Big Technology

Tech Must ‘Get Uncomfortable’ With Its Impact on Society: An Interview With Swati Mylavarapu

The Incite.org founder and activist investor shares her view on how innovation should improve the lives of everyday people

Alex Kantrowitz
OneZero
Published in
17 min readNov 18, 2020

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Swati Mylavarapu

OneZero is partnering with the Big Technology Podcast from Alex Kantrowitz to bring readers exclusive access to interview transcripts with notable figures in and around the tech industry.

This week, we’re joined by Swati Mylavarapu, a founder at Incite. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

To subscribe to the podcast and hear the interview for yourself, you can check it out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Overcast.

Swati Mylavarapu is a tech investor and activist who spent $2 million in the 2020 election cycle on Democratic causes, in partnership with her husband, Nest co-founder Matt Rogers. Mylavarapu isn’t your typical Silicon Valley investor. She’ll explicitly admit that the tech industry has some culpability in the hollowing out of the middle of our economy, delivering wealth to the few while leaving the rest in a tough spot. She also served as Pete Buttigieg's national finance chair in the 2020 Democratic primaries, playing a key role in his surprising upstart campaign.

Mylavarapu joined the Big Technology Podcast fresh off a bout with Covid-19 to discuss the tech industry’s role in our society, and how it can be a force for good moving forward.

Kantrowitz: We were actually scheduled to record last week. Do you want to fill us in on what your past couple of weeks have been like?

Mylavarapu: Yeah, it’s actually why I am literally excited to be here. My family and I contracted Covid, so we were grappling with the realities of that for most of the last two weeks, including over Election Day. But thankfully, relatively mild symptoms in our house, and we are on the mend and very lucky to have had access to great medical care, which is something that I wish every family had access to.

And it was also such a reminder because we’ve been extremely careful, maintaining a strict quarantine, lockdown, not traveling, and it still…

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Alex Kantrowitz
OneZero

Veteran journalist covering Big Tech and society. Subscribe to my newsletter here: https://bigtechnology.substack.com.