Inside The Cult Of Kibu

Inside The Cult Of Kibu

by Lori Gottlieb
     
 
In the spring of 2000, Lori Gottlieb was lured away from Stanford Medical School to become editor-in-chief of Kibu.com, a high-profile Silicon Valley startup dubbed at various times in the make-it-up-as-you-go-along Internet Zeitgeist as anything from a "digital lifestyle brand" to "Yahoo! for Gen Y, with an estrogen slant." But after her comically unceremonious

Overview

In the spring of 2000, Lori Gottlieb was lured away from Stanford Medical School to become editor-in-chief of Kibu.com, a high-profile Silicon Valley startup dubbed at various times in the make-it-up-as-you-go-along Internet Zeitgeist as anything from a "digital lifestyle brand" to "Yahoo! for Gen Y, with an estrogen slant." But after her comically unceremonious "unhiring" three months later, upon the CEO's return from her elopement in Bali, Gottlieb published an exposé in The Industry Standard. Her essay inspired hundreds of emails in response, including one from Jesse Jacobs, then the head of content for IFILM.com, the Net's leading online film site.

They clicked, so to speak, and embarked on a journey to produce a very personal collective memoir of the New Economy. The result is a one-of-a-kind backstage pass to a world of extremes: brilliance and inanity, exhilaration and desperation, and of course, money (real and imagined). Weaving together Gottlieb's experiences at Kibu with those of nearly 100 participants-from media icon Kurt Andersen to popular Bay-area author Po Bronson to Public Enemy rapper Chuck D, Gottlieb and Jacobs present an oral history of a time that is now imprinted, for better or worse, on our collective psyche. Featuring a richly engaging and incisive tapestry of voices from the front lines-venture capitalists and engineers, receptionists and lawyers, advertising executives and CEOs, party planners and pundits, media moguls and MBAs-Inside the Cult of Kibu is much more than an account of life in an alternate universe. It's a unique reflection of what happens when business, technology, and popular culture combine and ignite in a spectacular display.

Author Biography: Lori Gottlieb is the author of the best-selling memoir, Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self, an American Library Association "Best Books 2001" selection. She has written for a wide variety of publications, including The New York Times, Time, People, Elle, Slate, Salon, and The San Francisco Chronicle, among many others. She lives in Los Angeles.

Jesse Jacobs left his position as senior vice-president of content at the Los Angeles-based IFILM in 2002 to pursue an MBA at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He previously served as co-founder and director of the Yahoo! Internet Life Online Film Festival and as a marketing executive at Yahoo! Internet Life magazine. A native of New York City, he lives in Philadelphia.

Editorial Reviews

A fascinating look at the quirky [dotcom] culture told in a variety of voices.
Variety
[Gottlieb's] writing style manages to show both the dark humor and pathos of her situation at Kibu.com.
Dallas Morning News
An eclectic collection of tales of companies and individuals swept along in the new Economy boom and subsequent bust.
People
[An] oral history of that time when Old Media people were lured away from stable jobs by the promise of massages.
Boston Globe
[Gottlieb's] wry commentary is engaging.
Washington Monthly
[Gottlieb and Jacobs] have the right Alice-in-Wonderland perspective, the naive good sense that frames the irrationalities around them...Entertaining stuff.
Wired News
Hailarious...good and gossipy...[a] classic of digital bubble-popping.
NationalJournal.com
A fascinating look at the quirky [dotcom] culture told in a variety of voices.
Wired.com
Hilarious...gossipy...deserves a place on the bookshelf right next to The New New Thing.
Knowledge@Wharton
Unlike the typical web gripe-site...illuminates a wild and wacky scene.
Publishers Weekly
Scads of disgruntled ex-employees have written thousands of pages on what it was like to work for a fly-by-night dot-com and how quickly it all ended. Despite the barrage of Internet reminiscences, Lori Gottlieb and Jesse Jacobs have penned their own version of life at the now-defunct online community Kibu.com, Inside the Cult of Kibu: And Other Tales of the Millennial Gold Rush. Dividing their book into 10 chapters entitled, "The Idea," "The Money," "The Culture," "The Parties," "The Lingo," "The Spin," "The Mismanagement," "The IPO," "The Layoffs," and "The Hereafter," Gottlieb and Jacobs intersperse their own experiences at Kibu with comments from nearly 100 players in the dot-com game. Kurt Andersen talks about the friction between the "New Media People" and the "Old Media People," Andrew Anker tells of Wired's dress code and Josh Keller explains how he handled laying off employees at the software company Ububu. Altogether, it makes for an amusing, if familiar, snapshot of a bygone era.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781903985373
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
08/28/2002
Pages:
320

What People are saying about this

Stacy Horn
This smart and hilarious voyeur's view offers a seminal collection of voices ranging from the haunting to the absurd. Gottlieb and Jacobs expertly capture the comic--and tragic--theatrics of the New Economy.
Elizabeth Carlassare
An up-close and personal whirlwind tour. These irreverent insider tales are acerbic, compelling and right on target - and will keep you turning the pages.
Peter Guber
An intoxicating collective memoir of the American Dream gone wild, Inside the Cult of Kibu takes you through the looking glass for a one-of-a-kind tour of the New Economy's most eventful years and the personalities that fueled it. This intriguing group portrait of both the major and minor players is chock-full of insightful, hilarious and priceless anecdotes. A must-read for executives, business school professors, pop-culture enthusiasts, and Net-heads alike. It reads like a great novel. What's astonishing is that this story is true.

Meet the Author

Lori Gottlieb is the author of the best-selling memoir Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self and has written for a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Elle, Time, People, Mademoiselle, Redbook, CosmoGirl, Seventeen, Salon, and Slate. A former medical-school student at Stanford, she served as Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of the now defunct Kibu.com, a "digital hangout for teenage girls." Her most recent essay in The Industry Standard, an exposé of this experience, was nominated in 2001 for a National Magazine Award. She lives in Los Angeles. Jesse Jacobs is vice-president of content at IFILM, the Net's leading online film company. He has served as co-founder and director of the Yahoo! Internet Life Online Film Festival. His projects have been profiled in the New York Times and The Industry Standard, on "Good Morning America" and "The Today Show." He lives in Los Angeles.

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