Whether an Apple or Android phone is used by an American, Syrian, Yemeni, Sudanese, Somalian, Iraqi, Egyptian or Iranian, technology like sunlight does not discriminate between races.
Savour a lunch or dinner at Charlie’s Cafe court at GooglePlex and you would not be able to tell from the colour of the diners whether you're eating at an American, Asian, European or Australian company.
You may start with a Moroccan Salad which comes with crisp organic romaine lettuce or a French Feta which comes with ruby grapes and Italian Parsley.
Savour it with a Thai chicken, Mexican beans, Turkish Lasagna, pickled Japanese cucumbers, Hyderabadi Biryani, Denver ribs, Pasta Primavera, Kerala Paratha or marinated Tofu.
Top the desserts with Californian fruit Tarts, Turkish Baklava, Italian Rum cakes, New York Cheesecake, Indian Jalebi or German Chocolate Cake. The taste that remains in your mouth makes you forget which part of the world you are in.
You are just thankful for the painstaking hours put in by the chefs flown in from various parts of the world to give you that one thing - the joy of food.
When the same joy is put in a tech product by talents from various parts of the world to solve a human problem, the result comes out to be a truly wholesome one. It can be used by someone in a Mogadishu or a Montreal alike.
No wonder that when I wrote this blog after an Uber ride, the specially abled passenger sitting next to me could hear which part of Delhi the cab was moving through a Google text to speech converter.
And it’s no wonder that the company started by a Moscow born Sergey Brin is now being run by a Chennai born Sundar Pichai. Brin stood in protest at San Francisco against US President Trump’s immigration ban on citizens travelling from seven nations.
“I'm here because I'm a refugee,” he told a reporter. Google CEO Sundar Pichai also expressed his concern over Trump’s policy saying that “For generations, this country has been home to immigrants.”
At the San Francisco Airport Protest, Sam Altman, an investor in Airbnb and Reddit was also seen.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick who is also on US President Trump’s business council said, "this ban will impact many innocent people-an issue that I will raise this coming Friday when I go to Washington for President Trump's first business advisory group meeting.”
To register a protest against Trump’s ban, New York Taxi Association imposed a halt of services for an hour to play between the city and JFK Airport. Uber tweeted that it had dropped surge pricing egging commuters to use its service instead. The hashtag #DeleteUber started trending even as Uber later clarified that it was not to break any strike.
Kalanick who has Czech and Austrian roots also sent an e-mail to Uber employees promising to compensate drivers using Uber who are impacted by the ban.
Hyderabad born Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also posted his thoughts in this LinkedIn post.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that his great grandparents came from Germany, Austria and Poland. His wife’s parents were Chinese refugees.
“Like many of you, I'm concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump,” he said a post.
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who has Italian roots, made a quick visit to a Syrian restaurant to make a quick video and posted this:
11% of Syrian immigrants to the U.S. are business owners, more than triple that of U.S.-born business owners https://t.co/cU9UMKcG4r
— jack (@jack) January 28, 2017
Others to register protest were Brian Chesky, co-founder Airbnb and Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc.
Clearly the tech CEOs understand that a startup culture doesn’t exist without a robust imported concoction of talent imported from around the world. Not only does it expose us to global cultures, food, languages and beliefs, it also makes us more open and richer.
Give them a secure, clean and innovative environment and minds from any part of the world can work wonders.
Whether an Apple, Android, Microsoft, Airbnb, Facebook or even the Internet is used by an American, Syrian, Yemeni, Sudanese, Somalian, Egyptian or Pakistani, technology like sunlight does not choose between races before imparting its benefits. And like good food, you’re always thankful to its maker for making the world a better place.