Elsewhere online
May 02, 2016

Philanthropy Is Problem-Solving, Not ‘Giving Away Money,' Says Sean Parker

Billionaire tech investor Sean Parker delves into his philosophy of “hacker philanthropy” in an interview with the Financial Times.

The Napster co-founder and former Facebook president last month pledged $250 million for research into cancer treatments that utilize the patient’s immune system, a cutting-edge approach now gaining credence among oncologists. The project reflects the hacker mentality of finding and fixing holes in complex systems rather than the more incremental ways of traditional charity, the newspaper writes.

“I don’t even see it as giving away money,” Mr. Parker said, “so much as trying to solve a set of social or political problems that are not easily addressable with for-profit companies and investments.” He said the work of mainstream foundations is marked by “cruft” — a term for badly written or unnecessarily complicated computer code — “and inefficiency.”