After some hors d'ouevres and cocktails, the head coach took a microphone and came with his ask. What he said was fascinating. He had been doing this for a number of years. About 5-6 years into his tenure, he said, at one of these fundraisers, an alumnus who was general in the US Army came up to him afterwards and said "You're absolutely terrible at this. You spoke for 15 minutes and you never mentioned winning football games. You're the football coach. Don't apologize for wanting to win football games. That's your job for God's sake. These people are here cause they're alumni who like football. They want to win games."
Needless to say, the coaches pitch is now "Here's how we win games if you give us money." But I think the general had the right idea. Companies shouldn't be embarrassed or shy away from talking about how they want to make money, especially if they're pitching to investors.
Tech entrepreneurs in SV have been trained for years to avoid revenue, profit, etc at all costs. The reason? Because as soon as you have profit, the conversation and metrics at fund-raising time are entirely different, and rather than lala land they will be rooted in a reality that no one wants to be in.
I've seen many founders, even some with decent revenue and growth, actively steering away from that to avoid valuation based on traditional metrics.
Defending capitalism will start being a little like defending communism - a great idea in theory; where is the evidence that it can be implemented without succumbing to corruption? It'll never be as bad because it doesn't come with the death toll, but people don't seem to take that part of the argument seriously.
I'm among the most hardened capitalists I've seen on HN but I really don't see the credible counter-argument to the divergence of wages and productivity combined with spiralling asset price inflation. Something needs to be done to make it easier for people who work hard but don't like risk to tap into the rewards of capitalism.
I'm not sure what physical metric to turn to to show poor people are holding steady, let alone seeing an improved quality of life.
I believe that modern capitalism is all about hiding the true costs of everything, from bailouts to subsidies to advertising to "freemium" to engineered addiction. The classic Invisible Hand is dead. It's now just other people manipulating the system to make it seem like nothing has changed.
I've read about how much lead is in the public water supply, how almost no cars can actually pass the emissions tests they claim to, how racist the death penalty is, and the opioid epidemic. I don't agree that there's no death toll to capitalism. We've just done an impressive job hiding it, and distancing it from the people and processes that create it.
> Something needs to be done to make it easier for people who work hard but don't like risk to tap into the rewards of capitalism.
One traditional answer has been "unions", and they're starting to get some traction once again.
No doubt all systems have issues, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be critical of capitalism and gasp maybe try to improve it... without being labeled a "Communist" (in response to saas_sam's dismissive comment). IMO that label's starting to lose some of it's McCarthyism weight anyways...
P.S. It's not just the Bay Area questioning ball's out capitalism.
I recommend you throw away the scatter plot and regression line and instead use Kendall's tau, a non-parametric statistic which considers only the rank order of each variable and is therefore appropriate for ordinal variables like the 0-9 "bullshit" scale.
As someone who was there when the dot com bubble collapsed, I think part of his point is that sooner or later, companies based purely on BS, or that have high valuations because they've BS'ed people... are going to come back down to earth.
Judging what is BS and how much there is, is not something you can do in a real scientific way.
I wasn't around during dotcom but plenty of people my age can tell this market is absurd
Edit: I interpreted that as 969 working on Bezos' personal brand. On second glance they probably just mean 969 corporate comms personnel in Amazon. In which case I retract my "holy shit"
One is a major international company with close to a million employees, hundreds of billions in revenue and operations in a 100+ countries.
The other is a small media firm based in one country with a thousand employees and a few hundred million in revenue.
To make matters worse, Amazon has a reasonable mission statement - to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online, whereas WaPo's mission statement is "Democracy Dies in Darkness". Yogababble score - 10/10
The point is a single company's PR force rivals a major newspaper's entire staff. The Fourth Estate is outmanned and outgunned.
> WaPo's mission statement is "Democracy Dies in Darkness"
No, it's a seven-principle list . Stringing together points one and two, it is "to tell the truth as nearly as the truth may be ascertained...concerning the important affairs of America and the world."
"Democracy dies in darkness" is a tag line.
Remember, corp PR roles by definition are corporate. In other words their work is primarily geared up the corp ladder, as such they may as well just be "working for Jeff".
Today they retain a 70%+ market share of desktops and laptops.
And with Surface they are a top 5 hardware manufacturer as well.
Can we be sure that they are idiots? Given how much control founders have over their companies these days, we don't know how much they had their hands were tied. They may not have been able to do anything until the tide of opinion (on the board) turned against the CEO, to the extent that even the CEO's allies decided they needed to save their own butts.
