August 12, 2017

JOHN MCGINNIS: Comparing the Ideological Bubbles of Google and the Elite University.

If the ideological bubble at Google harms the culture of Google, competitors will benefit. If it hires less than the best for diversity reasons, its output will suffer. One might respond that given that other companies inhabit the same ideological bubble, Google will suffer no comparative disadvantage.

But start-ups don’t have to follow the diversity orthodoxy. And for Google the greatest risk is that some start-up will disrupt the world again before Google does. When Larry Page and Sergei Brin wrote the code that changed the world out of a garage, they did not need to worry about diversity mandates. Travis Kalanick was famously politically incorrect in creating Uber as one of the fastest growing companies in the world. And companies in Asia do not face the same ideological pressures but in the modern world they can disrupt businesses in the United States. Thus, the diversity orthodoxy is likely to transform Google less than than it has the modern university even if Google feels it must fire an incautious engineer.

Perhaps the paucity of innovation from Silicon Valley over the past decade is the result of its increasing corporate homogenization.