Sitting in the sunny garden of The Battery — the “see and be seen” private club for a San Francisco tech crowd that doesn’t care too much about how they look — Nicole Quinn, a partner at venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, told me about her plan to get out of the bubble chattering away around us. How? By taking a road trip across the US.
Snap-happy tourists have long posed next to the billboard-sized “Like” sign outside Facebook’s headquarters, in awe of seeing the real-life company behind the app. But it has taken until 2017 — and a political situation the tech industry sees as a crisis — to get Silicon Valley truly interested in the real lives of its users.
I write regular columns for the FT magazine on the culture of the tech industry. Read more on 'How Silicon Valley discovered the rest of America' here. Other columns include the world of the Valley intern, ageism in Silicon Valley and how Peacetech is helping refugees.