I'm not surprised
I'm sure many here will say that the widow is just trying to collect some lawsuit money from Uber before dotcom bubble 2.0 pops, but bad employers really can work people to the bone. I've never really had the desire to work for a tech startup, but people I know who have describe an...interesting...experience. Stories I've heard usually revolve around one or more of:
- Founders/CEOs with major ego or anger management problems who are absolutely miserable to work for
- Very young executives with little or no experience running a large business, leading to all sorts of HR nightmares
- Very young workers with little or no experience working, so they don't know they're being taken advantage of
- Chummy fratboy culture that excludes anyone who isn't down with the rest of the bros
- Constant death marches inspired by any one of the above items
People forget that there are a lot of people who take pride in their work and can't just say no when given unreasonable requests. That, or they feel that they're missing out on the startup lottery if they don't pull their weight and stay employed until IPO day by any means necessary. I'd have no trouble buying the idea that a pressure cooker environment like Uber plus a few external stressors would cause someone to snap and just want out.
Add to that the fact that the guy moved from Atlanta to San Francisco. I live in New York and we constantly have people going down to Atlanta or North Carolina because they don't care where they live as long as they don't have to pay taxes. The cost of living difference between ATL and NYC is stark; ATL and SFO is orders of magnitude worse. $170K a year barely treads water in San Francisco or Silicon Valley. Imagine the stress of having to support a spouse/family in an environment like that.