The Corporate Dead at Google & Spotify

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Excerpt from Media Monsters episode of The McFuture Podcast w/Steve Faktor

Recently, Spotify staff threatened a strike to gain censorship power over Joe Rogan’s podcast for content they find offensive.

Last year, Google employees organized a protest against working on US military contracts. Now they say they’re facing retaliation by the company. (Ironically, they didn’t make a peep as Google built a spy machine for China.)

Famously, Colin Kaepernick was never allowed back in the NFL after drawing attention his team didn’t want by kneeling over police brutality.

And of course, James Damore wrote a thesis on why there aren’t more women in tech and how to improve their numbers. He naively believed Google coworkers wanted divergent opinions, just because they uttered those words – with all the sincerity of a “how are you?” in a crowded elevator. Unsurprising that his thesis was treated as sacrilege to their faith. So he was excommunicated from the Church of Google.

When companies say “we care about a diversity of opinions” or “we welcome an open exchange of ideas”, they mean “…until it hurts the bottom line”.

No matter what’s in the official PR Kool-Aid, if you defy your employer’s financial interests or attract bad PR, you’re done. DONE! Maybe not today, but you are the walking dead. Nay, The Corporate Dead. Same goes for quitting projects, big screw-ups, and political offenses — like making a powerful executive look bad.

We trade freedom for employment with amoral profit-maximizers. Until that changes, acting otherwise is naïve.

There’s only one exception: leverage. If you deliver material economic value — or pose a big enough threat to the corporation, you can dictate terms. Unfortunately, few have this power. Most of us are tiny cogs in multibillion-dollar machines.

So never get too comfortable…

The Corporate Dead are never brought back to life. Not without strings attached. Or, a net gain for the company. No matter what your employer says,  no matter how progressive they appear, the cold, harsh truth is Woke=Broke. There are no libertines with six-figure salaries.

More: The McFuture Podcast w/Steve Faktor

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Provocative predictions & prescriptions on where innovation, economics & culture will take us. Fearless. Funny.