1. Uber’s high Kalanick
The one sure winner in the Uber saga is the nonfiction genre. This story truly has it all. Uber is everything we love—and everything we hate—about the internet age. It is, if you will, the Uber of business stories. Uber is the unicorn of unicorns. The fastest growing tech company of all time. The company that most dramatically took the Internet to the streets and redefined the on-demand economy, taking on industries and city governments as it grew. While Uber represents the bold vision, innovation, and disruption the tech industry prides itself on, it has also represented the worst of Silicon Valley’s characteristics: Sexual harassment, rule-bending, worshipping the altar of growth above all else, and a broken corporate culture that makes Lord of the Flies look like a tale of altruistic teamwork. Our story’s latest chapter took place on Tuesday night when, under pressure from the company’s top investors, Uber’s co-founder, CEO, and highly controversial leader Travis Kalanick resigned. From the NYT’s Mike Isaac (who has been all over this story): Uber Founder Travis Kalanick Resigns as CEO.
+ Just hours before the resignation came, Kara Swisher made the case why Kalanick had to go. Can Uber’s Travis Kalanick be redeemed? Arianna thinks so. (Me, not so much.)
+ In addition to representing so much, good and bad, about the tech industry, Kalanick’s fall also points to two major cultural trends. First, there’s the role of the whistleblower. From The Ringer’s Alyssa Bereznak: You Can Thank Whistleblowers for Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s Resignation. “It was just a little more than four months ago that Susan Fowler published a reflection of her year working as an engineer at Uber.” And second, there’s the role of social media. From Farhad Manjoo in the NYT: How Battling Brands Online Has Gained Urgency, and Impact.
+ And if you missed it when it was first posted, here’s Susan Fowler’s blog post: Reflecting On One Very, Very Strange Year At Uber. (Spoiler alert: It got stanger.)