And then, enter Bloomberg’s “Women Win in Venture Capital When They Don’t Sue”, an opinion piece on the news that Ellen Pao is suing her employer, a VC firm called Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, for discrimination and sexual harassment.
Let’s look at the salient points:
There are two kinds of companies in the U.S.: square ones and wild ones. The former have the advantage that they follow many rules; their disadvantage is that they aren’t always creative. The wild type, common in venture capital, does everything differently, starting with the open office.
Over the years, creative rebels have often behaved poorly in their creative workplaces. Do most of us approve? Hardly. Nobody likes, say, the way the great creator of Apple Inc. (AAPL), Steve Jobs, treated many colleagues.
To use an over-used line of thought, I think rules actually encourage creativity. It’s not like Elizabeth Bishop, Donne, Rossetti, Millay, Shakespeare, et al. would have been better off not writing sonnets. It’s rules that allowed the financial banking industry to make metric fucktonnes of money over the last twenty years, right?
Or is the author saying that there should be no contract law in the US - just buy guns and literally steal money if you want money? No rules at all! Fuck rules. Rules suck.
Write me an op-ed piece and then, when you expect me to pay you or print your byline or anything else you’d reasonably expect, I’m just going to fuck you over because - creativity. When you fear for your safety, livelihood, and very life itself, god dammit you will be creative (or be harmed/fired/killed). By this line of thought, we should all be competing in some sort of rigged, winner-take-all reality game show where the losers lose their lives… Oh, wait a second. Post-capitalist America is that. Well then, I see (but fail to concede) the point.
But creative environments boast an advantage: They contribute more growth than the old dinosaurs. The venture capitalists give money to entrepreneurs, including women. As the cowboy firms age, they tend to develop their own culture of responsibility. It’s their returns and their optimism that lured top students such as Pao in the first place.
This paragraph makes literally no sense. Who’s being compared? Is it the “entrepreneurs” versus “aged cowboy firms”? Or “creative environments” versus “dinosaurs”? So you’re saying that VCs want to give money to firms that are fucking insane? The ones where the CEO can invent an industry, then get straight up fired, them get re-hired, then fucking die, and finally, once it’s arguable the bloom is off the rose, only then see his company’s stock get the analyst respect it’s obviously earned over the last decade?
Or do you mean that VCs like hot new startups like everyone’s favorite $41 million joke, Color.app?
Oh, is it that optimism = putting up with anywhichever sort of bullshit? I have no idea what your point is.
The same trade-off between “safe” and “creative” exists among countries. Apparently it is difficult for a nation to be both intensely fair and intensely friendly to entrepreneurs.
Singapore, Hong Kong and China, New Zealand, the U.S., Denmark, Norway, the U.K., and South Korea rank at the top in the 2011 edition of the World Bank survey. Less highly ranked for “doing business,” according to the same survey, are Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Canada, Australia and Japan. Business confronts more hassles in these countries.
“Business confronts more hassles” or “The less powerful live slightly less shitty lives”: Whichever way you want to say it. It’s safe to say that, yes, again, having carte blanche to dictate the terms of the lives of the less fortunate does have a way of, say, greasing the wheels for your worldwide takeover.
Yet the very same countries that rank lower on the entrepreneurship charts star when it comes to gender equality. Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Ireland are top countries in the 2011 update of Unesco’s survey. Singapore, No. 1 for business opportunity, ranks 57th of 135 countries, below Jamaica, Namibia, Russia and Honduras on the gender-gap index.
Clearly the solution to the deficit is to roll back the 19th Amendment. Cause = identified. Gender Equality = Communism, basically.
A case such as Pao’s might do more damage in the venture- capital sector than elsewhere. Such action forces the U.S. venture capitalists over a bit on the spectrum toward safety, and away from risk.
Because the whole “socially liberal but fiscally conservative” line of thinking wasn’t fooling anyone. We all know that there’s no way you can be chasing paper all the livelong day without also being shits to everyone we want.
Pao may think her legal action will create opportunities and top jobs for the next generation of girls. In fields such as the one she chose, there might be more jobs if there were fewer discrimination lawsuits.
Yes yes yes yes yes: this logically follows. Amity Shales and Katy Roberts (author/editor/respectively) show a frightening lack of visionary thinking and, yes, sedimented patriarchy. It’s totally possible — hell, of course it’s possible — to be a woman and rich and powerful. But participating — reveling, really, — in the system of oppression that makes that accomplishment the exception rather than the norm, while expedient, is also wholly repugnant and shameful.