Technology Reputation Skid

December 12, 2014

Technology Reputation Skid

The Economist always looks ahead at the year in 2015. In their special issue each year, they review how their predictions performed. One of their predictions surely came true and they rightfully applauded Adrian Wooldridge, the management editor for The Economist, for seeing the “tech-lash” that hit the technology sector with quite a punch. They are correct when they say that the reputations of Silicon Valley tycoons fared poorly when it came to news headlines this year about them skirting corporate taxes and being too loose with people’s data. What they did not mention and is worth mentioning here is that these same Silicon Valley companies found their reputations dinged for also not having diverse workforces although some are now coming clean on their metrics and that should help. However, sector reputations rise and fall and I have to admit that I was surprised that this one fell so fast. Technology has always been a favorite for years running but everyone has their 15 minutes of shame.

Talking about the technology sector, CEO Mark Zuckerberg had his second #AskMeAnything public town hall recently and a woman who lives near Facebook’s HQ thanked him for making her house more valuable. Zuckerberg replied, “That’s the first time anyone has ever thanked me for having Facebook raise housing prices.” Undoubtedly he was surprised since many residents feel that their neighborhoods are being taken over by Silicon Valley millionaires and being priced out of the market by these big spenders. So maybe the technology sector is doing something right afterall! A whole new way of thinking about it. Hah.

 

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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