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October 22, 2014 10:42 AM   Subscribe

In the Billfold: a tale of a day-long tryout for an early stage startup, the author dubs The Start-up From Hell. The COO responds in Valleywag, "While it posted today (October 21), the article [...] relates to an experience she says she had 15 months ago. [...] At that time, Handybook employed less than 15 people. Today, Handy is two and a half years old and employs 200 people. [...] In short, as we continue to grow we're working every day to ensure the happiness of our customers and employees." posted by Potomac Avenue (66 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
For instance, today our customer experience team works a regular eight-hour shift, not 12. We supply our employees with laptops, they don't use their own. And we don't ask prospective employees to work a trial day before they are hired. Was it always this way? No. And when Amanda says she applied nearly a year and a half ago, our company was newer, smaller and still figuring out best practices. In short, things are different today than they were then.

See, I'm no genius, and I probably couldn't raise, like, one dollar of venture capital. And yet "I know, I'll have people work seventy hours a week on their own laptops and relentlessly underquote jobs because I cannot even be bothered to use the googs" would never even occur to me as the starting point on my business plan. If you are a grown adult who ever thought those things were "best practices", I'm not entirely sanguine about your general intelligence.

God, what shits people are, though. The shitification of the economy and with it the entire social world.
posted by Frowner at 11:02 AM on October 22, 2014 [45 favorites]


I mean, you can take this as "You can be successful in life even if you don't really have any idea what you're doing".

Er, if you're a privelaged white man with ivy league schooling, that is.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:05 AM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well, privileged Indian with Ivy League schooling in this case, FWIW.
posted by Naberius at 11:06 AM on October 22, 2014 [8 favorites]


So... what happens to the "independent contractor" who shows up at the house that was quoted $250 for a retiling job? Is he contractually obligated to do two days of work for less than minimum wage? Or is just a "strike" if he backs out of the completely unreasonable deal between two completely unreasonable parties?
posted by Mayor West at 11:06 AM on October 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


"still figuring out best practices"

This. Send someone to an elite school and then educate them at a top-notch consulting firm and then watch them fumble the basics when they strike out on their own. That says a lot about what life is going to be like working for them.

That being said, some times you need to make rent and any job will help out for a little bit, so one may have to overlook the obvious red flags and suck it up for awhile.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:13 AM on October 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


The full day unpaid trial is phenomenally shitty (and it sounds like it's probably illegal here). On the bright side, she found out this place was filled with crazy and obnoxious people and got out of a toxic environment with a minimum of time wasted.

I still wonder why sit on it for 15 months though. It seems kind of like a new form of startup lottery journalism: find a tiny startup, discover the suck, wait for startup to make it big, publish.
posted by zachlipton at 11:14 AM on October 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


bookmarked in my "no your job isn't that bad" folder - thanks
posted by thelonius at 11:19 AM on October 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


If you are a grown adult who ever thought those things were "best practices", I'm not entirely sanguine about your general intelligence.

This excuse has been trotted out so many times by so many tech founders who are "disrupting laundry" or whatever that it's not credible anymore. Whenever a former McKinsey consultant tries out the LOL JUST KIDS defense, I hear, "We were happy to exploit people until our investors' lawyers' told us to stop."
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:26 AM on October 22, 2014 [20 favorites]


Whenever a former McKinsey consultant tries out the LOL JUST KIDS defense, I hear,

"Triangle Shirtwaist Company reports greatly improved understanding of best practices in fire safety"
posted by RogerB at 11:28 AM on October 22, 2014 [60 favorites]


our company was newer, smaller and still figuring out best practices.

"The stuff we thought was just unethical is actually illegal (whoops!) We'll stick to legal unethical practices from here on out, promise!"
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:30 AM on October 22, 2014 [11 favorites]


I was the one that asked this anonymous question some time ago, about a similar interview process, although in that case the organization was not a start-up, but rather, PETA. In that case, they wanted two days of full "working interview," which I ended up politely declining and withdrew my candidacy.

Of course, I was subsequently unable to find a job until about a month later, and it ended up being an even-lower paying temp job at the local government, which I held for a year and utterly hated, but now that it's behind me, I'm grateful to the circumstances* that made it possible for me to send that dignity-preserving email declining the working interview.

