Let’s Create a TV Show to Fix Silicon Valley
Startups have been creating worker hell in Silicon Valley. That was within the forefront of my thoughts as I learn the e book Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us. I feel this e book needs to be required studying for anyone who thinks working for a startup in Silicon Valley could be enjoyable.
Unless you’re into humiliation and abuse (giving or getting), you in all probability ought to keep away from these startups just like the plague. Yes, you possibly can get wealthy, however you additionally may find yourself with a ruined life — broke, divorced, homeless, or possibly even lifeless by your personal hand.
The issues aren’t confined to startups, although. After studying the e book, you seemingly would find yourself with a complete completely different perspective about companies like Apple, Google and Facebook as effectively. And VCs — oh my god. This well-researched e book may have you ever pondering most of them are run by literal demons.
In a lot the identical vein as Brotopia, however increasing past abuse of ladies, this e book explains the rise of suicides, psychological well being points, and even the enlargement of homelessness round among the strongest and richest firms on the earth — firms you ship a lot of cash to.
It additionally takes a have a look at unicorns, firms with large valuations however no possible way to generate revenue, and the con artist administration consultants permeating the business who appear to relish creating their very own little hells on earth.
Finally, and that is a good factor, the e book showcases among the firms that deal with their staff effectively together with a VC the place they’ve centered not solely on glorious work/life stability, but additionally on investing in companies that particularly give attention to making the world a higher place.
I’ve recognized Dan Lyons and have learn his work for a lot of my grownup life. We form of went by way of a warfare collectively on the identical facet, and I could not advocate his e book extra extremely. However, moderately than offering a e book assessment or detailed abstract (which could stop your shopping for or studying the e book), I’m going to suggest a spinoff.
It struck me that this e book would make a good basis for a comedy, drama, or actuality TV present that will be fascinating to watch, and on the identical time really assist make individuals conscious of (and wish to repair) this drawback. I really feel strongly that abuse of any kind needs to be worn out.
I’ll finish with my product of the week: the Oculus Go, a new VR headset from Oculus primarily based on Qualcomm know-how.
The Comedy Version
What prompted me to consider a TV present was that Dan has been a author for the collection Silicon Valley. That present, which I discover fairly exhausting to watch, focuses on a startup. I’m additionally reminded that The Office was primarily based on a broader retelling of Dilbert-like tales that seemingly do exist in workplace environments, in some kind or different. The U.S.-based present was primarily based on a present produced in England, and it was a hit for a variety of years.
My thought is to give attention to a firm of younger engineers determined for assist in managing individuals who then rent “experts” to assist them repair the issues. The consultants would mirror and develop on varieties showcased in Dan’s e book. They would vary from faux consultants who use deep, considerate, grownup instruments — like Legos — to those that depend on administration by Feng Shui.
Penn & Teller developed a present that made considerably comparable factors, known as Bullshit! It ran for a number of years, however a lot of parents sued them, which means that comedy may work higher then Penn & Teller’s actuality present strategy.
There could be a central character who was good and would break the fourth wall — like George Burns within the actually previous George Burns and Gracie Allen Show — or, extra just lately, like Deadpool.
So, the viewers would all the time be in on the joke. This character would use sarcasm and innuendo closely to level out why every of those “expert” geniuses actually have been fool con artists, and foil their efforts.
The firm may very well be, I do not know, actually fictional like an electrical automotive firm lead by individuals who did not understand how to construct automobiles, or possibly even a chip firm with a board made up of monetary varieties and MDs — you understand issues which may not occur in actual like. Oh wait
What actually could be enjoyable could be to have the central character current like some uneducated blue-collar employee however really be the key proprietor of the corporate and a billionaire with solely the viewers in on this as effectively.
Another twist may present the central character coming in as a janitor and taking a lot of abuse, however studying the place all of the idiots are. He then would purchase firm, do away with all of the idiots, and promote the heroes within the agency who really offered worth. Hmm — you understand which may work in actual life.
(I’ve usually contemplated a firm that was made up of ex-spies who could be employed to go into a agency secretly to discover out all of its issues prior to an acquisition.)
The Drama Version
The drama would pit a group of consultants in opposition to a plot from a overseas authorities — for example, oh, China — that needed to destroy U.S. enterprise by infecting it with administration practices that sound actually good however really are idiotic.
Using a mixture of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ideas (with regard to headquarters and instruments), some NCIS-like evaluation, and a few Mission Impossible-like stunts, their job could be to undermine the overseas entity’s efforts with out letting anybody know they have been even there.
