In her mid-twenties, at the height of tech industry idealism, Anna Wiener left New York to work for a big-data startup in the heart of the Silicon Valley tech bubble: a world of surreal extravagance, unchecked ambition, and dubious success. Anna arrived amidst a massive cultural shift, as the tech industry rapidly transformed into a locus of wealth and power, while nonetheless clinging to an underdog identity. “Uncanny Valley,” a memoir of her time working at startups on both coasts, is a first-person glimpse into the wild fortune, corporate fealty, boyish camaraderie, and accelerating political power characteristic of the startup ecosystem—and a narrative of both seduction and disillusionment.
In this session, Anna will discuss startup culture, solutionism, the fetish for optimization, post-recession millennial idealism, the stories Silicon Valley companies have long told about (and to) themselves, and where the industry might find itself next.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.