• Julia DeBari

Super-Pumped

Super-Pumped was one of the 14 leadership principles at Uber when Travis Kalanick was the CEO. It meant ready for anything.


In the wake of the 8% company layoff at Uber the other week, there has been an outpouring of support for the Designers & Researchers at the company who are now looking for work. There are around 30 people in this group. While I find the support gratifying for the UX community overall, it makes me wonder why, when people work at a brand-recognized company, they are perceived to be better than people who don't work at those kinds of companies. I know about 10 different UX Designers & Researchers looking for work right now, in various places across the country, and they do not receive the same kind of support from the community as the people from Uber.


In Silicon Valley, there are the FAANG companies (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google). Once you are in that circle, there is an incestuous round of hiring within this circle. You can easily jump from one company to another, up-leveling your resume, no matter what team you are on. Just the company name on the resume makes you stand out and become known as a star designer among recruiters. There are other companies right outside this circle that can influence your way inside the circle. These are Uber, Salesforce, Airbnb, Adobe, and a few others.


If you want to have control over your career and a choice of whether to work at a large company or a startup, you need really good storytelling and interview skills, and a lot of luck.



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