The new generation of tech companies have become pressure cookersstart
- Tech companies do not see high turnover as a problem. They are proud of it. They considered it a badge of honor. It demonstrates that the company has a “high-performance culture” where only the best of the best survive.
- The modern workplace are actually worse than the old companies they are replacing. They are digital sweatshops, akin to the brutal textile mills and garment factories from more than a century ago.
- They work for managers who are young, inexperienced, and undertrained — or sometimes completely untrained. They are exposed to brainwashing techniques, force-fed notions about “culture,” and informed that their success hinges on their ability to fit in with the others, but that the others didn’t like them. They were told that they were failing, but not told how or why.
According to the Conference Board, a research firm, which adds that it’s “very unlikely” that job satisfaction will ever return to 1980s levels. Worldwide, only 13 percent of workers feel “engaged” — meaning enthusiastic at work and committed to their companies — according to Gallup, which has tracked this since 2000.
Things are better in the United States, where 32 percent of workers are engaged, but that still means that more than two-thirds of employees are just mailing it in. Worse, Gallup says roughly one in five workers is “actively disengaged,” which means they may even be toxic. They’re the ones who go around complaining to co-workers and even driving away customers. In a 2014 survey by Monster, the job-seeking site, 61 percent of workers said work-related stress had made them physically sick, and nearly half said they had missed work because of it.
In a 2014 survey by Monster, the job-seeking site, 61 percent of workers said work-related stress had made them physically sick, and nearly half said they had missed work because of it.
The new generation of tech companies have become pressure cookers. Instead of geeky engineers, the industry draws hustlers, young guys who hope to get rich quick and who in a previous generation might have gone to work as bond traders on Wall Street.
The Valley has become a casino, with VCs and angel investors blindly pumping money into every slot machine, hoping to hit a jackpot. Take Amazon.com as an example. Some see Bezos as a hero, but his fortune has been built on the backs of warehouse workers who toil away in abominable conditions under huge amounts of stress, sometimes earning so little that they may qualify for food stamps. Sure, they now make $15 an hour, but in the process Amazon took away stock and other bonuses.
Then there is the media giant Facebook. Founder Mark Zuckerberg employs “secret police” also known as the “rat-catching team,” to spy on workers, operating what the Guardian calls “a ruthless code of secrecy,” using legal threats to keep workers from talking about “working conditions, misconduct or culture challenges within the company.”
Exploiting workers is paying off. Many of these VCs and founders are worth billions. But they have driven wealth inequality to insane levels and brought banana-republic economics to Silicon Valley. Awash in money, once-sleepy towns like Los Altos, Los Gatos, Atherton, and Palo Alto now boast Disneyfied downtowns and Michelin-starred restaurants, with Porsches, Ferraris, and Mercedes G-Wagens parked outside.
Officially, most Silicon Valley oligarchs express contempt for Trump; yet they were grateful for his tax cuts. The new compact says, essentially, that corporations owe no loyalty to workers, and that workers should not expect any kind of job security . This compact encourages workers to view themselves as independent agents , competing against one another for work.
Most start — ups are terribly managed , half — assed outfits run by buffoons and bozos and frat boys , and funded by amoral investors who are only hoping to flip the company into the public
Even Apple is not immune. Apple makes terrific smartphones and provides world — class customer support , but the company also has dodged taxes using a scheme that Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz once called a “ fraud. ”
Silicon Valley promotes the gig economy as an innovative new industry that is creating jobs for millions of people. But the jobs being created are mostly bad ones.
Too many people think that they’re going to make a lot of money at a startup, but the reality is that they’re not. The dream of quitting work at 35 is not a reality for 99% of tech workers. The “Valley” has become a an area where few people can afford to live. San Francisco is dealing with a huge income inequality problem leading to a lot of homeless people on the street and tech workers complaining about the stench.
Still, people will chase the dream and then if, by chance, they make it big they are most concerned about keeping company secrets than doing the right thing. God help us.
Originally published at www.newmediaandmarketing.com on October 24, 2018.