Partying At AOL
from the more-excerpts dept
If you wait long enough, it looks like you might be able to read the entire new book about AOL, Stealing Time, just from the excerpts being published in newspapers. We already had a fascinating excerpt about the worst of AOL’s dealmakers, and now the NY Post is running the first of three excerpts from the book. This one is about how the partying at AOL went out of control, involving sex, drugs, and gambling (just what a “family-oriented” company would want). Employees did spur-of-the-moment “team bonding” trips on the corporate jet across the country to visit strip clubs. They snorted cocaine in public, spent plenty of time in Vegas, and there was plenty of intra-office affairs. Of course, there’s no indication in this excerpt how prevalent this sort of activity was. It could have just been a few bad seeds (even if they were high up in the company). It’s unclear if this was as widespread as the book makes it out to be. I know that I’ve heard similar stories from other internet companies during the height of the boom years, but never witnessed anything close to it. Sure, some people went overboard, but it never seemed to be embedded into any corporate culture, as this excerpt implies. In fact, the book suggests that all of these activities were part of the bonding experience at AOL, and since people didn’t want to give up their stock options, no one wanted to blow the whistle on such activities.