According to Brian Armstrong’s introductory words, you can say that he is a man of numbers.
“A lot of bad things have happened in the world this year,” the Coinbase chief said when announcing that the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States would be better ignored.
According to Armstrong’s recent blog, Coinbase’s mission is to “create an open financial system for the world.” The second half of the company’s mission statement ignored the section on being “the world’s leading brand in helping people convert digital currencies to and from the home currency”, which clearly does not convey the nobility of the purpose but does not indicate the source of the profits.
And that is really the part we should focus on, not the “economic freedom” he describes as central to Coinbase’s goals. Because Armstrong in his letter did not talk about economic freedom. It does not discuss why it is important, why it is needed, or who suffers from the deficiency.
Armstrong’s “mission-oriented” message, which commits the company to staying out of politics, practically ignores the fact that economic freedom is a political and humanitarian issue. Blocked actions on Coinbase now include discussing “political reasons or candidates in the company” and taking “actions outside of our core business mission.”
Combined with an email he later sent to employees offering layoffs of four to six months’ salary to those who agreed that “life is too short to work for a company I’m not happy with,” Armstrong’s attitude to it seems that the subject does not falsify. This is nothing more than a love letter to those interested in a potential IPO, which removes opposition from the political body Coinbase.
Coinbase’s direct listing of $ 8 billion has been the subject of industry speculation, and it was also the tool Palantir chose to “seal the billionaire’s fortunes” by co-founder Peter Thiel and CEO Alexander Karp. In a direct listing, the shareholders sell directly to buyers and avoid large agreements. What about encryption?
It is no doubt no coincidence that the email Armstrong sent to employees was written just two weeks after Karp told investors ahead of the IPO that if they wanted to change customer base or culture, they would “choose another company.”
Karp, not coincidentally, also stated that “the engineering elite in Silicon Valley … is probably the one who knows best about software. But they know no more about how to organize society or what justice requires. ”
It’s as if Armstrong read Palantir’s IPO rules.
This year, Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote: “I do not think our people are gullible. Sometimes I think they are perfect. I think the world needs a mixture of idealism and pragmatism. “But this is one of a declining number of technical leaders who believe that the idea that employees do not want to validate their beliefs when they enter Blix or Park is good.
Earlier this year, Google fired four employees who, according to it, “committed intentional and repeated violations of our long-standing data security policy.” Coincidentally, all four condemned the company’s attitude towards its employees and were concerned about the company’s relationship with some public clients.
Salesforce employees have challenged the company’s relationship with Immigration and Customs. Amazon employees criticized the sale of face recognition software to police. Even Google backed down employees’ objections to the use of artificial intelligence technology in a drone attack project.
Obviously, despite the extraordinary nature of employer-centric American labor law, which essentially gives employers the absolute right to dismiss anyone at any time for reasons other than discrimination, Big Tech stands for retaliation internally and externally.
And in the swamp that Armstrong entered, he was a fierce advocate for creating a quiet workplace, devoid of the political rhetoric that would surely interest potential Coinbase IPO investors – and they will not.
There was a time when Google’s motto was “Do not be evil.” It was simple, elegant advice that helped the company unite the motivations and beliefs of its employees, customers and even investors. Evil may not be defined, but it was part of the beauty of the sense. He focused on the feeling of kindness in each of us who chose to work in a mission-oriented organization.
Today, this slogan is “Do it right”. He told me that this is not a double talk about “we decide what is right and you can communicate with him.”