From the Publisher
A Los Angeles Times and Seattle Times Best Book of the Year
"Bronson has a rare ability to spin the worlds of business and technologies into entertaining stories."
--The New York Times Book Review
"The most complete and empathetic portrait of the Valley so far."
--The Village Voice Literary Supplement
"Bronson has captured this remarkable place and time."
--The Wall Street Journal
"Bronson relates the stories of a generation of new and wannabe multi-millionaires with conversational grace...an engaging, instructional and fascinating read."
"Illuminates a shadowy world with a penetrating light."
"Bronson is tuned in to the quirks of both personality and culture. His prose, often funny, maintains impressive velocity and is well suited to the manic life of the Valley and its colorful menagerie of characters."
"This clever storyteller keeps you laughing as you breeze from one episode to the next...a juicy collection of true tales."
The Silicon Valley Bronson presents is a place where people don't work to
make money but work to work. Bronson explicates but doesn't judge, letting the
players speak for themselves, and in doing so presents the most complete and
empathetic portrait of the Valley so far... Bronson evocatively portrays the overwhelming unpredictability of life in the Valley: geting fired can be part of daily life...Bronson recognizes that Silicon Valley's boom is made up of small explosions, and The Nudist puts us at ground zero.
The Voice Literary Supplement
Read an Excerpt
If the most torturous fate was a mind, caged,
who would understand?
If you always found life's elixir in striving rather than getting,
who would understand?
If you gambled rather than nest-egged and hit jackpot once of seven,
who would understand?
BY CAR, BY PLANE, THEY COME. They just show up. They've given up their lives elsewhere to come here. They come for the tremendous opportunity, believing that in no other place in the world right now can one person accomplish so much with talent, initiative, and a good idea. It's a region where who you know and how much money you have have never been less relevant to success. They come because it does not matter that they are young or left college without a degree or have dark skin or speak with an accent. They come even if it is illegal to do so. They come because they feel that they will regret it the rest of their lives if they do not at least give it a try. They come to be a part of history, to build the technology that will reshape how people will live and work five or ten years from now. They come for the excitement, just to be a part of it. They come because they are competitive by instinct and can't stand to see others succeed more than they. They come to make enough money so they will never have to think about money again.
They are the new breed, Venture Trippers, who get off on the dizzying adventure of bloodwork. It is a mad, fertile time. Working has become nothing less than a sport here in Superachieverland: people are motivated by the thrill of the competition and the danger of losing, and every year the rules evolve to make it all happen more quickly, on higher margins, reaching ever more amazing sums.
They come from places wallowing in an X-Y-axis attitudinal coordinate, a slow-mo way of thinking about one's life that offers a plodding story line they can't manage to suspend their disbelief of. They try to live that story, but they keep popping out, keep finding themselves saying, "What the hell am I doing with my life?"
They come because what they see ahead of them, if they stay where they are, is a working life that seems fundamentally and unavoidably boring. Nothing seems worse than the fate of boringness. They feel they are being offered a neo-Faustian trade-off by society: all of life's sprawling dimensions will be funneled through the narrow pipe of the career path.
And rather than choosing not to work hard, the Venture Trippers are taking the opposite approach from the Slackers. They're saying, If I'm going to have to make that trade-off, then hell, why the fuck not? I'm young, let's raise the stakes. Let's up the bet. Let's make it exciting. Let's put it all on black.
Let 'em roll.
And they come.