Big-Time VC: Why Aren't Tech Startups Tackling the Important Stuff?

Chamath Palihapitiya, who is sometimes called the "unconventional venture capitalist," helped kick off the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York today with a bit of a reality check for the entrepreneurs in the room. He called out the startup culture in the U.S. for being too frivolous—focusing on “1 percent problems" in a world facing serious challenges.
Society as we define it right now is, I think, breaking at the seams. And it's because none of us trust the things that we were supposed to trust to help make the world a better, more useful, interesting place. And so the best thing we should be doing is spending our money and our time to basically destroy that, and to rebuild things in a more interesting, equitable way.
You know, people are dying left and right; people are frustrated with all of this inopportunely and inequity; and then now there's actually legislative change and all this other change, which is reallocating trillions of dollars. Which to me says, everyone should be focused on those big ideas.
In 2011, Palihapitiya left Facebook to found the The Social+Capital Partnership, which brings together philanthropists and technologists to invest in businesses creating change and value on a global scale.
He's also a cofounder of, a political advocacy group lobbying for immigration reform, to make it easier to recruit international talent to Silicon Valley.
Check out the full interview:

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