Silicon Valley’s Empathy Problem

Facebook’s thoughtless dismissal of drag queens, altercations involving Google Glass users in city bars, tensions caused by the forceful and unapologetic transformation of San Francisco—perhaps an industry with more empathy in its intellectual toolbox would have been able to smooth over or even avoid nasty disputes like those.

But Silicon Valley has more to gain than just good will: It also stands to build better products. What is empathy—imagining yourself in the shoes of another—but the ultimate design principle?

The empathy deficit is all the more astonishing for being found at the heart of an industry so proud of being so imaginative.