Startup CEOs like Uber’s Travis Kalanick are Nothing More than Puppets for Investors or VC’s
November 19, 2014
One unethical group (journalists) calling out another unethical group (Uber), fuck who do we root for here? Neither while we simultaneously try to force accountability from both for the greater good of the people. Uber’s an easy target as there’s an almost daily reminder of the company’s pathological history of unethical and illegal behavior that demonstrates they operate under The Sociopathic Business Model™ and the company’s very unlikeable mouthpiece CEO Travis Kalanick makes for a good and very realistic villain, which doesn’t help their cause.
Age of startup CEO’s is often incorrectly attributed and used as a scapegoat for a company’s ethical or legal issues- when it’s really known industry-wide that underregulation of startups lends to the easily skirting laws (from EEOC, regulatory and even SEC) and that ease compounded by the pressure from VC’s to demonstrate hypergrowth for a quick ROI is what we’re now seeing at Uber. This template has been in place for years from the medical device startup model where it was successfully encouraged, replicated and rewarded.
In short startups know better and VC’s and investors purposely select CEO’s who are often very inexperienced who grateful for the opportunity (their big break) and as a result later easily manipulated to do the bidding of the investors even if, especially if illegal. The CEO gets the black eye or as we should see a new trend from Silicon Valley in coming months–jail time and the investors walk away without a scratch. Unless the government intervenes sooner than they did with startup medical devices and starts placing deterring factors as well as penalties that resonate with CEOs in startup tech then unethical and illegal activity will continue to great peril to customers, employees and taxpayers alike.
CEO’s then surround themselves with people who are just as willing to be manipulated for the greater good where reason is exchanged for panic driven plans to give the investors what they want-money. Emil Michael an Uber Executive mentioning that the company should “dig up dirt” on journalists (or likely anyone who tries to force accountability) and who doesn’t agree with the company’s rampant sexism, retaliation or who challenges the company’s inconsistent & contradictory language to action is an example of one such panic driven plan. And Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO coming out and placing blame on Emil Michael is inconsitent & contradictory to how the company has proven to operate which is unethically and illegal.
No executive or investor at Uber is upset at Emil Michael’s “plan” as it’s been encouraged, replicated and rewarded within this system all along. They got caught which gives those who haven’t worked for a startup insight that any of us who have worked for a startup refer to as Monday. And if you’re like me and not too hopeful that the government will see a similar pattern of fraud between the device and tech industry then what we can do is force accountability from Uber by choosing to put our money elsewhere. Boycott Uber for unethical and illegal behavior that’s encouraged, replicated and rewarded within their corrupt business model.
And note to all fan-boy and fan-girl tech journalists: all accomplices eventually become victims under The Sociopathic Business Model™ and yes that includes journalists-so take your billion dollar blinders off and start paying attention and bring back real journalism.
Slider image of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick under a car from Seth Madej’s Three More Reason’s Why You Shouldn’t Use Uber