August 23, 2017

Trump May Pursue Policies That Are More Symbolic Than Detrimental to the Tech Industry

Silicon Valley thinks the election of Trump is a disaster, but some tech leaders are starting to realize that the real impact may not be so dramatic.

From Christopher Mims writing at the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Srinivasan (Balaji Srinivasan, Partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz) views the collision between tech culture and Mr. Trump’s populist movement as inevitable, and potentially so divisive that tech’s global elites should effectively secede from their respective countries, an idea he calls “the ultimate exit.”

“It’s crazy to me that people in Silicon Valley have no idea how half the country lives and is voting,” said Ben Ling, an investment partner at venture firm Khosla Ventures. Many “coastal elites” attribute the results “to just sexism or racism, without even trying to figure out why [people] wanted to vote for Trump.”

Ultimately, the clashes may not prove so dramatic. Technology may fall short of visionaries’ lofty promises. And Mr. Trump may pursue policies that are more symbolic than detrimental to the tech industry, says Anshu Sharma, a venture capitalist at Storm Ventures and founder of artificial-intelligence startup Learning Motors.

“We’ll eventually find out whether he decides he does want to bring back an Apple factory from China,” says Mr. Sharma. “I think he’s going to pick on one or two companies and make an example, to show his base that he’s fixing America.”

Read the rest of the story at the Wall Street Journal.