Sometimes the greatest art comes from a place of pain.
After being forcibly ousted from his position as CEO of Uber in June, Travis Kalanick was sued for fraud on Aug. 10 by Benchmark, the venture-capital firm that was an early investor in the company and holds a seat on its board. They claim he hid “his gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber” and tried to wrestle his position back. (Too late.) While the ballsy move was met with relief from some of the Uber shareholders, who had grown tired of Kalanick’s shenanigans, others have rallied against the decision.
One of these voices is Hyperloop co-founder and Uber board member Shervin Pishevar, who claims that Benchmark took advantage of the death of Kalanick’s mother in the timing of their suit. In a memo supplied to his lawyers ahead of filing a motion in the court case, Pishevar decries the VC firm’s lawsuit. And boy, is it beautiful.
The memo sits somewhere between an e e cummings poem and a sophomore-year lit class essay, full of delightful mixed metaphors (“swimming in the crucible”), alliteration (“bitterly barren barons”), and a sprinkling of Latin (“fiat justitia ruat caelum”/Let justice be done though the heavens fall). It’s a piece of modern-day poetry; a liberal-arts sonnet borne out of the injustices of Silicon Valley’s STEM community.
To emphasize its literary gravitas, we decided to give it the treatment it deserves. Enjoy.
let us take this pause in this moment when we find ourselves swimming in the crucible of one of the grandest business & moral battles of our generation and find strength in. each. stroke. of our proverbial digital pens that we wrote with the indelible, eternal & permeant ink of righteousness we write with the souls of thousands of lives saved the lives of millions of jobs created liberating multitudes of drivers from —the shackles of servitude— to iniquitous taxi cartels of corrupt cabals that choked cities with their pollution of air and morals we write with the spirit of bonnie kalanick who raised her son with deep. unconditional. love. and unfading faith in his ability to do good for the world whose tragic and untimely death was used against her son at his most vulnerable unspeakable time of pain they chose to strike at a moment of a devoted son’s retreat and leave of absence to mourn the absence of the inviolable love of his mother in doing so they joined the very —corruption— her son had devoted such fervent. passion. to fight. in her memory we devote our actions to a just cause to defend what is right. and to protect the interest of not only shareholders but most importantly the far. more. important. stakeholders of employees, driver & customers whose lives have been forever altered by the abiding faith and fervent hard work of travis kalanick & the uber team their allegiance was met by this unholy alliance of perfidious greed developing rapidly into the —audacity of vituperative— unparalleled predatory rapacity let us strike tomorrow with the full and fulsome courage of our convictions let our just cause give pause to those who would veer —dream— of ever emulating the shameful shennagiagns of these sanctimonious hypocrites who fling filing and letters de haut en bas when it is we. who have the higher moral ground and our letters and filing will —hail down upon— their platforms exposing them as bitterly barren barons of moral turpitude and as the summer sets we let us be steward of truth who in unison proclaim fiat justitia ruat caelum -shervin pishevar