Sometimes software companies can appear to be pretty downright mean

I would say that most of these conceptions are a product of misleading media, the over-exposure of crumby companies (who usually end up going bust), the fact that "bad" or "negative" news sells, and a general difficulty in communicating technical concepts to the general public

Here are some pretty cool companies that I strongly believe are indicative of the greater software community at large. Remember software isn't just an industry, but it's a kind of universal tool

Have Your Voice Heard

Many people feel disillusioned and powerless today - that their political leaders, for example, are deaf or unwilling to hear what they have to say or respond to what they need

I'd argue that while there are still improvements to be made, most of the disconnect simply has to do with people not knowing where to have their voice heard

Here are several petition sites that allow people to bring about change in a democratic, peaceful, way - such sites are not the end all be all but represent the idea that technology tends to increase direct participation wherever it spreads and progresses

Care2
White House Direct Petition Link
Change.org
Paladin PBC - get pro bono legal help!

Cool Non-Profits

Here are several cool sites that are using technology to bring about very positive changes in the world - The Hunger Site enables people to make a click and provide a simple meal to somewhere in the world (I've fact-checked this and believe it to be highly reputable)

Greater Good
The Hunger Site
Charity Navigator - Accountability for 501c3's and the ability to give through their trusted network

Silicon Valley

Gentrification is probably desirable overall but has had the undesirable outcome of leaving many residents behind - here's how they're tackling that in California

Universal Basic Income
More on that!
Even more!
Rent Control Vote

Google?

There's been some confusion about Google's original, though unofficial, motto

Don't be evil?
Google becomes Alphabet

The Corporate Renaissance

Better jobs, higher wages, more fun, concern for employees, and social responsibility to boot!

Student Loan Repayment as Benefit
More On That
Business Education
Harvard Business Review - tons of articles on what has collectively been dubbed The Corporate Renaissance
LinkedIn - half the reason to join LinkedIn is to get access to their custom content which further details The Corporate Renaissance

Today's Software Leaders

Empathy, dynamism, philosophy, and humor!

Stewart Butterfield - Slack / Flickr
More Stewart Butterfield
TED Talks
Elon Musk - Paypal / SpaceX / Tesla / Solar City
Peter Thiel - Palantir / Paypal
Marc Andreessen - Andreessen-Horowitz
Sheryl Sandberg - Facebook

Open Source?

Open source means that the creator is credited by passing along their license

Open source means that the creator retains ownership of their original work

Otherwise it's free to use or modify in any way!

Lowers business costs, helps to educate, spreads innovation

A future blog post will cover this in greater detail

What's that?
Apache Foundation
NPM
MIT
Creative Commons
GNU