A series of highly publicized events this year—from the Equifax and Uber data breaches to foreign use of social media and Web services to influence the U.S. election—has prompted some to question the utopian promise of innovation, especially when it comes to cybersecurity and big tech companies.
In a bid to put things in perspective at year’s end, Xconomy reached out to Mark Cuban, billionaire entrepreneur and investor, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, and one of the stars of TV’s “Shark Tank.” Here’s an edited transcript of our exchange:
Xconomy: Do you think 2017 was a turning point in public attitudes toward technology and the tech industry?
Mark Cuban: No. Silicon Valley had some issues, but they are the outliers. The rest of the country was business as usual.
X: Has the public perception of tech improved in some ways? If so, how and why?
MC: I think this is like asking if people’s perceptions of couches and chair-manufacturing changed. Tech is just tech. It’s not some unique and overwhelming world.
X: Have your personal patterns of technology usage changed as a result of something that happened in 2017, or in recent years? If so, how?
X: Have you adjusted your investment criteria in light of changing public attitudes toward the tech industry?
MC: We still do our homework the same way. We try to support the good and walk away from the bad.
[Editor’s note: This is part of a series of posts sharing thoughts from technology leaders about 2017 trends and 2018 forecasts.]