Super Pumped and WeCrashed: shit CEO’s and how they were still successful, basically.

For the most part, everyone, at some point in their life, will work a shit job or work for a shit boss. I’ve been a telemarketer. I tried to sell Mary Kay BEFORE there was social media to harass people. I worked at a talent agency where the owner was embezzling from herself. But I think the most miserable I’ve ever been at a job was when I worked for a local marketing agency (small town in Texas) that the owner considered a Silicon Valley startup.

John was every startup CEO cliché you’ve seen on TV. Our policies changed every month. We had hour long meetings EVERYDAY where we would talk about what we accomplished the day before and then clap like a bunch of mindless idiots. I once got in trouble because I had a meeting in the game room (the only quiet place to take a phone call), resulting in 2 of the guys in my office having to wait 10 minutes before they could play ping pong. Also, that reprimand came via Slack from the CFO who’s last name was Chew and used to start off every Tuesday meeting with “happy Chewsday!” Then there was John’s speech about valuing women which is why he paid everyone the exact same salary, only for me to find out that I got paid the least out of everyone, including his nephew who watched YouTube all day. Every day felt like a Black Mirror episode.

I could go on but I can feel my buried anger rising and I’m afraid I might find myself outside, hurling my car in John’s direction like a meteor. And I just paid it off. What I’m getting at is, there are some shit companies and shit bosses out there. You probably work for one (or both). And if you’re feeling trapped I have some good news for you. There’s a chance your company and/or boss could be a total fraud and you might be close to being a part of a streaming service series! There’s always a bright side.

The theme this decade appears to be highlighting companies that had the potential to be great but were nearly (or absolutely) destroyed by CEO’s that considered themselves Jesus. I’m eating it all up. First up is Super Pumped: The Fight for Uber (Showtime). Who knew that a ride share company could be so volatile? I didn’t. In fact, up until I started watching this, the only thing I knew about Uber was I didn’t want to ride in one. I have trust issues. Apparently, not trusting Uber is just one of a few feelings to have about the service.

Based on the New York Times bestseller by Mike Isaac, Super Pumped tells the story of the Silicon Valley startup that revolutionized an entire industry and created an opportunity for more jobs and side hustles. Unfortunately, like most companies that are this innovative, they’re also pretty fucked up. Misogynist behavior, uncontrollable egos, and a lack of empathy for significant incidents like when some of the Uber drivers were murdered are just a few of the “growing pains” the company goes through.

You can’t deny the success of Uber or the fact that someone as awful as Travis Kalanack got it there, but it doesn’t negate the fact that how they got there was through abhorrent behavior and unconventional, sometimes unethical, business practices. So it’s like a lot of just regular businesses but this one became famous.

Then there’s WeCrashed. My entire working life I’d dreamt about not working in an office. In 2019, I made it happen. I was working freelance from my home office and it was, and still has been, splendid. Around day 83 of not having to endure an open office space with about 14 co-workers and a daily meeting, a fellow freelancing friend asked me if I’d ever heard of WeWork, a place to work with a bunch of random people and I should try it sometime. Absolutely not. Also, I thought that’s what Starbucks was for.

Anyway, WeCrashed (Apple TV) tells the story of the rise and catastrophic fall of WeWork, Inc. – the work-sharing company that expanded to hundreds of cities and countries around the world. Then they tried to go public and it all went south. CEO and founder Adam Neumman was forced to resign and cut ties with anything involving WeWork.

You know who didn’t crash? Adam. That man walked away with a reported $1.7 billion as well as $47 million a year salary for working as a consultant which is a loophole for cutting ties, I guess. WeCrashed is another series that evokes a very “dude what the fuck?” response so I suggest watching the WeWork episode on Generation Hustle (HBO, and you should watch every episode of Generation Hustle because it’s pretty nuts. The Anna Delvey story is on it!) to prime yourself.

So if you hate your job or your boss or both, watch both of these and be thankful it’s not bad enough to get its own show. Which would actually be more entertaining than what you’re dealing with now. And you’d probably also get interviewed for it. But, you know, have a good day and whatnot.

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