Paul Bradley Carr is starting a new site dedicated to covering the stories of tech workers.
Chris MichelFormer TechCrunch and Pando journalist Paul Carr believes Silicon Valley's top execs are misbehaving and need to be held to account by their employees.
So he's starting online publication Tech Worker dedicated exclusively to telling the stories of tech workers.
The publication includes Google Walkout organizer Claire Stapleton and Pando founder and Uber critic Sarah Lacy as contributors.
Carr says he hopes Tech Worker will keep misbehaving tech CEOs "awake at night."
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When the tech blog Pando announced it was being sold last year, Paul Bradley Carr vowed to step away from tech journalism for good.
The decision came after years of covering Silicon Valley, where he published scathing critiques of big tech executives and elite tech culture.
The whole experience was exhausting, Carr told Business Insider. And so the 40-year-old author and former TechCrunch columnist decided to become a founder instead, starting the social networking platform NeedHop earlier this year, where people can pay, or get paid, for advice.
But Carr felt that things were changing in the Valley, even if he was no longer covering it as a writer.
In the months after he left Pando, he saw Palantir's CEO admit to helping ICE deport undocumented immigrants, and Hootsuite terminate its contract with the same government agency amidst intense public scrutiny. Susan Fowler published her book detailing Uber's toxic culture in February, and, a few months later, Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout protesting their company's decision to not regulate President Trump's posts on the platform.
This "relentless drumbeat" of events, as Carr described it, was what pushed him back into journalism—this time as the creator of a new tech publication called Tech Worker.
"The one regret I had when I left journalism was I felt like I had lost the fight," Carr told Business Insider.
"I felt a bit like I'd said, 'Well, I'm going to go off to my comfortable startup now.' And while I think that helps people too, it's not the same as being in the front lines of this fight," he said.
Carr wants to use his new publication to amplify the voices of tech employees, a group he feels are less visible in the media than the CEOs, investors and end users of tech products.
"I love the idea of having a platform where we just won't give up on those stories, where we'd just keep telling and telling and telling them until stuff changes," he said. "I have a feeling that the phenomenon of tech workers pushing back is a very big one, and is one that is about to get even bigger."
The homepage of Tech Worker
Holding powerful tech execs accountable to their workers
While the publication has yet to publish its first piece, there are now over a dozen people who have committed to be contributors to Tech Worker.
Those include Ray Holgado, a former employee of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative who is suing the organization for racial discrimination; Yael Eisenstat, the ex-CIA officer who left her role at Facebook in protest of its policies regulating misinformation; and Claire Stapleton, a Google Walkout organizer.
Another contributor is Pando founder Sarah Lacy, whose outspoken criticism of Uber's sexist and misogynistic company culture prompted an Uber executive to suggest that his company dig up dirt against Lacy in 2014.
Carr emphasized, however, that Tech Worker is a "grassroots" endeavor. Unlike Pando, which was funded in part by big VCs like Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel, the site's financing will come entirely from subscribers, who will pay to receive exclusive newsletters and podcasts in addition to the site's daily content, which will be free, Carr says.
Carr and his fellow contributors will write for Tech Worker as a side project alongside their day jobs. Carr, for example, will continue on as CEO of his startup NeedHop.
Still, he intends for the site to publish at least a "half dozen posts a day," with a mix of investigative reporting and opinion writing, and hopes for the publication to serve as a centralized platform where tech workers can share their experiences working for some of Silicon Valley's most powerful companies, either as sources or as guest contributors.
"My hope is once we announce this, I'll get a thousand emails from tech workers saying, I want to write about what it's like to work in the Amazon warehouse in Kentucky," Carr said.
The publication already has multiple projects in the works, including stories on the experiences of warehouse workers and ride-sharing employees from large tech companies, as well as a column on how tech work affects health.
Carr believes that tech workers today have more power than ever before to hold misbehaving, high-level executives to account. He says his new publication should keep those people "awake at night."
"I don't really understand superhero movies, but this feels like the one of the superhero movies where all the superheroes show up. That's never good for the bad guy," he said.
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