*specifically, the lovely friends whose couch I then continued to live in.
posted by Aubergine at 11:30 AM on October 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


How did they manage to keep going despite their complete unprofessionalism?
posted by Omnomnom at 11:37 AM on October 22, 2014


Whenever a former McKinsey consultant tries out the LOL JUST KIDS defense, I hear, "We were happy to exploit people until our investors' lawyers' told us to stop."

It's the great American way! If your bootstraps aren't made from exploited employees contractors, you're doing it wrong.
posted by rtha at 11:40 AM on October 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Obviously there are a lot of reasons people object to "start-up" culture but I feel like I've only slowly, over the last few years, identified my own. I don't really like to think about how much I hate the intersection of several of the industries involved in this debacle, including investors, consulting firms, and start-ups, because they force me to confront something I can barely let myself believe even though I know that it's true. I want to believe, really deeply like the way people believe they'll fall in love someday, that there is at least a minimal meritocracy. Not an equality of opportunity- there are millions of people who I know could be computer programmers or corporate consultants, but were born in the wrong country, or went to the wrong school, or are the slightly wrong race or gender or some other factor that derails them somewhere along the way- but an equality of skill. Like, if some dude makes it through an elite business school and gets $30 million to reproduce the yellow pages it's because it's a damn good version of the phonebook, and the company is run like a supremely-well-oiled machine. That if you had the job or the company, it was because you were basically competent.

But it turns out that's not how it works at all, and if I look too closely at that, like staring into the sun, I'll go (rage) blind.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:42 AM on October 22, 2014 [22 favorites]


Omnomnom: How did they manage to keep going despite their complete unprofessionalism?

By leveraging their synergies to align new paradigms to find out who moved their cheese, that's how.
posted by dr_dank at 11:42 AM on October 22, 2014 [13 favorites]


"At Handybook, our best practices include obeying the law!"
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:43 AM on October 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


"At Handybook, our best practices include obeying the law!"

I'm afraid we're going to have to run that past legal, first.
posted by malocchio at 11:50 AM on October 22, 2014 [14 favorites]


Not an equality of opportunity- there are millions of people who I know could be computer programmers or corporate consultants, but were born in the wrong country, or went to the wrong school, or are the slightly wrong race or gender or some other factor that derails them somewhere along the way...

The first and most important factor being whether you are or aren't willing to fuck over everyone around you in order to get ahead.
posted by ennui.bz at 11:54 AM on October 22, 2014


The GlassDoor reviews back up this article and many of them are more recent than 15-months. The five-star are written by marketing to influence the star rating; don't trust them. The CEO responds to negative reviews defensively which is a bad sign on GlassDoor.
posted by michaelh at 11:55 AM on October 22, 2014 [13 favorites]


I still wonder why sit on it for 15 months though. It seems kind of like a new form of startup lottery journalism: find a tiny startup, discover the suck, wait for startup to make it big, publish.

It didn't actually seem like that to me -- it was a pretty long article by blurb-y web standards and I can imagine that writing the whole thing up like the day after it happened would have been doubly demoralizing.
posted by kate blank at 11:58 AM on October 22, 2014


I still wonder why sit on it for 15 months though. It seems kind of like a new form of startup lottery journalism: find a tiny startup, discover the suck, wait for startup to make it big, publish.

Why would you bother writing about a company that nobody knows or cares about and might fold up on its own in six months? This makes perfect sense to me. You seem to imply that not wasting your time and choosing your subjects prudently is somehow unfair to startups.
posted by JackFlash at 11:58 AM on October 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


From a response to the one of the negative reviews on GlassDoor:

"Handy does not employee any cleaners.

It appears that you are one of the service professionals using our platform as a contractor. Per terms of use Glassdoor is for employees.

