Is the 1960s Counter Culture Still Influencing the Tech Industry?

// Published June 26, 2017 by User1

Forbes recently discussed the relevance of the 1960s counter culture to the initial and modern boom of the technology industry. The 1960s was, undoubtedly, the heyday of American ingenuity and the tech industry was directly impacted by new developments during this time. Some of the most widely known contributors to the tech revolution in the late 1960s and early 1970s were also influenced by the American counter culture. Steve Jobs, the developer of the Apple computer brand, and Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, were both influenced by the counter culture of the 1960s. According to Adrienne Burke, a Forbes contributor, the influence of the counter culture remains relevant in the tech industry today.


In her piece regarding the importance of the American counter culture to the modern tech industry, Adrienne Burke recounts the ways that the culture influenced and ultimately launched the careers of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Steve Jobs attended the University of California at Berkley during the early 1970s and, although he did not show much enthusiasm for the regular attendance of classes, Jobs did express his counter cultural beliefs in his development of Apple. As a well established hippie during the time, Jobs committed to the idea that technology should do more than reach the needs of businesses and corporations, but that it should meet the needs of the average man. Jobs is also responsible for the popularization of the idea that individuals should seek a path that pleases them without regard for responsibility or duty (another idea he developed from his counter cultural influences).


Although he was not a self-identified hippie like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates was almost as radicalized in his world view as his long-time competitor. Gates embraced the counter cultural school of thought that was circulating around liberal universities at the time that religion was a social construct and that humans were autonomous. Gates implemented this thinking in the development of Microsoft and into the work environment of his employees. These giants of the tech industry still, as do their technological developments, have a massive impact on the business and tech world today.


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