The Nudist on the Late Shift: And Other True Tales of Silicon Valley

Overview

As a novelist and writer for Wired and other publications, Po Bronson has earned a reputation as the most exciting and authentic literary voice to emerge from Silicon Valley. In his national bestseller The Nudist on the Late Shift he tells the true story of the mostly under-thirty entrepreneurs and tech wizards, immigrants and investors, dreamers and visionaries, who see the Valley as their Mecca. Taking us inside the world of these newcomers, brainiacs, salespeople, headhunters, utopians, plutocrats, and ...
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Overview

As a novelist and writer for Wired and other publications, Po Bronson has earned a reputation as the most exciting and authentic literary voice to emerge from Silicon Valley. In his national bestseller The Nudist on the Late Shift he tells the true story of the mostly under-thirty entrepreneurs and tech wizards, immigrants and investors, dreamers and visionaries, who see the Valley as their Mecca. Taking us inside the world of these newcomers, brainiacs, salespeople, headhunters, utopians, plutocrats, and innovators as they transform our culture, The Nudist on the Late Shift is a defining portrait of a new generation in the whirl of an information revolution and an international gold rush.

Po Bronson is the author of two novels and one book of nonfiction. Bombardiers, a dark satire of high finance, was an international bestseller that was translated into twelve languages. The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest, soon to be a feature film from 20th Century Fox, is a comedy of Silicon Valley.  His third bestseller, The Nudist on the Late Shift and Other True Tales of Silicon Valley, demonstrates that Bronson's wit and imagination apply as well to nonfiction as to fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

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."
--Denver Post

"Illuminates a shadowy world with a penetrating light."
--Philadelphia Inquirer

"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."
--Publishers Weekly

"This clever storyteller keeps you laughing as you breeze from one episode to the next...a juicy collection of true tales."
--Time

Hugh Garvey
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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780767906036
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/2/2000
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Po Bronson
Bronson writes feature articles for The New York Times Magazine and Wired and op-ed pieces for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Bronson has created a one-hour dramatic television series called "South of Market," derived from his Silicon Valley experiences.

He is also a founder of The Grotto, a writer's cooperative in San Francisco; Chairman of the Board of Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, the exclusive national representative of sixty independent publishers; and a board member of Mercury House, a literary nonprofit press in San Francisco.

Bronson has a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

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    1. Hometown:
      San Francisco, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 14, 1964
    2. Place of Birth:
      Seattle, Washington
    1. Education:
      B.A., Stanford University, 1986; M.F.A., San Francisco State University, 1995

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.

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Table of Contents

Legal Note ix
Introduction: The Nudist on the Late Shift xiii
1. The Newcomers 3
2. The IPO 40
3. The Entrepreneur 78
4. The Programmers 98
5. The Salespeople 139
6. The Futurist 165
7. The Dropout 187
8. Is the "Revolution!" Over? 214
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2002

    After finishing the book I wished I had read slower.

    I found out about this book through a review on TechTV. Bronson gets you involved in the lives of people living out in Silicon Valley and describes even the small things about life there. After finishing the book I wished there was a sequal to it so I could continue reading. Sometimes I missed entire nights of sleep because I couldn't put the book down. It is a book I would recomment to anyone whose in the computer industry, is an entrepreneur, or who is even in sales. It is well worth the money spent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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