Oisin"


WHAT a bastardy thing to say. Is this Oisin person for real? Who is fooled by those words?
posted by droplet at 11:59 AM on October 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


Oh, this is the company that bought Exec, a service I had tried once. They didn't bother to inform the existing Exec customers of the change, which meant I started getting strange emails from a company I had never heard of one day. Good job, guys.
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:00 PM on October 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Why oh why do none of these people decide to create a business that disrupts shitbags, or disrupts the cycle of poverty
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:00 PM on October 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I was about to quote that bit about "not employing cleaners" but I was torn between "I hope this guy rots in hell" and...actually, I hadn't come up with a different sentiment but I don't believe in hoping people rot in hell. Oisin Hanrahan is apparently the real deal, though.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:02 PM on October 22, 2014


LOL those responses to negative Glassdoor reviews are gold. "Dealing with your points in turn: Dude / bro / elitism - As a leadership team we have been guilty of focusing on high performers and not giving enough coaching / support to under performing team members. We need to work on this." Yeah, that's NOT what he said.
posted by sunset in snow country at 12:02 PM on October 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


No money in it.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:03 PM on October 22, 2014


Why oh why do none of these people decide to create a business that disrupts shitbags

For real, there's got to be a lot of money in shitbag disintermediation — the invisible hand is crying out for disruptive innovation in the market between these guys and the investors they bilk. We just need to open it up, with an incubator for crowdsourced shitbaggery. (Incubatr?) Investor-customers can submit requests for proposals, and the McKinsey kids with an idea for a website that transforms a service industry by externalizing all of its costs can compete directly, while we pass the savings on and drive the McKinsey kids' bids down (by externalizing all of their costs). The time is ripe for the Uber of "the Uber of" website business plans website business plan.
posted by RogerB at 12:15 PM on October 22, 2014 [13 favorites]


And the fake reviews are so fake. Jesus. It's like those scams where they deliberately make it hokey and unbelievable so that they only ensnare the most gullible victims. (I don't mean to blame the victim here, I know firsthand that financial realities can mean you have to ignore the red flags and just take a job. But you would have to have drank some serious koolaid to ACTUALLY believe those.)

Also, I hope this doesn't come across as a derail or axe-grindy, but I couldn't help reading the "privileged white guy" > "nope, actually privileged Indian guy" through the lens of an FPP I made about whether Asians benefit from white privilege (the article made this case largely on the basis of our representation in tech)... and then I got to the part about the ching chong Chinese washer woman impression. We are in such a weird place right now.
posted by sunset in snow country at 12:15 PM on October 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


Who is fooled by those words?

For now, venture capitalists. Soon, everyone; Uber just hired David Plouffe to do their PR, I was just reading this morning, can't remember if it was the Times or the WSJ. Welcome to the new economy, where companies don't hire you, but instead charge you 30% for providing you with the opportunity to sell your self for minimum wage for 10 to 40ish hours a week, no guarantees. Having a TOS that reads like the packaging on the Happy Fun Ball is indeed a requirement to be worth a billion dollars these days.
posted by Diablevert at 12:34 PM on October 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


Diablevert: For now, venture capitalists. Soon, everyone; Uber just hired David Plouffe to do their PR

I would bet even money that he was hired as a plain-'ol salary+benefits+predictable hours employee. Funny how the "just-in-time/crowdsource/sharing economy new paradigm" seems to stop after a certain level up the food chain.
posted by dr_dank at 12:41 PM on October 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Is this Oisin person for real?

Debatable. He's supposed to have lived 300 vigorous years in the Land of Youth, only to wither and fade the instant his foot touched mortal soil. I can't imagine why he's harassing temp workers on GlassDoor.
posted by Iridic at 12:42 PM on October 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


Well, privileged Indian with Ivy League schooling in this case, FWIW.

The actual guy is white though, right? This Oisin guy? It looks like the article might have given him an Indian name for the purpose of anonymity.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:50 PM on October 22, 2014


And the fake reviews are so fake. Jesus.

Not only are the fake reviews obvious, but the Chicago GM was just caught posting an obnoxious comment disparaging the writer of the article on Billfold:

This reads like a Judy Blume novel for teens – too many adjectives and clearly exaggated. Sounds like you have an axe to grind. Good luck in the real world.

He was dumb enough to use the same name he uses on Twitter and LinkedIn. He's since edited his named on both of those accounts, but someone grabbed a screenshot.

