Google and the Revolt of the Science Club Within

January 15, 2019

I know I said I would cover more DarkCyber topics, but I read a remarkable article called:

Google Employees Are Launching a Social Media Blitz to Pressure Tech Giants on Workplace Harassment Issues: The Group Wants Tech Companies to Stop Restricting Workers’ Right to Take Companies to Court over Employer Related Issues.”

With a headline like this one, let’s look at a couple of the statements set forth in the write up as factualities:

The [Instagram and Twitter] campaign is another example of the growing movement of tech employees publicly critiquing industry-wide practices they say are leading to inequality in the workplace. The tech industry has for years seen abysmal diversity statistics related to employment of female and underrepresented minorities in its workforce. Supporters of the campaign say that ending forced arbitration is a key step to creating a fairer workplace culture that will help curb such disparity.

The point to note is that Google which has largely failed at social media has employees who use the services the online ad giant was unable to understand, me-to, and make successful. Interesting. A disconnect signal perhaps?

Another statement from the write up:

As part of the effort, the group organizing the campaign researched the contracts of around 30 major tech companies and 10 of the biggest suppliers of contract employees for major tech companies. Not a single tech company met their basic criteria for protecting employees’ rights to pursue legal action against their companies for workplace issues, the group said.

Hmm. The “30 major tech companies” include outfits like Boeing, Raytheon, IBM, and similar giants? I don’t know. My hypothesis is that the “major” are outfits which are in the San Francisco-San Mateo area.

What is clear, however, is that giant companies which have acted as if they were countries now have governance problems to go along with their management challenges.

I have termed the broad approach to managing Yahoo-type outfits (I use Yahoo as an archetype, not a functional company) the HSSCMM or high school science club management method. The approach operates in ways that can be baffling to those not in the science club; for example, the junior prom is stupid. Only dorks go. The notion is that by exclusion one becomes more exceptional.

Now we have a terrarium in which to watch a science club go to war with its very bright, very elite, and very sciencey members.

Exciting? Nah. Interesting? Maybe. Financially significant? Oh, yes.

Stephen E Arnold, January 15, 2019


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