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United States Businesses The Almighty Buck

Investors Who Back VC Funds Are Worried About Valley Culture (axios.com) 117

An anonymous reader shares a report: Limited partners in venture capital funds are having conversations about how to prevent themselves from investing in the next Binary Capital, the Silicon Valley firm that has collapsed over allegations that one of its co-founders sexually harassed female entrepreneurs. This includes the largest LP trade group -- the Institutional Limited Partners Association -- which tells Axios that it is planning to address these issues this summer, as part of the development of its new ILPA Principles 3.0 document. Silicon Valley, and venture capital in particular, has swept sexual harassment under the rug for decades. Binary Capital, coming on top of the situation at Uber, has grabbed that rug and begun to shake it vigorously.
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Investors Who Back VC Funds Are Worried About Valley Culture

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Read the allegations. It sounds like they're selectively quoting a FB message where he's accusing her of hitting on him.

    This is more like the baizuo want to push for cultural takeover of SV because they consider it a strategic asset.

    • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @12:37AM (#54723713)

      This is more like the baizuo want to push for cultural takeover of SV because they consider it a strategic asset.

      Yup, and they'll defend bullies to do it, as long as those bullies express the right politics. A good example happened just this weekend:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      TL;DW - A feminist panelist at a conference recognizes a critic in the audience and uses her position behind the mic to berate and insult him. The conference acknowledges this as violation of their rules, yet apologizes to her (without ever even contacting the attendee she abused) and still allows her to sit on a second panel about (no bullshit) dealing with harassment and bullying. One of her fellow panelists (IMO one of the kindest and most innocuous humans on the internet) has been anxious for months just knowing he'd be in same room with her and walks on eggshells around her, terrified of what might set her off. Sure enough, after the panel she immediately accosts him and cusses him out.

      The conference eventually releases a public statement making excuse after excuse for her behavior. That's what it means to reach Cruise/Travolta status in your cult, I suppose.

      • Oh fuck right off. He's not a "critic", he's a harasser that deliberately took up the front rows with a gang of his cronies in a transparent play to intimidate her, and she wasn't having his shit.

        She gets endless death and rape threats online every day, and you want her to play nice-nice with that pack of fuckwits?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by geoskd ( 321194 )

          he's a harasser that deliberately took up the front rows with a gang of his cronies in a transparent play to intimidate her, and she wasn't having his shit.

          People are not allowed to have it both ways. You can't play the victim and then undertake the same behaviors you are complaining about in others. It makes you a hypocrite. People will put up with a lot, but will not tolerate a hypocrite.

          What she should have done is simply ignore them, and if they start to make a scene, let the crowd take care of them. If the crowd wont do anything about it, then surely the local and possibly national news media will.

          If your boss behaved the way she did, you would make damn

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            I agree, Sargon can't scream harassment now when he had called Sarkeesian much worse.

            She could have handled it better, sure. Rather than let the crowd attack him, which he seemed to have anticipated since he brought allies to support him, simply asking the organisers to remove him would have been better. He had already broken the conference rules multiple times.

            • by geoskd ( 321194 )

              I agree, Sargon can't scream harassment now when he had called Sarkeesian much worse

              You'll not hear an argument form me on that score. There was never any doubt in my mind that he is an asshole. The only thing that has changed is my opinion of her has dropped to nearly his level.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I was wondering when this would come to. Here's what actually happened.

        Anita Sarkeesian was on a panel at Vidcon. Carl Benjamin, aka Sargon of Akkad on YouTube, turned to with his entourage and occupied the first two rows of the audience. He started filming, which Vidcon asked people not to.

        For context, Carl has spent years obsessing over Sarkeesian. His Twitter page has a picture of her in the banner. His videos about her are some of his most popular and lucrative. He claims he is merely criticising her, b

        • She is only human... Excuse her failings but not others.

          You are the fucking problem, dipshit.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Getting a bit worked up one time is forgiveable, especially considering she was being intimidated at the time. Sargon has a history of, at the very least, taking things she says out of context and it's likely that was one reason for filming her.

            If Sargon wants a debate, he can simply ask and accept the rejection (and make a shitty video about it). Following her around in public with his entourage isn't acceptable behavior. He flew there from the UK, thousands of miles, just to bother her.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          That's rich. The woman is pretty much a whore willing to say or do whatever she needs to do in order to keep the feminist bucks rolling in. And that includes things like lying and plagiarism.

