Uber employees are apparently worried about the future of the company after self-driving cars become a real thing, and about the kind of money employees can make in a presumed IPO.
That’s according to snippets of conversations sent to us from an Uber employee who likes to chat about the company via an anonymous app called Blind.
For instance, after news broke earlier this month that Uber’s first self driving fleet is arriving in Pittsburgh this month, Uber employees took to Blind to chat about it.
One person worried that once self driving cars are a regular thing and Uber owns a fleet of them, Uber will become like an airline, including the low profit margins. Another believes that ride sharing will always be in demand, whether the cars drive themselves or not. And another said that Uber’s core business will become just like a car rental business but that the company has to invest now in self-driving tech to “control our own destiny.”
Uber employees also seem concerned about when the company will IPO and how much longer it can delay.
“I don’t think engineers want to work for paper money,” one person wrote.
Others say that Uber is attracting a different type of employee now that the company can afford higher base salaries and the risk of the company going out of business is lower.
“We have better success in hiring senior people now because they don’t have to take the risk or a huge pay cut, while they can still make a few million bucks with their equity when Uber goes public,” one said.
Another person disagrees, saying that it has become harder to hire senior people because “people would have to believe that Uber can still quadruple its valuation to make a few million bucks.” And with Uber’s current $68 billion valuation, that’s not so easy to believe.
Perhaps the funniest snippet sent to us was a poll taken among all the people on Blind who work in the tech industry in which 16 people said that Uber was the “spawn of Satan.”
What the heck is Blind?
This is the second time that an employee sent us some insight about employee chats gleaned from Blind. Business Insider doesn’t have access to the app. People can only gain access if they work at a company with employees using the app.
So we talked with Blind’s US general manager, Alex Shin, who tells us that Blind is being used at about 100 tech companies.
Blind requires about 150 employees at a new company to request to use the app before it opens it up to them, he says.
It is most popular with employees at Uber, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Intel, he says and some smaller companies like Glassdoor.
Blind launched in Korea and has since expanded to the US after it discovered the interest by tech employees.
Blind currently has no business model in the US, he says, though in Korea the company makes money via its job posting services. It’s backed by Korean and Japanese investors as well as Yik Yak investor DCM Ventures, Shin tells us.
Blind verifies an employee’s identity by requiring an employee to use an email address at the employer to register for an account. Once the account is established, that email address is separated from the Blind account and encrypted, meaning even the Blind employees can’t match a user with a particular email.
Employees use the app to chat about job openings, job interviews, salaries and offers, or just to talk shop, Shin says.
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