Op-Ed: What Silicon Valley must sacrifice to curb China’s exploitation of U.S. tech talent
I spent the better part of last year in China, working with Chinese entrepreneurs, executives and venture capitalists. What I saw – and experienced — in the real trenches of the high-tech industry was deeply troubling. That’s because I was witnessing a story of a country desperately hurting itself by trying to imitate our innovation and technological prowess while falling all the way to its knees.
But is it only China hurting itself?
The answer is yes, but the answer is also no.
There are countless high profile companies around the world, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon, that are doing their utmost to protect or even harness the technology that they develop, and some even take a step closer to the tech that we all use to share our thoughts, opinions and ideas. It’s called “open- source” and it enables companies to have unfettered access to the technology they develop.
Take Twitter, for example, a company that has a large open-source software, called TwitPic. Open-source development enables companies to share their technologies without the fear of commercial repercussions.
Even though Twitter has been criticized (and rightly so) for the way it handles “revenge porn,” which has led to increased usage of the social media tool, its open-source approach to developing its social media platform, which has earned it the accolades of a “tech darling,” a term that has been used by the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
In fact, open-source has helped this young innovative company, and other tech giants including Google and Facebook, make a point and get ahead of the curve. They were quick to adopt “open-source” when they saw it could help them reach out to their communities in a way that gave them more customers and greater visibility.
Today, Twitter has more than 100 million users and is often called “the most valuable company in the world.”
China also embraces open-source. It sees