[tc_contributor_byline cb_profile=”” slug=”salar-al-khafaji”]

Prominent voices in tech journalism are criticizing the global startup community for building software products and services that cater to the 1 percent or have zero societal value. They claim that curated shopping services are not really revolutionary; that food delivery services aren’t changing the world; and that ridesharing is nice but not exactly earth-shattering. And, clearly, building ways to sell more ads adds nothing to the global karmic bottom line.

Everything about Silicon Valley is a lie. So goes the thinking about the lack of meaningful startups.

However, in my world, I see numerous critical tools and services coming from startups that have world-changing potential. These tools and services help mere mortals wrangle data and use it to greater effect.

Data is power. Those who can wield data effectively or collect data where previously it was unavailable can fight powerful monied adversaries and force social change…

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