Uber’s spiral down

So we now have a partial explanation[1] for Uber’s move to cut its marketing staff.[2]

The need to ease investor concerns has triggered belt-tightening, including the [marketing] layoffs, a hiring freeze in engineering and even a ban on “workaversary” balloons, according to employees and correspondence reviewed by The Washington Post. That, in turn, has resulted in a loss of the magic that once came with working at the unicorn, current and former employees say. Now, employees say they are treading on eggshells, waiting for the next shoe to drop.[3]

Which is not at all surprising.[4] Probably many of these kids (hey, I’m sixty—they’re kids) were just toddlers when the dot-com bust happened in 2001, eighteen long years ago, but a lot of Silicon Valley folks remember and a lot of them are still around. What this[5] suggests is that I’m not the only one who recognized the ominous portents[6] and of course there’s only been even more reason to worry since.[7]

Uber looks for all the world like it’s spiraling down and while some folks would like to bring back Travis Kalanick,[8] it’s important to remember that Uber’s image suffered in part largely due to his antics. Bringing him back won’t solve that problem.

And I bet a few of those older Silicon Valley folks will remember the moves to bring back company founders right before the dot-com crash, that is, when it was already too late.

  1. [1]Faiz Siddiqui, “Internal data shows Uber’s reputation hasn’t changed much since #DeleteUber,” Washington Post, August 29, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/08/29/even-after-ubers-ipo-long-shadow-deleteuber-still-looms/
  2. [2]Eliot Brown and Sarah Nassauer, “Uber Cuts Third of Marketing Staff; Lyft Chief Operating Officer Exits,” Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-cuts-third-of-marketing-staff-lyft-chief-operating-officer-exits-11564430556
  3. [3]Faiz Siddiqui, “Internal data shows Uber’s reputation hasn’t changed much since #DeleteUber,” Washington Post, August 29, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/08/29/even-after-ubers-ipo-long-shadow-deleteuber-still-looms/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Watching the ridesharing shit go down the toilet,” Not Housebroken, July 30, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/07/30/watching-the-ridesharing-shit-go-down-the-toilet/
  5. [5]Eliot Brown and Sarah Nassauer, “Uber Cuts Third of Marketing Staff; Lyft Chief Operating Officer Exits,” Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-cuts-third-of-marketing-staff-lyft-chief-operating-officer-exits-11564430556
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Watching the ridesharing shit go down the toilet,” Not Housebroken, July 30, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/07/30/watching-the-ridesharing-shit-go-down-the-toilet/
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Uber appears to be going down,” Not Housebroken, August 11, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/08/11/uber-appears-to-be-going-down/; David Benfell, “Proof of investor irrationality: The case of Uber (and Lyft),” Not Housebroken, August 22, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/08/22/proof-of-investor-irrationality-the-case-of-uber-and-lyft/; David Benfell, “Liking Lyft, not liking Uber,” Not Housebroken, August 27, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/08/27/liking-lyft-not-liking-uber/
  8. [8]Eliot Brown and Sarah Nassauer, “Uber Cuts Third of Marketing Staff; Lyft Chief Operating Officer Exits,” Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-cuts-third-of-marketing-staff-lyft-chief-operating-officer-exits-11564430556

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