I mean, I do hate it when assholes are successful, but it's so much worse when they're not even at baseline competency.
posted by pineappleheart at 12:51 PM on October 22, 2014 [16 favorites]


The fundamental mindset that drives this sort of thing is the notion that you should be happy for any job that you can get with the subtext being that if this is the best job you can get, you deserve anything you have coming to you. As long as employers have the idea that they're doing you a favor by allowing you to perform their critical tasks, this is what you'll get. This is definitely how non-senior-engineers are viewed at a start-up.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:51 PM on October 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


He's from Dublin
posted by asockpuppet at 12:54 PM on October 22, 2014


By leveraging their synergies to align new paradigms to find out who moved their cheese, that's how

I hate you.
posted by Omnomnom at 12:55 PM on October 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


#notallstartups
posted by idiopath at 1:01 PM on October 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


The actual guy is white though, right? This Oisin guy? It looks like the article might have given him an Indian name for the purpose of anonymity.

There are two co-founders. Oisin Hanrahan is the Glassdoor guy. Umang Dua is "Ajay."
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:03 PM on October 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


And for the record I don't know anything about either of their ethnicities, and don't think it's super-relevant here. Dua's resume is the key to the roman à clef.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:05 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


For real, there's got to be a lot of money in shitbag disintermediation — the invisible hand is crying out for disruptive innovation in the market between these guys and the investors they bilk. We just need to open it up, with an incubator for crowdsourced shitbaggery. (Incubatr?) Investor-customers can submit requests for proposals, and the McKinsey kids with an idea for a website that transforms a service industry by externalizing all of its costs can compete directly, while we pass the savings on and drive the McKinsey kids' bids down (by externalizing all of their costs). The time is ripe for the Uber of "the Uber of" website business plans website business plan.

You're thinking too small. I'm sure there's a dozen Silicon Valley startups already trying to aggregate shitbag capital, and they're all going to be better funded than us. I say we let them all fight it out between themselves for market domination of shitbag VC investors. What we need to focus on is disintermediating shitbag-disintermediators. We'll aggregate the various Incubatr's of the Valley, letting the discerning venture capitalist choose between rent-seeking disintermediators who are disintermediating shitbag brogrammers. We'll be the Uber of "the Uber of

SEGMENTATION FAULT
posted by Mayor West at 1:06 PM on October 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


and then I got to the part about the ching chong Chinese washer woman impression. We are in such a weird place right now.

Yeah, between that and the marketing guys gay-baiting Josh (FREE JOSH!) I reeeeeally didn't want to believe these people were real, but felt that sinking feeling that it's all unavoidably real.

Not only are the fake reviews obvious, but the Chicago GM was just caught posting an obnoxious comment disparaging the writer of the article on Billfold

This is one of those situations where the comments on the original article are a treat. Especially check out the inept takedown from (I believe as-yet unidentified) WorkinHardBrother and the savage response. (Oh, and this... yeesh.)
posted by psoas at 1:38 PM on October 22, 2014


Handybook is the worst. I feel the model for the cleaning "disruption" apps is fundamentally flawed in a way that the other service economy apps are not.

Even at Handybook/Homejoy prices, which are criminal on the worker side, customers are going to be extremely sensitive to service. They aren't going to tolerate one bad egg and try again. They really do need "premium people" who clean like house cleaners. Fast, Efficient, Thorough. Someone who can clean a dusty, cat-hair filled apartment in under three hours.

Every time I've used Handybook, they always leave at the three hour mark with tasks unfinished. And they're always late because they can't find parking, they get lost finding my place. They don't know where I left the key, despite leaving painfully detailed instructions in the app. Being a repeat customer, so shouldn't it be in the system?

I don't think these are bad people, or even people who are incapable of the job. But they are clearly not getting the training and quality control they need. They aren't getting the admin support they need to get to each job in an educated and timely manner. And I suspect once they get that experience, they find it much more lucrative to work for any other cleaning service than Handybook.

Exec worked better. Prices were still too low for great quality, but they were more in line with reality. Just the added step of requiring two independent contractors, instead of one, resulted in a better end result. They showed up on time. They finished cleaning the apartment. And they always did it with time to spare based on Exec's estimate. I was so disappointed when my monthly cleaning was replaced by Handybook. I had hoped they would learn from Exec. It's the only reason I have more customer experience with Handybook than they deserve. But nope. The exact same issues I had before reared their head with completely different independent contractors.

