Start-up Costs: Silicon Valley, Halt and Catch Fire, and How Microserfdom Ate the World – How can Microserfs be 20 years old? I need to buy it and re-read it. (I keep giving copies away and never getting them back; that’s how you know it’s good.) I love that book. I first read it when I was working in a startup in the dotcom boom, living in a sharehouse in London with my boyfriend and two other guys we worked with. I identified with Daniel, but I wished I was as cool as Karla. I think about her theory that the body stores memories and emotions in muscular deep freeze every time I get a massage. I cried and cried at the ending. I even liked the silly bits, like the pages where Daniel would free associate words to create a subconscious for his computer. IT SPOKE TO ME, MAN. And now here I am once again in startup life, and everything is different but somehow the same. Poetic, isn’t it? Change all the IRC references to Hipchat and you’re pretty much there. (And I know I’m not the first to point out that Coupland essentially invented Minecraft in this book. I hope Notch thanked him!)
This made me think: Is there a recognised canon for Computer Age books? I think Microserfs should be in it. What else? I recently read The Cluetrain Manifesto for the first time, which everybody else in my book group hated but I loved. (Man, in 2000 we really thought intranets were going to be a much bigger Thing than they ended up being, huh?) I still haven’t read The Cathedral and the Bazaar or The Mythical Man Month, which I probably should. The Snook reckons that The Cuckoo’s Egg is worthy of inclusion. Any others?