To the editor,
The community of innovators here in North Carolina has remained an economic engine during the pandemic. With more than 55,000 software engineers alone, the tech sector has maintained a key network for sharing knowledge and communicating opportunities. As elected officials propose changes to the current landscape of app stores and other tech-related policies, as we’ve seen arise through a recent multistate lawsuit against Google’s Play Store and the heated Epic v. Apple case earlier this year, I hope they will exercise caution in avoiding unintended consequences for the entrepreneurial community.
After all, employment in the sector has grown year after year, including in 2020, when many left metropolitan cities and settled in North Carolina. The R&D centers at The Triangle have also contributed to the growing talent pool, consistently releasing new innovations and technologies.
And North Carolina has attracted exciting investments from the companies whose software platforms have been used to build some of the most exciting digital platforms on the market. Google and Apple, for instance, have invested billions here in recent months, creating thousands of jobs and driving economic development. Zooming out, more than 19,000 tech companies are located here, and the industry generates nearly $49 billion for the state.
Technology is critical to supporting our economy and sustaining the livelihoods of local innovators and the tools we build. Significant changes to the foundational landscape on which we’ve built our companies and programs could very well jeopardize our continued and future success.