Startups Are Bullshit

Episode 47 | Nov 22, 2016

When a company describes itself as a startup, there is something wrong.

full belly laughs podcast episode 47 startups bs audio artwork

Listen to Full Belly Laughs Episode 47

Use the audio player below to enjoy Full Belly Laughs Podcast Episode 47: Startups Are Bullshit.

"Startups are bullshit" sounds like something a disgruntled employee would say. Or maybe someone that's not cool enough, like the nerds that never made it in to Studio 54. Then again these are all things a hiring manager might tell you at a startup to convince you to join their cult. No matter how you slice it, startups disrupt the normal order of business. And startups are bullshit because they circumvent a cornerstone of good business practices: an HR department.

Human Resources Matter

There are plenty of reasons why an HR department matters, but let's focus on the benefits that you'll miss once you join that new tech company.

Training and Development

When you work at a real company, the beginning of your employment starts with extensive training. From boring videos to shadowing boring people, you'll learn all the processes necessary to assimilate.You're first day at a startup is the equivalent of learning how to win when you're uncle throws you in the river. If you drown, no sweat off their back. Plenty of eager and naive college grads will take your place for the privilege of starting on the ground floor of the next Google. Or that's at least why your boss at a startup will say when they fire you.

Protection from Sexual Harassment and Illegal Activity

About 20 years ago, the workplace felt too stuffy. This man lost his job for recapping an episode of Seinfeld in the break room. Startups are the opposite of that culture. Most people want to talk about Seinfeld at work, and most people would enjoy the occasional beer or Nerf war at the office. The problem is that most startup cultures permit open drug use and blatant sexual assault. So when your boss keeps staring at your ass after doing a line of blow, you'll realize why real companies have a department to shut down that nonsense.

According to VCs, Startups Are Bullshit

Former Facebook employee Chamath Palihapitiya told the hard truth in a Vanity Fair article. Just because someone with a ton of money gives it to a startup, that doesn't prove either party is good at what they do. People make mistakes all the time, and buy into the hype. According to Chamath, this can explain a lot of the poor investments made into crappy tech companies. In essence don't believe the hype.

Why Do People Work at Startups?

Most people find out that startups are bullshit the same way children learn to not touch the stove: even if your mom warns you, at some point you will burn yourself. The allure of the forbidden startup company is just too strong. Don't you want to work for the next Google? Duh. Of course. The problem is that most startup companies survive because they conned a venture capitalist, so it's no surprise they con a their employees into a false promise. Empty guarantees and vicious threats are common vernacular for startup professionals. Startups are bullshit because they deal in the art of bullshit.

Stand-ups in Startups Getting Screwed

50% of the people in the photo below have dealt with shady startups.

Charles Blyzniuk

Tweeting is for suckas, so follow him on the 'Gram.

Matt McCusker

If you're a sucka and tweet like us, follow Matt on Twitter.

Sarah Bell

If you're going to follow Matt, you might as well follow Sarah on Twitter.

Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto

Not everyone can enjoy the gluttonous meat fest that is Thanksgiving. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy good eats with vegetarian alternatives. Bust out this dope dish whenever you need to accommodate healthier lifestyles.Slice up a butternut squash into cubes. Toss the cubes in salt, pepper, olive oil, and (smoked) powdered garlic. Roast them for about 25 minutes on 400 degrees. During that time make risotto. Pan saute the arborio rice for a couple minutes before adding vegetable stock. Cook over medium heat and continue to add the stock as the rice absorbs it. Should take about 1 quart per cup of rice. Flash pan fry sage leaves for about a minute, then grate parmesan oregano over the finished rice. Combine all ingredients and enjoy.

Black Friday Comedy Marathon

The podcast is live this Friday at the Black Friday Comedy Marathon. Thanks to all the shopping deals, we'll be giving away a ton of sweet prizes. If you can't make it to the Philly Improv Theater at 1 pm for the podcast, stop by in the evening at 8:15 pm to see Brian Durkin do stand-up.


Thank you for listening to us rant about startups, and read our rant about why startups are bullshit. They totes are, and we appreciate you for taking this journey with us. See you next week for another episode of the show.

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