          She's a thoroughly vapid individual that deserves the criticism she gets. If she would just show evidence of a brain she might be able to avoid some of the criticism. But, no, she's a man-hating feminist bitch and nothing will distract from that point. People like you ought to be ashamed of yourselves for enabling such

        • by gweihir ( 88907 )

          Well, my suggestion would be to not go to a panel where a known aggressive and self-absorbed asshole is in the panel. Ignoring these people robs them of what the thrive on: Attention.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Sargon was in the audience, not on the panel. They didn't really vet the audience members, something of a mistake given the history.

  • Easy (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Don't hire women.

    That may sound sexist. But the reality is; if you can't trust the boys to behave around girls, or the girls not to accuse the boys, just keep them apart. No judgement about who was right, wrong, made false accusations, or thought the business was just a big frat party.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This comment brought to you by the Taliban. Banning women since 1991.

    • Right, so let the women design and build the equipment and put the men in the basement to handle the support help desks.

    • Sounds like you would fit in great in the middle east.

    • The more popular solution is to hire only men for department A and only women for department B.
      Men can do the real work, while women do irrelevant stuff like HR, accounting or legal.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      There is no need for that. Most adult women are perfectly capable to say "no" as forcefully as needed and, if necessary, back that up with a full-armed slap to the face. That usually resolves the problem nicely.

  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @10:08PM (#54723391)

    There are other, nicer places with better culture.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There is nothing wrong with Silicon Valley. The key is not to work for sociopaths or shitty companies. Plenty of recruiters contact me asking if I am available to work at the next greatest company selling mobile applications or social media experiences. I always tell them no. Those companies are run by incompetent bros barely out of diapers with no concrete plans for profitability. As much as I loved working for small companies in the past, the days of competent adults founding and running these types of bu

    • by Britz ( 170620 )

      Does the location really matter? Slashdot is full of comments that try exactly what the summary says: Deny any sexism takes place in the tech industry as a whole. We already have a comment lamenting reverse sexism. This whole comment section will be full of similar comments denying any such problem exists at all soon. Coming from exactly the kind of people that are the problem. Which wouldn't be surprising. What gets me every time is the approval in the from of karma, which suggests that the sentiment is wi

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        Out of curiosity, what about sexism is unique to the tech industry? I'd be inclined to think it was a broader cultural phenomenon and not something unique to technology, I would also assume it has some regional variation along with culture.

    • There are other, nicer places with better culture.

      Finally, the comment I was looking for about the location.

      First of all, it's the most expensive part of the country, & gives Manhattan a run for its money. In the 90s, I understood the argument that 83% of the world's VCs were based there. However, that was not a good reason not to explore and establish other 'valleys' - be it Seattle, N Sioux City (former Gateway land), Huntsville, et al. A diversification of that would have ensured a more even availability of talent, rather than try & relocat

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Yes, come to my rural city. :P

  • You'll never be able to fix the "sexual harassment problem" in Silicon Valley. Why? Because:

    1) Liberal Silicon Valley will keep moving the goalposts on what constitutes sexual harassment. The more you do to fix it, the more the goalposts will move--until virtually everything is considered harassment.

    2) Firms will keep hiring more women in hopes that it will virtue signal that they're progressive. These women will repay this effort by filing more and more sexual harassment claims. You'll hire more women to f

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Redpillers in 2017 lul.

    • Silicon valley is not very liberal, it's very much libertarian.

      • Silicon valley is not very liberal, it's very much libertarian.

        Not according to voting patterns. Congresspeople from SV are not libertarian. Dianne Feinstein has won solid majorities in SV, despite being an across the board authoritarian.

        • Feinstein is in San Francisco, Silicon Valley is not.

          • Feinstein is in San Francisco, Silicon Valley is not.

            Feinstein is a senator. She is elected statewide. I think you have her confused with Nancy Pelosi (congresswoman from SF, and house minority leader).

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          libertarian ... being an across the board authoritarian.

          Look at how many "libertarians" (especially Koch and similar) behave on employment issues (as one example) and you'll see no difference.

