Living in San Francisco, I constantly hear about people starting new companies. The joke is that you could randomly pick an app and new market (Yelp for Dogs! eBay for Used Scooters! Zipcar for Rollerblades!). Some turn out to be awesome new apps and companies, like Instragram, Uber or Evernote. But many others raise venture funding and attract top develops, only to realize that there are about fifty other photo sharing apps on the market. Trendy sectors attract attention and investment but don’t always solve the problems that the US and the world need to face.
C.Z. Nnaemeka (a Wellesley alum!) wrote a fantastic article about this issue for the MIT Entrepreneurship Review. She urges entrepreneurs to tackle problems that plague single mothers, the long term unemployed and other members of the “unexotic underclass”. Most of the apps being released now make life easier for wealthy, urban youth and do not increase quality of life for the majority of Americans. The author argues that the unexotic underclass, the people struggling to make ends meet, need more innovative from Silicon Valley to make their lives better. I couldn’t agree more. C.Z. calls out venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and the rest of the startup ecosystem to make this happen. The obsession with the next hot app may not be as apparent outside of the San Francisco-New York-Boston nexus, but it seems incredibly relevant here. Leave it to a Wellesley woman to write a much-needed article on such a fantastic topic!