Rather than destroying the enterprise with unhealthy practices, they’d trick the agency into implementing good enterprise practices with the long-term aim of discovering and stopping the evil mastermind deploying the phony effectivity professional groups.
This would convey why many of those screwy practices are idiotic, and concurrently handle issues like phishing and spearphishing, together with practices that trick individuals into putting in viruses or shopping for into Ponzi schemes.
Done proper, it not solely could be entertaining, but additionally — relying on how the plot developed — may assist individuals perceive and keep away from the con artists and others continually attempting to rip-off them. (It additionally may assist with our gullibility with regard to faux information.)
While there seemingly are sufficient tales in Dan’s e book to fill a season, this present may pull its plots from the identical form of analysis he did and hold that analysis — and exposing frauds — within the information, serving to to appropriate this unhealthy conduct.
The Reality TV Version
The Reality TV angle could be to give attention to the abusers. People would submit tales of abuse and undercover wired actors would go into the agency after which report and share what was happening.
This could be extra like a 60 Minutes expose, however one which particularly centered on abusive managers. A workforce of consultants, seemingly pulled from the listing of fine actors in Dan Lyons’ e book, would sit on a panel and run a commentary on why what we have been watching not solely would not work however why it constituted abuse.
There could be some dangers — significantly if among the very highly effective males who make a behavior of abusing ladies, particularly, have been showcased. One means round that problem could be to get those that complained of abuse to dictate what occurred, after which re-enact the occasion.
Given that among the people who would come ahead for a present like this may faux accusations for display screen time and a focus, it could be attention-grabbing to out these individuals, decreasing the variety of people who would make faux claims over time.
Much in the identical means that NBC’s Dateline went after pedophile,s this present would give attention to catching extraordinarily abusive executives and managers within the act, forcing change by exposing extraordinarily abusive conduct.
The problem with books like Lab Rats is that they usually get an preliminary wave of readers however then fall into the dustbin of historical past, and the teachings and insights are misplaced. I feel a TV present may take the idea of Lab Rats and switch it into an attention-grabbing lasting lesson that might assist make the long run a higher place for these unlucky sufficient to work for considered one of these insanely abusive and terminally silly startups.
It additionally would assist mainstream companies that as soon as fell for ideas like compelled rating, and assist them make higher decisions sooner or later.
I actually advocate that you just learn the e book Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us, and in case you are going to work in tech, choose one of many companies that treats staff with respect over one during which the managers secretly put on “Abuse ‘R’ Us” T-shirts.
My lasting impression of the e book is that there are a lot of parents in energy who needs to be kicked out of the human race. The proper program may, a minimum of, get them the hell out of administration.
I acquired an Oculus Go from Qualcomm because the leadup to its analyst occasion in Hawaii this yr. It showcases each what works and what does not work with this know-how in the mean time.
Addressing among the early issues with the standalone cell phone-based merchandise, the Oculus Go has first rate efficiency and picture high quality. This class nonetheless is concentrated on offering a low-cost entry-level VR expertise, and it does that.
It was despatched out in order that we may discover the venue we have been going to nearly, prematurely of our journey. It is right for that. In reality, it’s good for films basically. With a first rate set of headphones, it supplies a good streaming or obtain film expertise. For some purpose, there does not appear to be an Amazon Prime app out there, however it dealt with Netflix like a champ.
VR video games stay a drawback, although. Finding a recreation that I actually like enjoying has been a problem, and the shortage of consistency between platforms with the controller is one other problem. For occasion, one first-person area shooter that I used to be having fun with appeared to require two controllers (the Oculus Go comes with one) and a button on the controller that the higher-end Oculus has however this product doesn’t (so I could not work out how to fireplace the rattling missiles).
I actually do not perceive why Facebook, which owns Oculus, did not specify Oculus Rift-like controllers. The Rift is the dearer product (US$349 vs. $249). That means the consumer expertise with completely different lessons of system may very well be extra constant. There are aftermarket controllers, however I doubt that many video games have been designed with them in thoughts, due to low quantity. I’m not even positive they really would work with the Go.
The Oculus Go is a strong enchancment over its predecessors. At lower than $250, it’s a actual worth that’s hampered by a lack of controller consistency throughout the Oculus line and the shortage of a really compelling recreation.
Unlike the Oculus Rift, it does not require a PC, making the setup a ton simpler and the system realistically transportable.
If you’re bored and ready for an appointment or having your tooth cleaned, that is a great way to distract your self. It is useful in order for you to watch a Netflix film, and lots of the shortcomings may very well be addressed with a couple equipment and one good Halo-like recreation (Xbox).
I like values, and at beneath $250, that is a first rate one, so this week the Oculus Go is my product of the week.