    • Obligatory:

      https://youtu.be/MtgSpGFTmTs [youtu.be]

    • One solution would be - don't hire any men. Then the only sexual complaints will be about lesbianism. Of course, this assuming one can't leave Silicon Valley in the first place
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Over the years the most creative environments I've ever been in, would now be considered the most toxic. Crude language, rough housing, liberal amounts of beer, meditation, music and so forth have played major roles in helping people to innovate. Every shop I've been in has done things differently (depends on the people).

    Whats going to happen when people are not allowed to go against the grain?

    • I work with some women who have come from very repressive cultures. They love that they come to North America and the guys are crude as crap (in my professional work place), but not in any negative way to women. More the fart joke taken way too far crude. Whereas in their culture everyone was really polite while treating women like crap.

      A stilted workplace simply can't be creative. But some people will take this opening the wrong way and it can be very hard to explain to them that crude does not equal mea
  • by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @11:22PM (#54723581)

    Binary Capital, the Silicon Valley firm that has collapsed[...]

    So, Binary Capital went from 1 to 0?

  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @02:57AM (#54723909)
    I have been in the tech world for more than 3 decades. I have also seen the VC scene in many places from big to podunk. I would say that the VC types that I meet come in 3 main flavours. Arrogant bean counters who know what is good for you. Arrogant assholes who think they are god. And Arrogant thieves who pretty much have to rip you off to make themselves feel better.

    My favourite was at a recent tech talk by a woman (who gives government money to VCs) (Canada) who said that she won't give money if the founders make too much (over 100k) but that she was leaving government to become an advisor to a start-up that had recently raised around 5m. I asked her if she was only going to take 100k. She pretty much yelled at me that I had no understanding of the real world.

    Her theory was that if you give the founders more than 100k in salary they become distracted spending it.

    I was wondering how I could expose her in some way for the corruption she was displaying by working for a company she had just given government money to when I witnessed one of the tech people who had attended her talk, keying the living crap out of her car with the words, 100k over and over.

    It was a brand new higher end BMW BTW. On a funny note, there is nothing funnier than some podunk tech "titan" who sells some company for 10-20 mil and starts giving TED style keynote speeches that are the tech equivalent of spiritual mumbo-jumbo while wearing clothing that they spent much time and money on trying to look really casual. The contrast with the person who usually gives a too long winded introduction and wears an ill-fitting off the rack suit just makes it all funnier.

    Then all the desperate start-up types try their damnedest to "network" with the speaker who basically holds out their hand for their ring to be kissed.

    I love how they play up their serial entrepreneur business creds when their actual history is: fail-fail-fail-fail-lottery-fail-fail-fail-fail.
    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      I love how they play up their serial entrepreneur business creds when their actual history is: fail-fail-fail-fail-lottery-fail-fail-fail-fail.

      Works that way in other environments too. For example, applying for academic funding two times and getting it each time counts as "less experienced" than somebody applying 5 times and getting it only once. Happened to me. The level of stupidity expressed in this is staggering.

  • Take your great ideas, money and skills to a more business friendly part of the USA. Make the best part of a very poor city in a poor state an offer.
    The fastest internet connected to the site. Low cost power. The ability to hire based on skills needed. Offer locals lots of new jobs for landscaping, as guards, as technicians to swap server hardware during the night.
    Somewhere in the USA a state and city exist that really needs to do a deal. That has working power supplies, fast internet and a lot of em
  • Nice job tanking the economy by making up allegations of sexual harassment every time a man you don't like makes a pass at you!

  • VCs created the toxic culture in the valley, and now they are crying about how it harms the viability of their equally toxic business model? I hope they all line up and die in a fire, one at a time. The inrush of shitheels is due specifically to VCs handing out money to anyone who can get their crayon sharp enough to draw up a business plan.

  • Here's the thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ryanrule ( 1657199 ) on Saturday July 01, 2017 @05:56AM (#54724239)
    This is not a tech problem. This is a finance problem. Stop hiring the asshole children of rich assholes.
  • We have seen the aftermath of the last "Valley Culture". "You know, like, gag me with a spoon". Do we really want that type of culture to persist all over again?

  • The proposed fixes usually are worse than the original problem - where political correctness and mandated diversity make things worse.

    Fact.

Harrison's Postulate: For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

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