Because of the growing importance of tech in our lives, and some big failures, there are growing calls to increase government oversight and regulation. According to this article, it’s not going to be easy to do well.

Up until very recently the tech industry was small:

When Bill Gates was on every magazine cover, Microsoft was a small company that sold accounting tools to big companies.

But in the last decade that has changed:

Tech has gone from being just one of many industries to being systemically important to society. Marc Andreessen liked to say that ‘software is eating the world’ - well, it did.

This rapid growth means it is hard to build regulation as the problems are still evolving.

It took 75 years for seatbelts to become compulsory, but tech has gone from interesting to crucial only in the last five to ten years.

This is a really insightful piece on how difficult it is to do regulation well. Solving one set of problems can lead to other unintended consequences; there are always competing priorities and tradeoffs. Simple calls to ‘break up big tech’ won’t solve many problems. Things change so fast that solving the last set of problems won’t work for long. I think the motives of those calling for increased regulation are correct but we must be careful to do it well.

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