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OneZero
The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.

Into The Valley

In OneZero. More on Medium.

Illustration: Shira Inbar

Into the Valley

This article is part of Into the Valley, a feature series from OneZero about Silicon Valley, the people who live there, and the technology they create.

In one of my final interviews for a job at Google, I was asked why I wanted to join the company. It was a softball question after a bunch of harder ones, the kind of thing you prep an answer for and sail right through.

It was a particularly easy question to answer back then. It was 2006, and the media was in rapture over Silicon Valley. …


Illustrations: Shira Inbar

Into the Valley

This article is part of Into the Valley, a feature series from OneZero about Silicon Valley, the people who live there, and the technology they create.

The stereotype about fashion in Silicon Valley is that tech employees are schlubby beyond repair, dressed at all times in startup T-shirts and hoodies and jeans — that the Patagonia fleece vests beloved by venture capitalists are as close to a suit as you’ll find in the Bay Area. Tech workers are, allegedly, the most boring dressers on earth, unless they’re Jack Dorsey, in which case they occasionally look like high-fashion moon men.

And…


Illustration: Shira Inbar; Photography: Kelsey McClellan.

Into the Valley

This article is part of Into the Valley, a feature series from OneZero about Silicon Valley, the people who live there, and the technology they create.

It’s fitting that the most-discussed book about technology of the young decade is not a behind-the-scenes startup story or a hagiography of a tech titan, but a memoir about navigating mid-2010s Silicon Valley as an outsider. Those were the years, after all, when many of tech’s promises began to curdle.

Anna Wiener’s Uncanny Valley follows her immersion into the industry at the apex of its disruptomania — her entry point into tech is through…


A new development complex in Mountain VIew, CA. The site was formerly home to Shockley Semiconductors, which first brought silicon transistor technology to California. Photography: Preston Gannaway

Into the Valley

This article is part of Into the Valley, a feature series from OneZero about Silicon Valley, the people who live there, and the technology they create.

With its basketball and tennis courts, children’s playground, baseball diamond, and soccer field, south San Jose’s RAMAC Park is indistinguishable from any other suburban recreational facility. But there’s something that sets it apart: RAMAC Park is probably the only park in the United States named after a 70-year-old piece of computer technology — the world’s first hard disk drive. You wouldn’t know that from visiting. There’s no informational sign in sight.

The only clue…


Visible Figures members Julia Collins and Cheryl Contee, with founder Stephanie Lampkin. Photography: Kelsey McClellan

Into the Valley

This article is part of Into the Valley, a feature series from OneZero about Silicon Valley, the people who live there, and the technology they create.

After 14 years of working in tech, in 2016, Stephanie Lampkin decided to create her own version of a good ol’ (white) boys club. Lampkin, whose startup Blendoor makes a tool for rooting out unconscious bias in hiring, envisioned the organization as a way for Black women startup founders to share tips and resources for thriving in Silicon Valley. As she puts it, it would be “a very sort of exclusive girls club.”

Black…


The Noon Ride attracts dozens of tech workers, venture capitalists, local Olympians, and professional athletes to its weekday rides in Palo Alto. Photography: Nate Abbott

Into the Valley

This article is part of Into the Valley, a feature series from OneZero about Silicon Valley, the people who live there, and the technology they create.

For as long as anyone in Palo Alto can remember, every weekday at noon, dozens of tech workers, venture capitalists, local Olympians, and professional athletes make their way to the dead end of Old Page Mill Road. Here, they gather with a simple purpose: to ride bikes.

Since at least the ’70s, members of the so called Noon Ride have spent their lunch hours hammering through the foothills of Silicon Valley, trying to tear…


Starcity’s property at 229 Ellis Street in San Francisco. Rent for Starcity residences varies depending on the location, but generally ranges from $1,000 to $2,300. Photography: Jason Henry

Into the Valley

This article is part of Into the Valley, a feature series from OneZero about Silicon Valley, the people who live there, and the technology they create.

One of the most ambitious real estate projects in Silicon Valley is just getting off the ground in San Jose, on the 100 block of Bassett Street. As early as 2021, a massive, 803-bedroom high-rise apartment building will sit here, not far from the city’s major rail and transit hub. …


A Silicon Valley tech shuttle bus on San Jose Avenue in San Francisco. There are an estimated 1,020 private commuter shuttles
A Silicon Valley tech shuttle bus on San Jose Avenue in San Francisco. There are an estimated 1,020 private commuter shuttles
A Silicon Valley tech shuttle bus on San Jose Avenue in San Francisco. Today, there are an estimated 1,020 private commuter shuttle buses in the Bay Area. Photos: Mark Davis

Into the Valley

This article is part of Into the Valley, a feature series from OneZero about Silicon Valley, the people who live there, and the technology they create.

In 2004, in the Glen Park neighborhood of San Francisco, an unmarked employee shuttle bus rolled up to the curb in front of a group of employees. The crowd was likely dressed in the uniform of tech workers: blue jeans and sneakers, with backpacks slung across their shoulders and headphone cables dangling from their ears. Onboard, the small group of tech workers would have settled down for their 80-minute journey to Google’s Mountain View…


Illustrations: Shira Inbar

Into the Valley

This article is part of Into the Valley, a feature series from OneZero about Silicon Valley, the people who live there, and the technology they create.

In 2010, Alex left a “pretty small country in Asia” to study computer science at one of America’s elite universities. Alex, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of this story, eventually caught the eye of Microsoft, which sponsored their H-1B visa. …


Photo credits, clockwise from top left: Matt Cosby, Elizabeth Weinberg, Peter Prato, Eirik Johnson and Maddie McGarvey.

Into the Valley

This article is part of Into the Valley, a feature series from OneZero about Silicon Valley, the people who live there, and the technology they create.

On November 1, 2018, thousands of Google workers streamed out of offices across the world holding signs with messages reading “not ok Google,” and “worker’s rights are women’s rights.” In Mountain View, New York City, Dublin, Tokyo, and Singapore, protestors pushed back against the sense that Google was protecting executives credibly accused of sexual harassment.

Seeing tech workers, a group that had long been considered “unorganizable,” flood the streets in protest was something new…

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The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.

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