Shortly after Anil Dash started as the CEO of Fog Creek, he announced internally that we’d be making salaries transparent and had the website changed to claim we already had. Now, 3.5 years later @glitch has laid off staff members without ever honoring the promise.
They implemented salary bands, a disappointing half measure, 9 months after announcing salary transparency on their website. But the salary bands share internally were often inaccurate.
Some people had their years of experience knocked down if the experience wasn’t Fog Creek Caliber. So a person could have 7 years of experience and get paid as if they had three. I understand this practice was kept after Fog Creek changed to Glitch.
Fog Creek and Glitch have also claimed not to negotiate salaries. I’ve been told by multiple sources that this is flatly untrue.
Anil literally says that it isn’t lying to present an aspiration of the company as if it has already been accomplished, and he does this all the time. The claims the company makes do not match reality.
When I raised issues about D&I at Fog Creek, Anil told me simply that there was no company in the industry that was better for D&I than Fog Creek. He said this multiple times. As a way of responding to a woman raising issues.
His aspirational truthing impacts the core business. Before he started, users visiting http://hyperdev.com (Glitch’s predecessor) went straight to the editor. An app was spun up automatically.
All those users and apps were counted in usage figures for as long as I was there (and maybe still?) Of the millions of apps that Glitch tauts, I’d guess a significant percentage are either barely changed from the default or do nothing but return a 500.
And now there have been layoffs. After putzing around for years with a stagnant product while building a media arm of the company to promote Anil, the company released in 2020 paid features that were promised in 2018, I assume to disappointing results.
Eventually, I expect to hear that Glitch has either folded or been acquired for an undisclosed sum that’ll surely be less than the valuation the company got from their VC investors. Anil will laud the acquisition as a win. It’ll be a lie.
Others in the industry will blame the focus on D&I or the union, and it’ll be an excuse industry wide to avoid both.
Years of using ‘ethical tech’ as a marketing gimmick for a company whose leaders are staggeringly incompetent will set the industry back, not push it forward. That will be Anil’s contribution to “ethical tech”.
If anyone laid off from Glitch is reading this, hit me up. Etsy hiring. I’m happy to talk about my experience. I’ve only been here six months, but it’s been great. (This tweet replacing a now deleted tweet that I got some feedback on.)
You can follow @nancy_hawa.
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