Ashton Kutcher is a walking conflict of interest. He invests his acting fortune into startups like Uber and then promotes those companies without disclosing his financial ties. Now that Uber's culture of sleaze is making headlines across the country, Ashton's back out there defending Uber's exposed plans to discredit reporters who dare criticize Uber.
Yik Yak may not be a household name like Snapchat, but it's almost as popular. The anonymous college bulletin board app was founded by three frat brothers at Furman University last fall and has already pulled in around $85 million in venture capital. Like other apps born out of frats, two of the founders allegedly screwed the third out of the company—only this time it was under parental supervision.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick just responded to privacy and ethics concerns about Emil Michael, after the top executive publicly suggested paying $1 million to smear journalists who have criticized the multi-billion corporation. Kalanick's medium of choice was Twitter and his method was a "tweetstorm," a series of thoughts that give the illusion of substance and circumspection because they are presented in a numerical order.
Uber's competitors, regulators, and drivers can take a breath. The company, which believes it is worth $25 billion, has a new nemesis: reporters who don't follow the puff piece protocol. A top Uber executive suggested hiring opposition researchers "specifically to spread details of the personal life of a female journalist who has criticized the company," reports Buzzfeed.
Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam is a testament to just how far you can push a venture capitalist. The Yale graduate is one of tech's foremost delusional fools—repeatedly embarrassing himself, his company, and everyone connected with it. He eventually resigned from the startup after publicly praising parts of a serial killer's manifesto. Yet it took a post about thieving from Whole Foods for one of his investors to finally disown him.
Just over two years ago, Google's Sergey Brin was on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week, taking a bow following fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg's Google Glass-studded show. Back then, Google Glass was riding a high wave of positive press: The New York Times proposed it was "the future of technology" and fashion critic Vanessa Friedman mused that Glass was "the next big accessory." But Glassholes have since turned face computing into a social malfunction, and now Reuters is reporting the project's future is in jeopardy.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick believes in magic. With the "magic" of driverless cars, he recently said on stage, the cost of his car service will become cheaper because riders don't have to pay for "the other dude in the car," i.e. the human driver. Now with Uber's new Spotify partnership, you don't even have to listen to him!
Google has become the latest tech company hit with a lawsuit for exploiting contract workers. Reuters reports that a class action suit has been filed against Google, alleging the company misclassified employees as independent contractors. The plaintiff behind the suit also alleges he was refused the overtime wages and was not paid for all the time spent working.
The recruiting funnel from the Ivy League to Goldman Sachs has been short on engineers ever since Silicon Valley decided to exploit Wall Street's moral failings to fill their tech campuses. But according to Dealbook, the vampiric cephalopod is biting back with a "new, hipper website" and a bunch of buzzwords.
Twitter just can't get it together. Their corporate vision is blurred, executives are fleeing, and when the company spent an entire day trying to impress Wall Street investors, they botched it by opening a garbage bag of a "strategy statement." Now concerns over the company's future has led Standard and Poor's to rate Twitter's debt as "junk."
When Reddit CEO Yishan Wong announced that the crowd-sourced news site had raised $50 million, he called his financiers "patient, long-term investors who support our views on difficult issues." But less than two months later that patience seems to have run out and over a suspiciously simple dispute.
Single-room-occupancy hotels are some of the last scraps of low-income housing left in San Francisco. But for the city's high-tech strata, they're just another piece of property to flip for profit. And one tech-centric housing company stands accused of using unlawful evictions to turn a SoMa SRO into a gaudy co-op for dozens of tech workers.