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What the ‘nonpolitical’ startup leader teaches us about company culture

Jun 4, 2021

All eyes have recently been on Basecamp, which lost about a third of its workforce at the end of last month after banning “societal and political discussions” at work. Late last year, Coinbase was embroiled in a similar controversy after its CEO declared that political activism at work is a distraction, leading to a smaller but still significant employee exodus.

Before that, controversies erupted at Google, Facebook and other prominent tech firms, leading to virtual employee walkouts and work stoppages. We continue to see headlines that highlight tech company employee revolts over management edicts or perceived policy failures.

These company meltdowns reflect a societal change, and those in the startup community ought to take notice. The strife may be attributable to changing generational expectations in some cases, or an excess of “tech bro” culture in others, but the reality is that things have changed.