When Sarah Lacy first raised concerns about “outrageous sexism” practices by Uber and its founder Travis Kalanick in November 2014, many thought she was crossing a line: from being a journalist to an activist.
Over the past few weeks, a series of disturbing revelations about Uber’s work culture and its maverick CEO-founder’s own questionable behaviour seems to validate most of what Lacy accused them of. In fact, this blog post by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler nailed it.
Lacy also points out Silicon Valley’s “asshole culture” accentuated by white males feeling insecure among immigrants and women rising up the ranks.
For many Indian founders and even investors, Uber has been a go-to template for everything ranging from the company’s status as the gig economy posterchild, to its maverick culture.
But are we looking at the right role models? Clearly not.
As I sat down with her for this episode of the Outliers Podcast, she’s like, “I told you so!”
Lacy is one of the most important voices tracking issues that matter in the Valley, and is the founder of PandoDaily.
After two failed attempts at recording the Outliers Podcast with the participants on two different continents, we finally got it right. Well, almost, because it’s still short of the production quality we aspire to achieve at FactorDaily.
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Disclosure: FactorDaily is owned by SourceCode Media, which counts Accel Partners, Blume Ventures and Vijay Shekhar Sharma among its investors. Accel Partners is an early investor in Flipkart. Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder of Paytm. None of FactorDaily’s investors have any influence on its reporting about India’s technology and startup ecosystem.