From Chris Meadows via TeleRead:
The Buzz Machine did a piece on the New York Times piece, noting that it lacks context and balance. If Amazon is a hard place to work, is it necessarily any harder than at other equivalent companies? (Who hasn’t heard horror stories about even the supposed best big corporations to work, like Google or Apple?)
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And Amazon is such a controversial and varied subject that in some cases the more shocking the exposé, the more it actually helps Amazon. The Digital Reader linked back to a Benedict Evans piece noting that negative stories make Amazon look like a hard-dealing competitor who’s tough to compete with (and by the same token, look even better to consumers looking for good deals), and to a Philip Greenspun piece that says they tell Wall Street that Amazon is being strict and economy-minded.
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So with all this sound and fury, what do we really know for sure? Possibly less than we did before any of the articles ever came out. Without actually going to work at Amazon and seeing for ourselves what the conditions are like, we’re pretty much left just picking someone to believe. All the stories seem to be about equally credible. Yes, the New York Times is the New York Times…but on the other hand, you’ve got rebuttals from people who actually work there, even if you disregard Bezos’s own memo as self-serving. Is Schrödinger’s cat alive or dead? You might as well flip a coin.
I just keep thinking of the classic Kurosawa movie Rashomon.
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The movie is all about the investigation of a murder through the tales of the witnesses, the perpetrator, even the ghost of the victim—and they all tell completely different stories from each other. They can’t all be true, and yet everyone swears they’re telling the truth as they experienced it.
Link to the rest at TeleRead