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The heart of tech

This article was published on July 19, 2016

    TNW Weekly: You are saving lives

    TNW Weekly: You are saving lives
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    Founder & board member, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    Every week we send out a weekly update with some of the best stories of the week, a few apps we like and the ‘Red faces of the week’.

    Sign up now to get it delivered to your inbox every week. Here’s my introduction text for last weeks issue:


    A few years ago a friend of mine, who also works in technology, went on a skiing trip with a group of medical professionals. He explained to me how it was difficult to have a conversation because every time he talked about a technology or startup he was excited about, they brushed it aside and explained to him that all of that was irrelevant and frivolous because ‘they were saving lives’.

    He’d demo them Twitter, and they would be very disdainful and explain to him they were trying to cure cancer and this little thing wasn’t interesting for them. My friend quickly grew tired of having that discussion and considered them an arrogant bunch.

    Although they’re right – and saving a person life must feel amazing – you’ve also got to wonder what you’re saving a life for.

    Isn’t life about falling in love, enjoying yourself, and developing your skills? So isn’t Tinder, that’s helping people find loved ones equally important? Isn’t watching a movie that makes you laugh an essential part of being alive? What’s the point of living if you can’t enjoy your life? In that sense, isn’t a comedian who makes people laugh for a few hours on Saturday evening doing work that is just as important as that doctor that’s saving someone’s life?

    That’s the way I look at our own company, and startups and technology. Can we make a subtle difference in a person’s life today? Can we teach them something that will help them in their career? Or can we simply make them laugh, even for a short moment. It’s all those little things that make the world slightly and incrementally better.

    So go out and build a silly app, you just might be saving lives and making the world a better place.


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