And now they have both Handy and Made Clean. It's like they know their name is mud. But they refuse to acknowledge that they need employees. Customers don't care that the independent contractor is crap. They care about the service they are getting through Handybook. And yes, that means that nobody should get three hours of labor+supplies/travel/admin support for 39 bucks.
posted by politikitty at 1:44 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Dude, tell me about it. I mean, I have absolutely no doubt that that scene happened exactly as she wrote it, but it's just one of those things that seems to magically turn into a leaden cliche and/or cartoonish overexaggeration as you are writing it down, because the actions themselves are so cliche and exaggerated that you just can't wring a description from it that doesn't sound ridiculous.

I also chuckled at the comments from WorkinHardBrother. Oh dear.
posted by sunset in snow country at 1:53 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah I also thought that the Billfold piece was a bit overwritten, but on the other hand I went to college with many dudes just like the two founders and am familiar with the limitlessness of their douchebaggery.

Also, a note for people looking for non-exploitative cleaning services: your city might have a cleaners' coop that you could find on Yelp or Google, or you can get on to Nextdoor and ask for recommendation from a neighbor. I see threads on this kind of thing all the time on there.
posted by Aizkolari at 1:58 PM on October 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


I can't believe WorkinHardBrother tried to pass of BYOD as a standard practice anywhere. Even in startups. I mean, holy shit, what planet is he from?

Every place I've been, every place my friends have been, all in the tech industry, from startups to big corporations, explicity tell people they would prefer employees not BYOD, and if they do, then they get leashed to the company security policies.

I've had numerous talkings-to for explicitly this reason; I've BYOD a few times, sometimes using it in preference to their company-issued devices. It's extended to the software I've used. I totally understand where the companies are call coming from, too--from security to legal ramifications.

BYOD is not a standard thing. Anywhere.
posted by qcubed at 2:38 PM on October 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


Also, a note for people looking for non-exploitative cleaning services: your city might have a cleaners' coop

Yup. They're more than $39, but my neighbors adore La Colectiva ("Organized labor for an organized home") and they will not disrupt anything except the dirt in your house.
posted by rtha at 2:51 PM on October 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also, yah know, the phone book. As was pointed out in the other thread, there are exploitative jerks running those professional services too sometimes. But hell, at least they are LOCAL jerks, right?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:16 PM on October 22, 2014


Not to completely shift the blame here, since being complicit in it is fucked too... But I was always under the impression that the "you dont need more employees, work less of them ridiculous hours! Have them being their own machines!" Type shit was pushed on these companies by asshole investors who wanted a really low burn rate or had unrealistic expectations of how far money would go.

I'm sure those folks would publicly decry this sort of thing, but privately encourage it with total plausible deniability.
posted by emptythought at 3:18 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


The whole startup job market is seriously skewed American lottery-based thinking: How much salary am I willing to give up (and how much sh*t am I willing to take) to have a tiny chance of striking it rich by working at exactly the right time in exactly the right position in the right startup?

Although if Handybook management is half as bad as the author makes them out to be, the chances of that particular lottery hitting don't seem very high. Maybe I'm overestimating general startup management competence here though.
posted by ensign_ricky at 3:24 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


That. Plus underestimating the current "BLURG FUND EVERYTHING SHAREY CROWDSOURCEY ÜBER LIKE NOW" start up investment scene.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:57 PM on October 22, 2014


It's not just startups though that's part of the issue (startups being a hard term to define I know). Look at Uber, the CEO is a pretty unabashed *insert white privilege stereotype here*. They're probably a 10 billion dollar company at least and yet they're still running ads like this. The culture has an asshole problem (though Sarah Lacy has some bad press and pando some problems of its own, recently I've personally found them to be more bullish on some of these issues). There are definitely decent companies out there doing good work, but the exploitation and the communal group think are interesting to say the least.
posted by Carillon at 4:01 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Babes in the woods. 14 months at McKinsey? Shit, that's not even an apprenticeship if you are learning a trade.

Let's put on a show! say the bosses. Could you use me? say desperate folks who are forced to degrade themselves simply because they need to feed their kids and put a roof over their heads.

Welcome to the faux-economy.

