Interview with Wired founder Louis Rossetto about his new novel, Change is Good

Originally published at:

“…by 1998 it was about this bubble that was starting, the dot-com bubble. I’m writing about a week in January 1998, which is to me when revolution turned into the orgy of the dot-com bubble and six lives who were on that edge and how they are dealing with their ambitions and optimism and ideals and the reality that’s coming down on them.”

I moved to Si valley in 1997, and witnessed some of the crazy. Oracle – my first employer – changed its name to for a while, even though it wasn’t huge on Internet or web stuff. I got lucky and ended up in a company that closed its Foster City office and moved us up to the Portland burbs.

The working startup myth at the time:

  1. Drive to San Mateo. Shake a tree until a venture capitalist falls out.
  2. While he’s still dazed from the impact, tell him about your idea and sign a deal.
  3. Work your ass off, for Diet Coke and stock options. Get your product out the door.
  4. Get ready to go public.
  5. Hold the IPO. Stock options become stock.
  6. Come out with version two.
  7. Get noticed. Get bought out by a big player.
  8. Work for another year or so, watching things get less fun and more corporate.
  9. Leave. Sell a chunk of stock.
  10. Drive to San Mateo.
  11. Climb a tree.
  12. Wait.

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