hustle culture

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pages: 208 words: 57,602

Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation by Kevin Roose

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, automated trading system, basic income, Bayesian statistics, big-box store, business process, call centre, choice architecture, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, disinformation, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Freestyle chess, future of work, gig economy, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, hustle culture, income inequality, industrial robot, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, Narrative Science, new economy, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Productivity paradox, QAnon, recommendation engine, remote working, risk tolerance, robotic process automation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, surveillance capitalism, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

This strategy has become increasingly popular in recent years, with the advent of so-called “hustle culture.” All over social media, influencers and business gurus preach the value of productivity and constant, ceaseless effort. They post inspirational “hustle porn” memes on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram with phrases like “Rise and Grind” or “Thank God It’s Monday.” They trade life hacking tips and cut out unnecessary cognitive burdens by wearing the same clothes every day or eating the same thing at every meal. Hustle culture has a long lineage. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a former steelworker named Frederick Winslow Taylor came up with a theory of “scientific management” that took the American business community by storm.

Marissa Mayer, the former chief executive at Yahoo, bragged in a 2016 interview about how hard she worked, saying that it was technically possible to work as many as 130 hours a week “if you’re strategic about when you sleep, when you shower, and how often you go to the bathroom.” Unlike Taylor’s scientific management, which was often mandated from the top down, hustle culture is typically self-imposed. It’s an outgrowth of the philosophy the writer Derek Thompson has called “workism”—the belief, common especially among type-A millennial overachievers, that work is not just an economic necessity but the primary source of identity and meaning in our lives. There are plenty of reasons to reject hustle culture. It carries real risks to workers’ physical and mental health. It tends to favor young, childless, able-bodied men, who are less likely to have family responsibilities and more likely to be able to work punishingly long hours.

It tends to favor young, childless, able-bodied men, who are less likely to have family responsibilities and more likely to be able to work punishingly long hours. And it reinforces a brutal, regressive capitalist ethos that can undermine efforts to make workplaces more equitable and humane. But I want to draw your attention to a more immediate problem with hustle culture, which is that in the age of AI and automation, hustling is actually counterproductive. No matter how hard you work, you simply cannot outwork an algorithm. If you try, not only will you lose, but you will sacrifice your unique human advantages in the process. The idea that we can outwork machines is a seductive fantasy, going all the way back to the legend of John Henry and the steam engine.


Working Hard, Hardly Working by Grace Beverley

"side hustle", Cal Newport, clockwatching, Covid-19, COVID-19, David Heinemeier Hansson, glass ceiling, global pandemic, hustle culture, Jeff Bezos, Parkinson's law, unpaid internship

Thankfully, there are many people out there who don’t kill themselves at work despite this culture; who are happy keeping a balance of earning just enough, enjoying their job and working at 60 per cent capacity day-to-day so they can finish early and go for a pint or a run or whatever else they enjoy. But what isn’t right is that this is seen almost like an act of rebellion within our new working world. What I find particularly contradictory in the rise of hustle culture is that not all hustle was created equal. There’s a discrepancy between the hustle culture I’m discussing – normalised unrelenting busyness and hustle-porn – and those who need to work extra jobs and excessive hours in order to make ends meet. It’s one of the fundamental paradoxes of capitalism that work can be both glamorous and ugly; covetable and exploitative.

While it might not settle the debate once and for all, perhaps it could be rephrased as ‘we might be lazy, but it’s because we’re burned out’, or ‘we might be entitled, but that’s because we are entitled to expectations that don’t involve financial crashes, job shortages, climates ascending at an alarming rate and affordable housing as an exception to the rule’. Perhaps it also says something that I’m not even part of the millennial cohort discussed – born in 1997, I teeter on the cusp and fall into Generation Z by definition – and I’m a homeowner, yet I still feel the afflictions of our hustle culture and situationally-induced burnout. The fact that I agree with Petersen, and yet am not a millennial, does not negate her argument in the slightest. In fact, it shows just how epochal these issues stand to be – perhaps it’s not just a single burnout generation we’re looking at, but an entire new burnout culture created by our new working world.

