Goodbye, Camelot: Is the Silicon Valley Honeymoon Over?

Dr. Munr Kazmir
5 min readMar 22, 2023

From warm and fuzzy, superfun hi-tech office culture to old-fashioned layoffs at the speed of light.

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash.

Meta tells employees to stop discussing abortion at work,” huffed Alex Heath for The Verge on May 19, 2022. It was high summer, a few short months before November, and midterm election campaign season was in full swing.

The Supreme Court Dobb’s ruling hadn’t yet been handed down, but, due to an unprecedented leak for which the American public has still received no answer, the issue had already exposed sharp cultural divides, even in places where they hadn’t been so noticeable before.

One of those places was Silicon Valley. In an industry where over 90% of employee political contributions go to Democrats, wide cracks were already beginning to appear before 2022.

And it wasn’t just Meta. It wasn’t only on the issue of abortion, either. Tech industry workers, from coders and interns to managers and software developers to computer engineers and CEOs have proved to be a mixed ideological bag on social issues from censorship to the pandemic response in recent years.

“Twitter layoffs are exposing a Silicon Valley culture war between anti- and pro-Elon Musk tech workers,” explained Chloe Berger for Fortune in November.

Once rifts appeared, Silicon Valley’s pure crystal waters started getting muddier. Leaks and counter leaks caused Elon Musk to remind remaining Twitter staff members of the nondisclosure agreements they signed as a condition of employment.

Part of the growing dysfunction was likely a direct result of tightening economic conditions. It was easy to espouse generous benefits packages and catered lunches when business was booming. It was easy, even magnanimous, to make concessions to employee health during the height of the pandemic.

Once the economy restarted, however, tech CEOs must have been disheartened by the new realities.

Whatever happened to the metaverse?” asked Financial Times magazine recently. It’s a good reminder that A.) many investors, like Zuckerberg, have bet heavily on Meta’s wondrous entrance to the metaverse and, B.) tech investors, even savvy ones like the late Steve Jobs, don’t always get consumer…