The thousands of layoffs in Big Tech are thanks to an over-hiring spree to satisfy the “vanity” of bosses at the likes of Meta and Alphabet, according to a member of the so-called PayPal Mafia.
Speaking remotely at an event hosted by banking firm Evercore, Silicon Valley VC Keith Rabois said Meta and Google had hired thousands of people to do “fake work” to hit hiring metrics out of “vanity”.
Rabois, who was an executive at PayPal in the early 2000s alongside Tesla CEO Elon Musk, said the axing of droves of jobs is overdue. “All these people were extraneous, this has been true for a long time, the vanity metric of hiring employees was this false god in some ways,” Rabois said, according to Insider.
“There’s nothing for these people to do —it’s all fake work. Now that’s being exposed, what do these people actually do, they go to meetings.”
If you haven’t already, please read our piece on how utterly fake “free market” economics is when you have winner take all markets, which these “tech” corporations are all a part of. They are simply monopolies, and have even more money and power than the Government to waste on whatever they feel like. If that means hiring massive amounts of H1B visas to come over and not really accomplish anything, consider it done.
Jon Blow can be a bit prickly, but he’s undeniably correct here. Elon Musk fired 80% of the twatter workforce, and they still undeniably have at least an order of magnitude more workers than they need. That might sound extreme, but think of what twatter actually is. It’s a shitty website, and it’s been the same shitty website for the past decade.
They don’t even have an edit feature for your tweets. They don’t have any sort of personalized feed. You can’t select from different genres of things to look at, like sports, or what have you. You can’t have multiple feeds side by side. It’s almost unbelievably basic.
The website looks like what you’d expect from a third year CompSci student’s solo term project. It’s just flat out not that complicated, and it was built a decade ago and hasn’t meaningfully changed since.
Before Musk bought the company their workforce was over 7,500. It is now down to 1,300, or about 20% of the original crowd, with approximately 500 engineers. The crazy thing is that they still have way too many engineers. Seriously, what the hell do they do all day? They don’t add features. They don’t change the UI. Any challenging problems were solved a decade ago.
I said at the time that the narrative that twatter would collapse after Musk fired all these people was totally false. If I may be so base as to quote myself.
Nevertheless, the other side of the kosher sandwich is intolerable and completely out of touch with reality. Twatter had almost exactly 7,500 employees. Musk fired half of them, and now they’re projected to retain just a bit more than 10% of the original headcount. Let’s call it 1,000 employees. They’d be totally fine with a tiny fraction of that.
Twatter is the best example of “they’re not tech companies,” going. It’s literally just a shitty website in a winner take all market. I have no idea what twatter looked like when it was founded, but ever since I’ve been paying attention to politics, which started roughly in 2015, the site has been functionally identical, just with more censorship. These people pretend they’ve got some sort of mammoth project going on here, when in reality they don’t do anything of any consequence.
It’s a real shock that predictions of twatter’s demise never came through after they fired these people.
Musk could shrink twatter’s team by another 80%, bringing it down to about 5% of the original workforce, and it would be fine. They’d still have over 300 employees, which would probably be way too much. At least then you could make the argument that you need all the non-engineers for negotiating deals, lawyering, etcetera.
I can’t get over this. It’s like people think that tech problems aren’t solved after a certain amount of time. What should have happened with twatter was a bunch of engineers built the thing, then a tiny skeleton crew maintained it. Do we have Microsoft Word teams number in the tens of thousands? How many people does Apple have slaving away while maintaining iTunes? Even amongst wasteful “tech” corporations twatter and Facebook stood out as having workforces absurdly decoupled from the pitiful amount of work to be done.
And are they good? Do they at least polish the things they make to a high level? Not even close. Modern “tech” companies are so absurdly poorly run that you get stuff like this happening. A menu that takes 5 seconds to load.
People have been saying for years that these “tech” companies have these mystifyingly large workforces that they can’t possibly justify through their output. That’s true of all of them. Microsoft, Apple, Google, Twatter, Facebook, the list goes on. They just flat out don’t need to have the workforce that they have, and it’s not a “10% too many workers” problem, it’s more like a “95% too many workers,” problem. They can sit back, hire skeleton crews to maintain what they already have as the winners of winner take all markets and then just do nothing. This is essentially what they already do, just with tons of important people’s daughters hired to do nothing.
The job cuts across the tech sector have been painful for employees. Google owner Alphabet cut 12,000 jobs in January with CEO Sundar Pichai saying he took “full responsibility” for the job losses. Meta laid off 11,000 in 2022 at a reported cost of $88,000 per head—and there could yet be more to come.
As part of founder Mark Zuckerberg’s “Year of Efficiency”, Meta is rumored to be slashing even more jobs in 2023, saying middle managers and those working on underperforming projects would feel the sharpest end of the policy.
Perhaps the tide has turned, with these corporations getting in on the whole “fire everybody” act. If it stops being considered cool and trendy for them to have enormous workforces, expect the techbros to get holocausted. I don’t even say that with glee, since a lot of those guys are good guys – some are cunts – it just is what it is.
Many of the ultra high quality engineers, such as John Carmack, are leaving of their own volition. If you’ve already got a net worth of $10 million and a galaxy sized brain, why stick around and work for the incompetent doofuses who don’t listen and turn you into this.
The idea that these are tech companies really needs to die. They’re just the winners of winner take all markets. Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg’s shitty website. The only real value is that all of your friends are using it. Twitter is even more pathetic. Google at least made their own custom hardware way back in the day. Except, back in the day they had literally not even 1% of their workforce. I’m not kidding.
Here’s what their market cap looks like in the same time period. They’ve grown in headcount 100x since 2004. They’ve grown in share price about 19x. Factoring inflation, that’s about a 10x increase in “value.” But even that misses the point, since it’s hard to see what they actually do these days, other than discriminate against their White employees.
Apple makes decent hardware and software, but has 164,000 employees. They need that to not improve literally any of the software that I use on my iPhone and in some cases make it worse. It takes 150,000+ employees to churn out overpriced iPhones.
Microsoft has 221k employees. They had 61k in 2005, and that was at least a half decade after they needed to do any serious improvements to their operating system, or even make much new software.
Bill Gates bought an operating system and then exploited the difficulties in porting software, especially back in the day, to grift himself an empire. But at least he actually contributed to the operating system himself.
These workforces are simply unrelated to their work. They exist because it’s considered high status to have lots of workers, and there are probably the sons and daughters of rich and important faggots who need to work somewhere.
Rabois added that shifting away from a focus on growth and instead looking at profitability metrics—revenue per employee—will be the next frontier for tech giants. He adds that cutting employee headcount is the easiest way to preserve and generate cash flow.
However, while shifting focus has been suitable for those at the top of the tree, for the 150,000 people who lost their jobs in 2022—and the additional tens of thousands who have been let go this year—it’s been “devastating”.
These people didn’t ****ing do anything. They just sat there and took a paycheck. Watch the video again.
I remember a graphic once which claimed that Apple could pay every single one of their workers around $150,000 more than they already earned just to get back to zero profitability. It was well sourced, but I can’t find it now. In any case it doesn’t matter, because the real story is that these fake tech companies could fire 90% of their workforces and then pay their existing employees 10x more and you would never know the difference.