Technology companies should start thinking about solving bigger problems than giving people cute gadgets to get rides or order food, according to one of the industry's leading investors.
Speaking Wednesday at the Delivering Alpha conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor, Esther Dyson, head of EDventure Holdings, said the industry should raise its focus.
"The problems these people are solving are mostly first-world problems. They're dealing with the problems of the 1 percent," she said. "There are more sustainable problems like food logistics, the Internet of Things in the real world, not just on rich people's wrists."
Dyson and co-panelist Scott Kupor, managing partner and chief operating officer at Andreessen Horowitz, stopped short of calling tech a bubble. However, they said there are concerns.
"If you're comparing it to '99-2000 for a bubble, then by any metric ... this is nothing like what we saw in '99-2000," Kupor said. "All the growth in the stocks has been earnings driven and not P/E driven. "
Dyson said tech has benefited from a lot of funding sources, but should put that money toward a higher purpose.
"Supply change, hydroponic farming, there's a whole lot of really interesting problems that are more infrastructure, and there's the whole health area," she said. "I'm interested in talking about sustainable problems. How about sustainable bodies?"