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Andreessen Horowitz investor says half of Google's white-collar staff probably do 'no real work'

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the debate around "fake work" in the tech industry, particularly at large tech companies like Google. It highlights the views of a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, who believes that a significant portion of white-collar employees at Google do not perform real work, and that this issue is prevalent across large corporations.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The debate around "fake work" in tech

1. What are the key points made by the Andreessen Horowitz general partner regarding "fake work" in tech companies?

  • He believes that a significant portion, potentially up to half, of the white-collar staff at Google do not perform real work.
  • He argues that the growing "professional managerial class" in large corporations is a weakness, not a strength, as many of these jobs are unnecessary.
  • He suggests that the money spent on these "BS jobs" could have been returned to shareholders, who are often pensioners and retirement accounts.

2. What examples does the article provide of other VCs and tech leaders expressing similar views on "fake work" in tech?

  • Marc Andreessen has criticized a managerial "laptop class" and stated that the good big companies are overstaffed by 2x, while the bad ones are overstaffed by 4x or more.
  • Keith Rabois, a tech investor and PayPal Mafia member, attributed mass layoffs at Meta and Google to the fact that many of these employees were "extraneous" and doing "fake work".
  • Thomas Siebel, the CEO of, said that Google and Meta overhired staff and that many of them were "doing nothing working from home".

3. How have tech companies responded to these criticisms of "fake work"?

  • Tech firms like Meta and Google have laid off thousands of workers in recent years, often citing a need to become more efficient.
  • Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared 2023 would be the company's "year of efficiency" and expressed his distaste for a bloated organizational structure of "managers managing managers".
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly told staff that there were "real concerns" about the company's productivity not being where it needs to be given the headcount.

[02] The impact of "fake work" on businesses and the economy

1. What are the potential consequences of "fake work" in large corporations, as highlighted in the article?

  • It takes profits away from shareholders, who are often pensioners and retirement accounts, as the money spent on these "BS jobs" could have been returned to them.
  • It contributes to the decline of small businesses that power America's industrial and manufacturing base, as these jobs are seen as less desirable than white-collar gigs.

2. How do some tech workers view the issue of "fake work"?

  • Some tech workers say they've had to "basically fight to find work", suggesting that there is a lack of meaningful work to be done.
  • Others blame bad management, with bosses overhiring and assigning workers busy work to make themselves look more important and secure promotions.
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