Billionaire Google CEO Larry Page says don’t give your money to a nonprofit, give it to a techie.
In front of a TED audience while being interviewed by Charlie Rose, he repeated what he’s said before, that rather than giving his fortune to philanthropy like other billionaires such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, he plans to give his to the founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, Elon Musk.
Page claimed that Musk is a visionary who would do more good for the world than an ordinary charity, according to New York Magazine. Page says he sees revolutionary companies as solving the world’s problems, and he doesn’t think most companies now are innovative or radical enough.
“Most people think companies are basically evil. They get a bad rap. And I think that’s somewhat correct,” Page said. “Companies are doing the same incremental thing that they did 50 years ago, 20 years ago. That’s not really what we need. Especially in technology, we need revolutionary change, not incremental change.”
Page’s philosophy is related to the idea of philanthrocapitalism: the idea that charities should be run more like businesses, which is not especially controversial. What Page is saying goes a step further, according to New York Magazine. He’s suggesting that companies themselves can be considered philanthropic, and are a better bet than ordinary charitable giving.
There are some criticisms of this way of thinking, such as the fact that companies like Musk’s are beholden to shareholders and corporate gain, not for saving the world, points out the New York Magazine article. It’s also easy for money to end up far from the people who need it using that mindset — for example, instead of donating money to individual orphans or orphanages, it becomes tempting to earmark a whole program at Harvard for entrepreneurial orphan start-ups.