Change Is Good is a novel that chronicles one tumultuous week at the epicenter of the Digital Revolution in San Francisco. It's the adventures of six young people Wired described as "instantly iconic characters ripped from the mists of the first dotcom boom:"
- The CEO — trying to save his start up from the money people conspiring to steal it.
- The Artist — exploring the limits of her sexuality in order to make new art.
- The Hacker — fighting his suicidal and homicidal demons while attempting to save the world.
- The Banker — struggling to survive her ambition — and her industry’s corruption — and do the right thing.
- The Dealer/Game maker — scrambling to escape the gang trying to kill him, and reinvent himself as a computer game maker.
- The Journalist — wanting to tell the story of her times, which turns out to be a terrifying global conspiracy.
Why Change is Good is Important
We think we know the 1990s, because that period looks so similar to our own: screens on every desk; a cellphone in every pocket; tattoos and gender bending; wild ass business plans for billion dollar businesses; computer gaming grown larger than Hollywood movies.
Those young people of the 90s built the companies we all know that are now the model for start ups around the world. They dreamed the dreams of social, financial, media, and political transformation that still fill the heads of young people today.
The big difference between now and then is that for these young people, everything was new, there were no road maps. It was like being on a battlefield for the first time, full of high emotion and high energy precisely because everything was immensely scary. So while riches seemed tantalizingly within reach, soul crushing failure was always the likelier outcome, and an embarrassing ride back to the lives and small towns they were trying to escape.
Change is Good is about startups, the rave scene, internet porn, vulture capitalists, drugs, gaming, cypherpunks, backstabbing, and rivers of white hot cash flowing from a stock market becoming untethered from reality. Weaving in and out of the story are real personalities and headlines, from Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs, to the sentencing of the Trade Center bomber, to Drudge breaking the Monica Lewinsky scandal. No surprise, the heroes’ stories could have been pulled from the pages of Wired magazine — because Louis Rossetto was editor of Wired during the period.