Everybody but Google says it’s not Google.
Houston’s tragedy is still unfolding, but its lessons can already be drawn. When an area the size of fifteen Manhattans floods, there’s plenty of blame to throw around. But in the end, it all comes down to money, in particular, the kind of money one can make by encouraging short term thinking.
Many are claiming Hurricane Harvey’s wrath proves climate change is real — and that our current administration’s steadfast ignorance of that fact should be called out. It’s hard to disagree, but also hard to believe anything will change. After all, we already knew Houston had a major weather problem: Journalists and academics had pointed that fact out repeatedly, and repeatedly, society has ignored that fact. Why?Read More
So as to be clear, what’s going on here is this: AccuWeather was sharing its users’ anonymized data with a third-party company for profit, even after those same users seemingly opted out of location-based data collection.Read More
In the early days of the Civil War, when it seemed the rebellion was an immature prank soon to be put down, emboldened Washingtonian spectators converged on nearby Manassas, eager to watch the Union Army prevail over a rag tag army of southern rebels.
The Union army, it turns out, was summarily routed.Read More
Let’s start with this: Google is not a perfect company. It’s easy to cast it as an omniscient and evil villain, the leader of a millennium-spanning illuminati hellbent on world subjugation. Google the oppressor. Google the silencer of debate. Google, satanic overlord predicted by the holy text!
But that narrative is bullshit, and all rational humans know it. Yes, we have to pay close attention — and keep our powder dry — when a company with the power and reach of Google (or Facebook, or Amazon, or Apple…) finds itself a leader in the dominant cultural conversation of our times.Read More
One of the country’s largest companies had a very rough weekend, and it had nothing to do with its products or services. Instead, Google joined Amazon, Uber, and many other tech giants experiencing a self-inflicted string of massive workplace culture breakdowns.
Google’s current sh*tshow came via an inarguably sexist 3,000-word memo written by a relatively junior engineer. The memo, which covered its misogyny with sophomoric sops to diversity of intellectual discourse, was posted to Google’s internal network, a version of the company’s Google+ service used only by employees. When Vice’s Motherboard got wind of the post Saturday and wrote about it, all hell broke loose. Then Gizmodo got a copy of the actual screed, and Techmeme lit up with follow-ons from just about every outlet imaginable.Read More
Everyone agrees the rant author is a scoundrel. The real question is: how can you avoid having his type in your startup? There are ways.
Sexism is a big tent. It includes sexual harassment like overt unwanted contact, inappropriate comments, sexual advances, and withholding promotions for unreturned affection; it also includes gender-based bias — far more common and far more difficult to label and identify. Each of these two extremes deserve significant attention from companies, but this article is devoted to the latter. Gender-based bias, or ‘Dude-bro’ism’ is a culture of bias that proliferates in tech. Like all outbreaks, prevention is cheaper and easier than treatment within work environments and corporate culture. Prevention begins at the first job interview, but also requires steady maintenance to keep away. This is a guide for prevention.
I was wrong.
It’s still uncertain exactly what they have implemented since Google tends to not tell people how their algorithm works, but they did make an announcement back in April that they would be taking measures to punish “low quality content” such as misleading information, offensive results, hoaxes and conspiracy theories.
You know how, when you search Google for some kind of product, the top of the results page displays a row of ad boxes for the product? That’s called Google Shopping, and it just cost the company $2.7 billion in fines from the European Union. Regulators there charge that Google has favored its own shopping search tool at the expense of competitors’ offerings (The New York Times).
That penalty amount is way higher than experts expected, and it holds dark omens for Google. It’s not that the large penalty is itself a serious problem for the wealthy company; it earned twice that amount in the first quarter of this year alone.Read More
In the last 8 months I have been to see a lot of companies, big and small, and almost always the conversation has meandered from Google to the current set of Unicorns and what the future portends. I thought of writing all my thoughts down, then realized I have too many — so I’ll do it in phases. Here is the first stab — additions and edits welcome.
Having had the opportunity of working with Larry Page, I have been privileged — privileged because I got to work for one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world, and because I was there when the company’s culture, team and organization were being shaped.Read More