This book reading of her picture of the behavior of the natives of Silicon Valley and their not entirely deserved massive fortunes for inventing trivia useful to the uncounted masses in their daily smartphone studies was a family occasion for Wall Street Journal reporter and now author Alexandra, for it turned out that the “Dad!” that she greeted in the audience as she stood on stage at the lectern was none other than Tom Wolfe, in his trademark white suit, who after she had read passages from her expose allowed that he had been her reader more than once but “all the insights” she had just read out were hers alone, but as she was signing books he was able to conjecture the answer to a conundrum which she had proved unable to fathom when a question from the audience came on the point, which was how come nonentities came up with good ideas which earned them a billion dollars and yet active journalists and writers such as herself who routinely came up with a good idea or two every day somehow did not think up one which would earn them an equal fortune if they were willing to change from living in New York City to the Valley of the Gods, as her book was titled, which was solved by her father as being accounted for by the “satisfactions” of being a writer and author which were not available to most of the techies she was writing about, even if they were capable of it, but she did remark that the difficulties involved in the apparently simplistic notions such as Uber instead of taxis has struck her as much more complex than she had originally thought..
Alexandra Wolfe is a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal and writes the weekly column “Weekend Confidential.” After graduating from Duke University, she worked as a staff reporter for the New York Observer, The Wall Street Journal, and then Condé Nast Portfolio. As a freelancer, she wrote regular columns for Bloomberg Businessweek, features for Travel + Leisure and Departures, and has written cover stories for Vanity Fair and Town & Country. The Valley of the Gods is her first book.
Valley of the Gods
A Silicon Valley Story
By Alexandra Wolfe
Simon and Shuster
In a riveting, hilarious account, reporter Alexandra Wolfe exposes a world that is not flat but bubbling—the men and women of Silicon Valley, whose hubris and ambition are changing the world.
Each year, young people from around the world go to Silicon Valley to hatch an idea, start a company, strike it rich, and become powerful and famous. In The Valley of the Gods, Wolfe follows three of these upstarts who have “stopped out” of college and real life to live and work in Silicon Valley in the hopes of becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk. No one has yet documented the battle for the brightest kids, kids whose goals are no less than making billions of dollars—and the fight they wage in turn to make it there. They embody an American cultural transformation: A move away from the East Coast hierarchy of Ivy Leagues and country clubs toward the startup life and a new social order.
Meet the billionaires who go to training clubs for thirty-minute “body slams” designed to fit in with the start-up schedule; attend parties where people devour peanut butter-and-jelly sushi rolls; and date and seduce in a romantic culture in which thick glasses, baggy jeans, and a t-shirt is the costume of any sex symbol (and where a jacket and tie symbolize mediocrity). Through Wolfe’s eyes, we discover how they date and marry, how they dress and live, how they plot and dream, and how they have created a business world and an economic order that has made us all devotees of them.
A blistering, brilliant, and hysterical examination of this new ruling class, The Valley of the Gods presents tomorrow’s strange new normal where the only outward signs of tech success are laptops and ideas.