Technology is revolutionary – at least, at times, it can be.

The internet, DNA testing, and social networking are just some of the technologies that have shaped our world in the past century. However, over the same period we have seen the likes of Wework, Theranos, and FTX boom and bust.

Yet, we continue to pump billions of dollars into tech companies, feeding a collective dissonance that the founders of these companies can do no wrong. Until, that is, they do.

We want to believe in technology

“The worst possible thing in the world is to have someone who doesn’t believe in you.” This is a quote attributed to Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the dissolved health technology company Theranos, and a convicted fraud. Holmes’ Theranos posited a simple yet revolutionary technology: affordable, quick, and reliable blood tests that could be done with a single drop of blood. The world and investors wanted to believe that Theranos’ technology worked. And so, they did. $700m in funding later, it was exposed that Theranos’ technology did not in fact work, and Holmes was convicted of fraud.

Stories like these are unfortunately commonplace, most recently with cryptocurrency company FTX being exposed for fraud and founder Sam Bankman-Fried standing trial in the US.

When we collectively become so invested in the idea that these companies embody (the innovative nature of cryptocurrencies or ease of diagnosis of ailments) there is a sense of disappointment when they fail. While failures in business are to be expected, cases such as these bid the question: why did nobody do anything sooner?

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Thinking straight

The simple answer: we all wanted to believe in the tech, and we are still living in the age of technology collective dissonance, where we choose to put technology on a pedestal.

While scepticism or fear is not the answer, we need to be more grounded and realistic when we view technology companies. Our desire to believe in a technology and a technology’s viability are mutually exclusive. Asking the right questions and looking past our hopes may ensure that we back the right founders and companies, allowing tech to do what it is supposed to: enhance the world and support our wellbeing. Technology is revolutionary. At least, at times, it can be. With clear heads, we can make sure that more often than not, it is.