When there’s a gold rush on, the thing to do is not to dig. Instead, sell shovels to all the suckers who think they’ll get rich digging for gold. This is one of the lessons that investigative reporter Corey Pein learned when he moved to San Francisco at the height of the Silicon Valley start-up boom. In his analogy, the gold rush is the tech boom, and the suckers are all the start-up wannabes who flock to the Bay Area for a slice of the venture-capital pie. And all of us, the consumers, who fell for the excitement of the gig economy and the lure of a free social network that promised to never sell our data? We’re suckers, too.
Go beyond the episode:
- Corey Pein’s Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley of Death
- And an excerpt from the book on web fraud
- Wikipedia’s page on “Uber protests and legal actions”
Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.
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Our theme music was composed by Nathan Prillaman.