Hey everyone! It’s day 4 of our advent calendar, and today we're addressing a critical risk in 'Tech for Good': the failure to manage expectations.
Tech for Good initiatives often come with a wave of breathless enthusiasm. Ever heard of a groundbreaking app that promises to solve a major social issue, but then... crickets? It's actually quite common.
But what causes this problem? It seems like all the sensationalism overshadows critical thinking and realistic expectations. Take a groundbreaking app claiming to revolutionize mental health support: it's pitched as a game-changer but might lack the depth to truly address complex mental health needs. This mismatch between promise and reality isn't just disappointing; it can mislead users and investors alike.
The broader tech culture thrives on loud and sensationalist pitches. But in the realm of Tech for Good, the stakes are a lot higher. Misguided promises can have real consequences, especially when dealing with vulnerable groups, or when the project is funded by public bodies that have a responsibility to spend money on solutions that would actually benefit people. There is real harm caused by raising false hopes like this. Tech for good needs a reality check.
How about this as an alternative:
What if we embraced storytelling instead? Imagine tech companies narratively describing how their product impacts an individual's life. This approach not only humanises the technology but also sets more realistic expectations. And if there's no genuine story to tell, maybe it’s a sign the solution isn't as impactful as claimed.
Hopefully, soon enough, Tech for Good initiatives will learn to shift from sensationalism to authenticity and make promises they can truly deliver.