Between We and FB, we might start to see the pendulum start to swing back the other way, with regards to founder control of companies.
>When firms are still searching for a viable business model, the temptation to go full yogababble gets stronger, as the truth (numbers, business model, EBITDA) needs concealer.
My new firm, Section4, was going to "Restore the Middle Class." My colleagues rolled their eyes so hard I wondered if they’d been coached by my 12-year-old son. Then we were "NSFW Business Media" or "Streaming MBA." We’re trying to figure it out. Next week, I'll tell my board we've assembled a group of talented people, are producing short-form video and podcasts, and hope to educate and inform. We’ll go from there.
Though I'm sure some people are already looking into that.
But it sounds pretty interesting, especially if you correlate it with things like insider's tradings (both buy and sell) and of course whatever external events there may be.
Talking of quant, would you mind sharing what is your typical stack, especially non-proprietary, non-confidential, stuff such as languages and libraries.
The chart is some cherrypicked bullshit that ignores the importance of outlier rejection. Put your thumb over Google, Zoom, and Tesla and then look at the chart again.
The vertical axis is the author's subjective opinion on a scale of "I’m a professor of marketing who likes dogs" to "I am a spirit Dawg that unlocks self-actualization." That should give away that it's, at best, a back-of-the-envelope gut check.
"This thesis doesn't fall apart on basic scrutiny" is the best point it can make. Which, given it's leaps and bounds more scrutiny than Theranos or WeWork got, is part of the joke.
The thesis DOES fall apart on basic scrutiny. The chart represents the entirety of the exploration, and the chart doesn't support shit. Minus the outliers, the chart presents a conclusion entirely different from the author's.
Based on what?
To be serious for a moment, it has been repeatedly found that "prospectus conservatism is positively related to underpricing, with the relation more pronounced for technology than nontechnology firms" . While the ability for "prospectus conservatism...to predict the firm’s post-IPO operating performance" has historically been limited to non-tech IPOs, it's plausible for that effect to now incorporate all IPOs.
> the chart doesn't support shit
The chart's underlying "data" are shit. It's "guy rates mission statements." It's a joke.
(Or maybe it's not. Bullshit isn't something one can objectively measure. It's dependent on context and the specifics of the observer.)
As the one jumping up and down about statistics here, you should know that
"The data does not exclude the null hypothesis"
"The thesis falls apart (hypothesis is invalidated)"
are two very different things.
The point being made is that the bottom is falling out of the bullshit market, and it's about damn time. It's made with humor and snark, which is the point of the graph.
I seem to remember reading a Paul Graham article about the early days of Y Combinator (can't find the article now) where he mentioned that basically 2-3 startups including dropbox make all the money, and the rest is just noise. Seems like it wasn't such a BS bet after all.
But yes, the chart is more impressionistic than rigorous.
If you had to sum up Adam Neuman and WeWork in one line, I challenge anyone to beat that.
If anything I think it's that they easily raise VC money, which then inflates the IPO price because people compare it against what VC's paid for it. WeWork VC value was about 4x what the IPO marked thought it might be worth.
> raise as much money as possible at the IPO
Seems more like the smart money is looking for dumb money to follow it, and a way to convert their VC held shares back into dollars via a liquidity event.
But yes, a large post-IPO jump could be considered money left on the table, since people will pay for it, but the company didn't get it - the people buying at the IPO price then selling pocket that money.
I think the point to author is trying to make is that companies often add BS to their mission statements to 'elevate' themselves from a regular company into a lifestyle.
Having been to my fair share of yoga classes, I've found it's less the teachers doing this than the Instagram-happy students.
You're right about the author's point, but this is a gross generalization and is unfairly dismissive of a lot of different practices that people find personally beneficial.
Doesn't mean it's based on anything coherent or real.
Talking about uniting the chakras or elevating your spirit is feel-goodery on exactly the same level.
This is true for many, but not all, nor is it limited to the West.
Rather unfortunate that the corporate world seems to be seeing its own absurdity in the mirror, but then choosing an unrelated scapegoat to point fingers at.
This is yogababble.
It also seems totally not necessary to pick on the practice itself or to single out yoga from the universe of things that are mis-used, appropriated, ripped-off, and marketed by the corporate world.
There is ying and there is yang.
Mr Galloway is very entertaining and he has got his scalp. But ultimately he has the same flaw as the yogaistas.
Also, the other axis is entirely subjective. The main point is well-taken that high-minded fluff rarely translates to high-performing firms.
On the other hand, it may be just a big joke. But is it?