Generally, we no longer think it’s necessary to sit through fifteen years of corporate work in order to know the field and move up the rankings, paying respect to the culture in return for a pension we’re not even guaranteed to receive. We’d rather better our chances by trying our own luck, spurred on by side-hustle culture. We refuse to be put in a box, but suffer from the lack of boundaries that comes from moving beyond those walls of traditional benchmarks. As a generation, we’ve grown up without definitive borders between work and ‘not-work’. Technology allows us constant access to our working lives, which has slowly but surely developed into an anxiety that not working anywhere and everywhere is the equivalent of being in the office and having a nap.


pages: 190 words: 62,941

Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination by Adam Lashinsky

"side hustle", Airbnb, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, business process, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, gig economy, Golden Gate Park, Google X / Alphabet X, hustle culture, independent contractor, information retrieval, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, pattern recognition, price mechanism, ride hailing / ride sharing, San Francisco homelessness, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Steve Jobs, super pumped, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, young professional

For the entire month of September, when Kalanick negotiated his terms for becoming CEO, UberCab transported 427 riders. As it would raise money and expand to a handful of additional cities over the course of the next year, the young company would be fueled by a combination of transformative technology and old-fashioned, seat-of-the-pants human effort. Uber’s was a “hustle culture,” with a can-do spirit of long hours and a try-anything-once work ethic. In time, Kalanick would hit on the trope of “bits and atoms” to describe Uber’s unique matching of digital prowess with physical assets that set it apart from the prominent Internet companies that had come before it. Such pithy descriptions were a ways off, however.


pages: 306 words: 71,100

Minimal: How to Simplify Your Life and Live Sustainably by Madeleine Olivia

Airbnb, carbon footprint, clean water, food miles, hustle culture, Mason jar, Naomi Klein

This is not a drill, people; we’re talking species extinction. A mass movement and overhaul of society is required to stop the worst from happening, and political action is needed. Capitalism has enabled so many of us to grow our incomes, consume more crap we don’t need and use way more resources than we should be allowing ourselves. We need to stop the hustle culture, flaunting what we own and constantly striving for more more more. Instead, we need to make people strive for less. Less stuff, less work and less greed. We need to minimise on a worldwide scale. Public attitudes are already changing, but are the top 1 per cent listening? The final thing I want to say is that this is complicated.


pages: 416 words: 100,130

New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--And How to Make It Work for You by Jeremy Heimans, Henry Timms

"side hustle", 3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, battle of ideas, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Chris Wanstrath, Columbine, Corn Laws, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, game design, gig economy, hiring and firing, hustle culture, IKEA effect, impact investing, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, Jony Ive, Kibera, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, profit motive, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Snapchat, social web, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, web application, WikiLeaks, Yochai Benkler

Despite its new power model, Uber has a track record of sabotaging its competitors, intimidating journalists, and hoodwinking government regulators to come out on top. In a leaked document that detailed what it looked for in employees, Uber highlights “fierceness” and “super-pumpedness,” all part of a “hustle” culture. It’s worth noting that while norms around collaboration and “sharing” are now all the rage in our business and culture, that doesn’t mean they always produce better outcomes. A recent study in Applied Psychology found that “cooperative contexts proved socially disadvantageous for high performers”—who find themselves ostracized by the rest of the group.


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, call centre, Chris Urmson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, family office, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, hockey-stick growth, hustle culture, impact investing, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, money market fund, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, off grid, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shenzhen special economic zone , side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, super pumped, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, union organizing, upwardly mobile, WeWork, Y Combinator

This shift in the funding of American technology businesses would change the way a generation of the most successful startup founders would expect to be treated by their backers—the “cult of the founder” meant celebrating the vision of the founder no matter what, a slavish devotion to the CEO of a company simply because he was the CEO. Twelve-hour workdays and a nonexistent social life became things to be celebrated, the markers of a “hustle culture” that the tech bro founders embodied. (Of course, these hardworking bros also played hard, at events like X to the x.) Even when those founders were bending rules and even laws, they were treated as Platonic philosopher kings. Many believed the founders were remaking the world, making it smarter, more logical, meritocratic, efficient, and beautiful—delivering a new and much improved version: an upgrade on life.