The mania over ride-sharing and delivery companies has at times been absurd
IN THE REAL WORLD a flywheel is a mechanical contraption that stores rotational energy. In Silicon Valley it has come to mean something else: a perpetual-motion business that not only runs forever but is self-reinforcing. Thanks to powerful network effects, the theory goes, a digital platform becomes more attractive as it draws in more users, which makes it even more attractive and so on. The end state is a venture that has gathered enough energy to self-levitate and throw off tons of cash.
The payout on one of the most richly-funded bets of the past decade or so revolves around whether ride-sharing and delivery firms—which once were part of something known as the “sharing economy” but are better described as the “flywheel economy”—can actually ever live up to their heady promise.
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[Editor Charlie sez: Meet the new boss, way, way, way worse than the old boss.]
Google, as with many large companies, has skeletons in its closet that it would probably wish to keep quiet. But after interviewing almost 40 current and previous Google employees, The Information has found that there is an internal culture that has virtually normalized inappropriate relationships. The reasoning for this is primarily because most who have been found in these relationships were not penalized or punished for their actions.
While there are the widely reported and known about relationships like those between Larry Page and Marissa Mayer, Sergey Brin and Amanda Rosenberg, as well as Eric Schmidt and Marcy Simon, The Information was able to identify another previously unreported relationship. This time, it was between David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, and Jennifer Blakely, a paralegal in the legal department.
This relationship was kept secret from the HR department until the two had a child together. At that point, the company was forced to intervene and moved Blakely to the sales department and into a position that was not her specialty. Her then coworkers, as interviewed by The Information, stated that Google handled the situation poorly and unfairly. Blakely ultimately ended up leaving Google and the relationship. [But David Drummond is still Google’s Chief Legal Officer.]
This isn’t the only story of misconduct within Google, though. Throughout multiple interviews, employees discussed the downplaying by male employees whenever a female would get a promotion or get one-on-one time with a high-level manager. In many instances, comments were made about the female employees sleeping with bosses or providing other favors to advance their careers.
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