Is Startup Culture a Scam?

  • Is Startup Culture a Scam?

  • freeman

    Organizer
    April 13, 2023 at 2:20 am

    Dissecting the Startup Culture / Disruptors Narrative:

    • Disruption culture emerged in the mid-1990s as a reaction to massive layoffs in the 80s.
    • Aspiring c-suite rebels created startups to take back power from established companies and forge their own commercial destinies.
    • These individuals were later dubbed “disruptors” by Harvard Professor Clay Christensen, who wrote about the startup phenomenon and the downfall of well-established companies in his book “The Innovator’s Dilemma”.
    • Christensen wrote about his theory of “disruptive innovation”, which is the pattern in which up-and-coming companies develop new technologies to offer cheaper and inferior alternatives to products already available on the market.
    • Disruptive innovation took the business world by storm and it would eventually be dubbed the most influential business theory of the early 21st century.
    • Disruptors include companies like Tesla, Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, and Netflix, which were applauded for their innovative approaches.
    • Disruption culture has been co-opted by venture capitalists, thought leaders, and society, and the term “disrupt” has been used so much it almost ceased to have any meaning.
    • Disruptive companies shift risks onto their employees, often via the gig economy, and many disruptors become celebrities with cool dogmas.
    • Disruptive companies use a lot of the same tactics as multi-level marketing schemes, and both focus the narrative on the winners.
    • Disruption fails more often than it succeeds, but when it’s talked about in the business community, it feels like every company who’s ever disrupted is a dark horse turned Kentucky Derby champion.
    • The media pushes all the failed companies under the rug to praise the few lottery winners.
    • Disruptive culture has been co-opted by business leaders to treat workers like cattle, and many disruptors become terrible managers.
    • Disruptive culture is not necessarily a scam, but it’s used as an excuse to run a business like one.
    • Not all disruptors are bad, and there are companies that have made positive changes in their industries.
    • A UK study on the possibility of a four-day work week showed that employees reported 39% less stress, 71% less burnout, and overall increases in mental and physical health, while organizations reported revenue increases of 35% on average and a decrease in staff leaving companies by 57%.
    • Disruption culture does not disrupt the economic, labor, or political systems themselves, but simply disrupts the ways that a small number of people are able to make money within that system.
    • Employees can use disruption to reclaim power and beat the system, or at least call it a tie.
    • The Great Resignation, which saw workers quit their jobs en masse, has shifted power back toward employers, but employees are refusing to back down.
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