What does the man who coined the term "tipping point" think about the impact of technology on our society? Have we passed the point of no return in privacy? Are schools to blame for the lack of qualified engineers? Do companies have the right approach to serving customers?

So many questions, so little time. CMSWire talked to Malcolm Gladwell, author of five bestsellers, just before he gave the keynote address at Gainsight's recent Pulse 2014 customer success summit in San Francisco.

Want to hear even more from Gladwell? Buy a burrito. Just yesterday, Chipotle announced it is using its packaging as a medium for essays by a slew of popular writers and comedians, including Gladwell.

Thoughts on Technology and More

Gladwell, who is also a staff writer for The New Yorker, is the sort of man whose ability to challenge established thinking has thrust him into the spotlight, as the answers here show.

Murphy: We're asking for a lot of information from individuals with the promise of giving them better service. Do you think this is a fair exchange?

Gladwell: It's a fair exchange if the promise is followed through — if I get better service. So long as the trade is a fair and honest one, it makes sense. Where it doesn't make sense is where there's suspiciously little we get in return. I suspect that's how people felt about the revelations about the NSA -- the returns we were getting as a society were not worth what we were giving up.

Murphy: What do you think of the new European Union court decision that may force Google to give up some of the information it has collected on individuals. Have companies like Google and Facebook  gone too far? Are you worried about the social impact?

Gladwell: That's not the issue. The question is do we have the right as a society to govern the use of information by these companies. And the answer is, of course, we do. It's up to us to decide how much is enough and to intervene when we think a line has been crossed. They don't have an unfettered right to information. They should be subject to the same rules as anyone else.