One question that’s puzzled us for a while about the Red Herring, the long-suffering tech publication that just got evicted from its Silicon Valley offices: Who works there, and why do they keep working there? By all accounts (particularly Valleywag’s extensive coverage) the once-storied pub has been in a death spiral for more than a year. Among other downsides, there’s apparently no guarantee that you’ll get a paycheck every two weeks. So who would stick around?
A tipster that tells us that publisher Alex Vieux has apparently been mulling the same question for some time, and had figured out a solution: Rather than trying to hire ungrateful Americans to, say, write and report technology stories, he planned to hire Indian workers to do the job. But rather than outsource the work to India — as media outfits like Reuters have already done — he was going to bring the workers to the U.S., and pay them below-market wages.
Again, not an entirely novel solution: One common complaint Silicon Valley workers have about the H1-B process is that employers use it to hire low-cost workers, not hard-to-find workers, which is what it’s supposed to do. Still, this one would be a novelty for America’s digital ink-stained wretches, who are used to writing about immigration issues in the workplace, not experiencing it themselves.
So what’s become of the scheme? Our tipster tells us the assumption in the office is that “the plan ran into problems,” which we believe: It’s hard to apply for any kind of visa when you don’t have a mailing address.