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The Nudist on the Late Shift


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About the Author

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.


It sounds like fiction, at which Bronson excels (e.g., Bombardiers). But this is a nonfiction tale of building a new industryÄand new wealthÄin Silicon Valley, focusing on Yahoo cofounder David Filo.

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 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"

Having satirized Silicon Valley in his novel The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest, Bronson now turns a much rosier eye on the pulsing heart of the information age. As Bronson examines the pursuit of high-tech entrepreneurial glory, his method recalls the way Robert Altman's Nashville gave moviegoers a sense of the chase for country music stardomÄexcept there's very little pathos here and a lot of blue sky. Though he dutifully presents the long odds facing the would-be founders of the next Yahoo!, Bronson thrills to the culture of the Valley because he believes it fuses the often contradictory desires for security and adventure. "By injecting mind-boggling amounts of risk into the once stodgy domain of gray-suited business, young people no longer have to choose. It's a two-for-one deal: the career path has become the adventure into the unknown." Bronson clearly likes the wild-eyed optimists and masters of uncertainty he profiles. There's Sabeer Bhatia, the Indian-born founder of Hotmail, who established a company and, against the advice of more experienced heads, rejected several buyout offers from Bill Gates until Microsoft paid $400 million for Hotmail. There's the exec who let Bronson be a fly on the wall during the ulcer-inducing process of steering a company through an IPO. And there are the talented programmers, many of whom, though not yet 30, have Ancient Mariner-like tales of rejecting stock optionsÄand thus forfeiting millionsÄin companies that were bought or went public. 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. (July) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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