Reid Hoffman, the co-founder and chairman of posh social networking site Linkedin, had a pop at corporate culture last night, pointing out that the average worker was usually the guy who farmed or the gal who did the washing up.
Hoffman, speaking at an Oxford Union debate, said that if technology had done one thing, it had led to more unemployment and the situation wasn’t going to be that much better for emerging economies like China and India.
Not enough people worked for major corporations like Amazon and Apple, Hoffman said. That situation was made worse by software like Turbo Tax which destroyed many small businesses, and by Dropbox and the like.
“There aren’t enough jobs,” he said. As for Foxconn, its move to deploy robots rather than Chinese people was not good. “The androids are coming and they work even cheaper than the Chinese,” he said.
In India and in China the average person was still a farmer, while the elite people in the IT sector only represented 0.2 percent of the whole population. It is a myth that IT and new technology will save the world, he suggested.
He defied accusations from the opposition that he was a Luddite. Technology just won’t create enough jobs, especially as things become even more automated than they already are.