I know that being a parent has got to be the uncoolest perspective in Silicon Valley. After all, it's much more cutting edge to be libertarian, 23 years old, working 24/7 and sleeping on a futon in your cube.
But no one stays that way forever (thank goodness), and I'd like to think that those of us who have moved down the road a few years have a lot to add to technology design. With Facebook's Beacon plans blowing up this week, you can really see what happens when new "features" are added by twentysomethings who are coding and rolling out products as fast as they can.
I'm proposing a new job title to add to Facebook's Executive Team: VP of Adult Supervision.
My suggestion is only half-joking. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was called out for ageism earlier this year after he stressed the importance of "only [hiring] young people with technical expertise."
The problem is that Facebook's users aren't only people like their mind-blowingly young executives and programmers. A large proportion of their users are over 35. We don't appreciate having our privacy stomped on, and just because we want to participate in social networks, we don't necessarily want to live our lives in an exhibitionist fishbowl. Product design suffers when a grown-up perspective is not taken into account.… Read more