If you’ve ever been curious how some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley got to where they are, Jack Goodman helps answer that question with his fictional piece about working at a startup. His new book explores how dumb luck and talented ambition can collide to create success.
Jack’s history as a consultant in Silicon Valley was described to be more of a frustrating and demanding process than what we’ve come to see in pop-culture shows that Hollywood dresses up to make more engaging. However, Jack was inspired by that pop culture fantasy of his industry and began writing Launch, his first work, after asking himself, “What if you funded a really bad idea and it ended up working?”
The racy-sounding business, Elephant Dick’s, gathers a group of quirky professionals to bring about a service that let’s humanity know what kind of danger they may be facing when traveling. The protagonist is a recently fired director from a large dot com company who is given a job at Elephant Dick’s, which is both a blessing and a curse for him.
“Yeah, it’s pretentious, I guess,” Mr. Goodman told us. “I gave the main character my own name because it helped me picture the office these characters practically lived in. It was also an extension of my own efforts, struggles, over-confidence, and occasional victory.”
The character Jack leaves a life of structure and goals to try to organize the chaos swirling around a small company in Austin, Texas. The arch of the story is a humorous stumble uphill, as the newly formed company wreaks minor disasters in their first test regions they hadn’t expected following a lucky break with a famous actor wearing one of their branded t-shirts on national television. The team of tech misfits each have their own baggage they bring to the table which sets up a constant stream of conflicts for Jack to handle.
I’m looking forward to seeing his next book in this series to see where the cast ends up.
You can learn more about this title, Launch, A Startup Story, on the book page here.