What Next: TBD

The Silicon Valley Dream Was Always a Fantasy

Anna Wiener details her journey through tech’s uncanny valley.

Illustration depicting a female with a microphone

Listen longer

Slate Plus members get ad-free versions of all Slate podcasts, plus extra segments, bonus episodes, and more. Try it free today.

Join Slate Plus

Episode Notes

In 2013, Anna Wiener moved from New York to San Francisco to join the city’s booming tech scene. Over the course of four years, she worked at three companies: an e-book startup, a data analytics company, and an open-source software platform. Then her infatuation with the tech industry took a turn.

On this week’s show, an insider’s perspective on the intoxicating promise and disappointment of Silicon Valley during the mid-decade boom.

Guest: Anna Wiener, author of Uncanny Valley and contributing writer for the New Yorker.

About the Show

Every Friday, Slate’s popular daily news podcast What Next brings you TBD, a clear-eyed look into the future. From fake news to fake meat, algorithms to augmented reality, Lizzie O’Leary is your guide to the tech industry and the world it’s creating for us to live in.

All episodes


  • Lizzie O’Leary is the host of What Next: TBD, Slate’s show about technology, power, and the future. Previously, she created and hosted Marketplace Weekend. She has reported for CNN, Bloomberg News, and the New York Times Magazine, among others. She is also a contributing writer at the Atlantic.