Uber Does Not Equal The Valley


Now that the opposite shoe has dropped, and Uber’s CEO has been (considerably) restrained, it’s time for the schadenfreude. Given Uber’s exceptional string of screwups and controversies, it’s coming in thick, specifically from the East coast. And whereas I imagine Uber deserves the scrutiny — there are actually vital classes to be realized — the new takes from many media shops are beginning to get lazy.

Right here’s why. Uber doesn’t replicate the whole thing of the Valley, notably relating to how corporations are run. As I wrote in The Myth of the Valley Douchebag, there are way more corporations right here run by respectable, earnest, effectively that means folks than there are Ubers. However in fact, the Ubers get many of the consideration, as a result of they affirm a simple bias that each one of tech is off the rails, and deserves to be taken down a notch.

Such is the case with this piece in Time — portray all of Uber’s failures broadly because the Valley’s failures. And to some extent, the piece is appropriate — however solely to some extent. Whereas all the Valley (and let’s face it, Congress, the judiciary, the Fortune 500, practically each public board in America, and many others. and many others.) has a serious race and gender drawback, Uber has way more troubles than simply gender and race. Much more. And portray each firm within the Valley with the tarred brush of Uber’s method to enterprise is just unfair.

To that bias, I’d prefer to counter with Matt Mullenwegg, from Automattic, or Jen Pahlka, from Code for America, or Ben Silbermann, from Pinterest, or Michelle Zatlyn, from CloudFlare, or Jeff Huber, from Grail Bio. Positive, their corporations aren’t value billions (on second thought, Pinterest, CloudFlare, and Automattic are, and Grail could also be on its means), however they’re wonderful examples of sport altering organizations run by good individuals who, whereas they is probably not excellent, are pushed by excess of conceitedness, lucre, and profitable in any respect prices.

It’s actually a superb factor that Uber has been chastened. There are nonetheless far too many frothy startups pushed by immature, bro-tastic founders wanting to “transfer quick and break issues” and “express regret, not for permission.” Kalanick and Uber’s fall from grace is visceral proof that they need to change their methods. However the Silicon Valley trope is beginning to put on skinny. Let’s not overlook the great as we excise the dangerous. We’ve received loads of essential work to do.

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