In seriousness, now: There's a terrible intersection/nexus happening in too many chunks of the economy today. When proto-fascist, anti-labor management weasels fund smart-ass kids who don't know squat about the professional world, instead having been indoctrinated in harebrained MBA schemes, then all that's left to do is to gull the general populace. That's a score!

A healthy economy can tolerate a little bit of this fringe nonsense, but when this sort of thing gets celebrated as some kind of panacea and begins to dominate entire sectors of the economy...look out.

tl;dr: Old school labor Democrat who over the course of a couple of decades worked his way up the ladder into a suit and tie disapproves.
posted by CincyBlues at 4:36 PM on October 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


The fact that I can find a worker co-op or use the phone book isn't actually helpful.

The current transaction costs are too high to get me to participate in the market. I do not have an obligation to play phone tag to schedule a service. I do not have an obligation to remember to pull cash every other week because the co-op won't accept credit cards and I don't use checks. If that is the state of the market, I can tell you from experience I will be a little bit richer and sadder.

A business aimed at eliminating those transaction costs to relieve me of my money is not inherently exploitative. My willingness to pay is higher than the rates expected by La Colectiva. So a living wage plus overhead.

This is a market failure. Venture Capital is drowning out customer incentives. If consumers were happy with Handybook, they wouldn't constantly be rebranding. If Handybook had to survive off profits, it would be more responsive to it's customers. It would have to shift from low-quality low-price services with high dissatisfaction to higher quality service that feeds off repeat business.
posted by politikitty at 5:15 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


My willingness to pay is higher than the rates expected by La Colectiva

I respect what you're saying but it's not like they're selling food, or even transportation. If you don't want to pay the going rate for a service--can't you just clean your own house?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:03 PM on October 22, 2014


If you don't want to pay the going rate for a service--can't you just clean your own house?

I think what politikitty is saying is that he is actually willing to pay more than the "going rate" for those services, but only if they make things convenient by, e.g., offering online appointment scheduling, accepting payment cards, and so on.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 6:09 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I...have trouble reading. :C
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:39 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Because of my dumb brain. :C
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:39 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Let's blame Wall St.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:39 PM on October 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Note to self: do not ever, ever use this service.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:52 PM on October 22, 2014


Snarl Furillo: I want to believe, really deeply like the way people believe they'll fall in love someday, that there is at least a minimal meritocracy.
I know of two local fabrication businesses that are going concerns. They are so poorly run that I could walk in off the street and do a better job knowing only what I know today. I don't have an MBA from Harvard, but I do know that, for example, you have to at least keep track of material on hand so you're not sending cut lists to the saw man that call for twice what's in stock.

I swear to Christ… just when you think that you can't dislike MBAs more. Meanwhile my partner and I sit idle.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:29 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


"I can't believe WorkinHardBrother tried to pass of BYOD as a standard practice anywhere. Even in startups. I mean, holy shit, what planet is he from?"

Uhm, BYOD is quite common.
posted by I-baLL at 2:43 AM on October 23, 2014


“The idea for Handybook occurred to me when I was studying at Harvard. It was so hard to find a reliable cleaning service to tidy my apartment! You know?” He smiled hard at me.

Wow! Gee! Thought of it while at Harvard University? That's so like another famous Internet startup company thing I've heard of! I'LL BE YOUR ANGEL
posted by Spatch at 3:14 AM on October 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Okay, I finally read the article. It doesn't sound like the startup from hell. More like a badly-run startup though I see why they got funding as they use the car service model for house cleaners. Makes sense.

The really worrying part was the price quote story. That's basically their business so it's quite strange that that aspect of the business wouldn't have been already finished and done with before they went live. It's really weird that they were functioning that way.

I am surprised that she only asked for salary information at the end of training day. And that the structure of the article makes 35k with benefits seem like a red flag. I'd be interested in a follow-up article comparing that interview and training process with the interview and training process at the startup she currently works for.
posted by I-baLL at 3:48 AM on October 23, 2014


Wow! Gee! Thought of it while at Harvard University? That's so like another famous Internet startup company thing I've heard of!

Too bad the cautionary tale that should be associated with this kind of Harvard blindness didn't get as much press coverage as I expected.
posted by pineappleheart at 10:03 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]




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