Oct 12, 2016 · 4 minutes

It’s about that time in the startup cycle. We’re all exhausted and sick of everyone’s shit.

A popular Medium post is circulating called “Fuck You Startup World” that puts an I-Can’t-Even finger right on all the things that are so damn annoying with startup “culture” celebrated in breathless blog posts and mocked so accurately in HBO’s Silicon Valley.

From the post:

 Fuck your startup scene with your 30 minute morning routines of reading TechCrunch, TNW, Wired, Gizmodo, Mashable, The Verge and ProductHunt- all so you dont feel ‘left out’. Fuck your weird fucking conversations, things like “OMG did you see Snapchat’s new feature? OMG Instagram is totally copying Snapchat? Did you see Zuck’s live townhall? OMG did you see what Elon Musk tweeted? OMG Uber raised another round!”. Fuck that. Nobody cares.

Fuck your crazy work hours. Nobody gives a fuck that Elon musk is working 100 hours a week, and Marissa Mayer pulling it to 130 hour work week while still breastfeeding her newborns. You’re not Elon Musk , you ain’t Marissa Mayer, you’re not going to get to space, and you won’t build the next Space X. Do me a favor, put your fucking Mac away and go play with your kids.

Fuck you drinking culture too. Please stop celebrating every fucking imaginary milestone with whisky, beer, or pizza and beer. Like, every ‘cool’ company has a bar now? Oh, OK, I’ll come work for you because you have the Glenlivet 17 and not the 15. That’s why I show up to work every day.

Fuck your eating disorders, why the fuck does everything has to be so extreme with you? On one end of the scale you’ve got the pizza-guzzling, office-snack hoarding monster, and on the other end you have the ‘I-must-optimize-every-living-second’ douche that only drinks fucking Soylent.Seriously, what the fuck?

A collective “amen” has rippled through the tech world’s social feeds. Pando too has spent years pointing to things we find rotten in the culture: An asshole mentality that borders on misogyny, an infantile Randian “disruption” that’s grown into a creepy embrace of the worst aspects of the government and politics, a chumminess with the world’s worst authoritarian dictators, and a total normalization and acceptance of lying to the press and users.

Guess what? It’s unlikely to change anytime soon. For one thing, the humbling correction everyone expected in 2016 simply never materialized. For another, the tech world admires assholes, as long as they achieve.

CB Insights is doing a bracket of “most admired founders,” a follow up to brackets like what VC you’d most prefer to have as your Series A investor or what the most undervalued unicorn is. It’s telling that they are asking the “most admired” founders, not the best founders or most effective founders.

Also telling are these four match-ups in round two, highlighted by CB Insights newsletter yesterday:

  • Travis Kalanick vs. Jack Ma
  • Reed Hastings vs. Larry Ellison
  • Jeff Weiner vs. Peter Thiel
  • Steve Jobs vs. Salman Khan

The “asshole” versus “nice guy” positioning can’t be accidental. A man who threatens his critics with dirty oppo researchers versus a former school teacher turned billionaire. A man who pioneered employee-friendly policies like unlimited vacation and year long parental leave versus a man whose catchphrase was famously “it’s not enough that I win, everyone else must fail.” A man who openly wrote and talked about “compassionate management” versus a man supporting Donald Trump. A man who denied his child and stiffed her mother on child support versus the guy reinventing education.

Come. On.

My prediction? Kalanick wins easily. Hastings will beat Ellison but only because Ellison’s bad boy behavior isn’t in the news anymore. Thiel-- despite being painted as the bogeyman out to destroy all media-- wins. And Jobs is a no-brainer.

This seems to be the way the vote is trending. Already in round one the prickly and controversial Sean Parker-- who has never successfully built a company himself-- has beat Max Levchin. Other victories are just bizarre: Struggling Dropbox CEO Drew Houston has beat out David Sacks, who has gotten credit for painstakingly sticking around to right everything that went wrong at Zenefits.

Weirder: Jack Dorsey who’s been viewed as a failure turning around Twitter beat out Daniel Ek-- one of the only people to build a successful business in the music industry by trying to find a solution the labels could live with. One that would not just delight consumers, but also make the music industry money.

At least Stewart Butterfield and Aaron Levie are still in the running.

You guys do this one without me. I can’t watch.