Hearing from the leaders of the tech world is always revealing, and very often surprising. In our second annual Silicon Valley Insiders Poll, a panel of 101 executives, innovators, and thinkers weigh in on some of the biggest technological, political, and cultural questions of the moment.
Silicon Valley celebrates and rewards innovation (or so it brags). Industry leaders often speak winsomely of disruption, progress, and human invention.
So when we ran an unscientific poll of leaders and thinkers in tech, we had to ask: Which technology do you wish you could un-invent? What innovation do you think should go “back in the box” and be banished forever?
The two winning responses were: selfie sticks and nuclear weapons.
But let’s go through some runners-up first.
Some respondents thought of communication technologies they use or see every day. Two would dismiss 24-hour cable news. Three said that email should be abolished. Five called for Facebook’s destruction or the reduction of social media more generally. Vint Cerf, a vice president at Google, would get rid of the telephone (but not the smartphones that followed).
Aaron Patzer, the CEO of Fountain.com, wanted to de-invent “the Newsfeed” as a concept. “The front page of every (popular) site on the Internet today is the same: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Medium, Quora. They are endless scrolls of trivialities and shared links. These sites have simply become the newspapers—albeit customized by our interests and friends—of yesteryear,” he writes.