once the company goes public—and if they’re not coming, stocks start to sink. “Uber goes out into every possible market, breaks whatever regulation it can, grabs market share, doesn’t worry about making money, is allowed to continue that business model with private investors just pumping it up, pumping it up,” Foroohar says. Technology companies make up a large percentage of equity markets, and there is real concern that the economy could be heading toward a tech-led crash.