The Saturday Essay

By Alex Wilhelm

A weekly essay digging into economics, startups, and fun. Written by Alex Wilhelm, a medium-quality nerd and S-1 fanatic.

A weekly essay digging into economics, startups, and fun. Written by Alex Wilhelm, a medium-quality nerd and S-1 fanatic.

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So, your workers want to unionize

Corporations are generally unable to speak clearly.If you want an example of this fact, crack open a fresh S-1 filing, read the opening lines, and then ask yourself if you can describe what the company actually does. More than half the time you won't be able …


Who's to blame for the fiasco?

The violent implosion of's corporate brand only came after its business hit the skids. It's worth considering whether we would have found out how callous the company's CEO was had's business not entered a sharp decline. What happened? Th…


Boycott the Winter Olympics

We'll get back to technology and money next week, I promise. The 2022 Winter Olympics, hosted by China, should not be attended by countries that are committed to democracy, free expression, or liberalism more generally.This is why it was not surprising -- tho…


American Fascism

You might find it strange that the American right is content to decry what it considers censorship on domestic campuses while also working to ban books in local schools. Don't be.While the two actions may appear to be dissonant, they are not. Instead, they sh…


What is a technology company?

Not every startup is a technology company, even if the two categories largely overlap. The pair are sufficiently intermingled that most infer the word technology before startups when they read or write the latter word.But as we've seen from a number of recent…


The financialization of social currency

It is ironic that many of the same individuals who mock political virtue signaling have NFT social media avatars. Social signaling for me, not for thee, I suppose.Crypto in late 2021Today's crypto market is a busy place. It has the righteous anger of a religi…


Stop lying to me

While I am all for optimism and belief in oneself, I am tired of companies lying to me. Sometimes they don't even bother to obfuscate their bullshit.Startups are well-known for presenting reality in a creative manner. The market tends to chalk up overly-lofty…


Even more writing about startups and money

I am lucky to write for a publication that grants me wide latitude with which to attack our topic area. The result of that freedom is that I get most of what I want to write about startups and money onto the Internet without needing another platform.And yet.I…