A new documentary gives us an opportunity to ask: what the hell good is startup culture?
Back for his second turn in the hot seat, filmmaker Benji Wade and I discuss the new documentary WeWork: or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn (streaming on Hulu).
Unlike our last film episode, we actually recommend watching this one — and we use the occasion of a better than average film about one of recent history’s most spectacular failures to ask some pretty important questions, like:
- Why do so few startups become sustainable?
- Is the misery left by all that wasted time, energy and money worth the few that go on to become Facebook (and destabilize society in the process)?
- Does anyone consider the ethics and real-world misery of this modality of business, or does profit justify all?
For people who like conversations about non-traditional work, freelancing, independent contracting, the gig economy and burnout.
And whether we like it or not, it’s something we need to think about. Independent contracting and telework will become more common as companies cut costs by moving wokers offsite in the post-COVID era.
Like last time, Benji threw out some other topically related films to also check out:
- Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
- Roger and Me (on offshoring)
- The Big One (on corporate downsizing)
- Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (Business disaster porn)
- The Century of the Self (Freudian psychology, advertising & control)
- Power of Nightmares (neo-conservatism)
- All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (life in the digital age)