Trapped by Investors

Cory Doctorow on Google layoffs:

Just last year, Google laid off 12,000 staffers to please a private-equity “activist investor” – in the same year, it declared a $70b stock buyback, extracting enough capital to pay those 12,000 Googlers’ salaries for the next 27 years. Google is a financial company with a sideline in adtech. It has to be: when your only successful path to growth requires access to the capital markets to fund anticompetitive acquisitions, you can’t afford to piss off the money-gods, even if you have a “dual share” structure that lets the founders outvote every other shareholder.

Beware of the money-gods that can lead your company to the graveyard while they reap the profits. There are no easy solutions to this dilema once you successfully go public.

(The layoffs where this year, not last.)

public companies investors short-term

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