A guide to doing positive work in the context of business.
A heady hybrid of critical thinking, personal narrative, and economic analysis, Utopian Entrepreneur is a field manual for those who want to do socially positive work in the context of business. One of the few Silicon Valley veterans who participated in all four of the major computer tech bubbles—games, multimedia, virtual reality, and dot-coms—Brenda Laurel is known for injecting humanistic values into computer-based media.
Laurel interweaves her ideas on how to conduct socially progressive business with the saga of her experiences with the Interval Research Corporation and as the founder of the pioneering girls' software company Purple Moon.
Brenda Laurel is Chair of the graduate Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and was the co-founder of Purple Moon. She is the author of Utopian Entrepreneur (MIT Press, 2001).
Brenda Laurel's startup company, 'Purple Moon,' failed but her travails provided a powerful learning experience. This engaging book, written in a style that is uniquely Brenda, tells the story. More importantly, it shows how to move forward to a positive humanistic culture, where technology and media provide rich, rewarding experiences.
Donald A. Norman, Nielsen Norman Group, author of The Invisible Computer
Laurel's stream-of-consciousness tale weaves whole cloth around the meaning of online experience, from those heady early days that defined Interval to the tatters of the brave experiment that was Purple Moon. At turns both humorous and heartbreaking, this always humane account of the would-be transcendent dot-com and what its intrepid founder learned along the way will resonate with the utopian entrepreneur in all of us.
Donna L. Hoffman, Co-Director, eLab, Vanderbilt University
A guide to those seeking socially positive work in the business world.
a worthy manual for anyone striving to create a successful business model out of socially positive work.
New Jersey Computer User Magazine
In a better world, the road to wealth would be lined with people like Laurel.
This small book achieves consciousness and pleasure through design and word with an added appeal to touch.
I read Brenda Laurel's heartfelt confession with complete attention and respect. It's a thrill to learn what she's really been up to!
Bruce Sterling, author of Shaping Things
In a world overrun by self-appointed media gurus, Laurel is the real thing: a theorist, an artist, and a veteran of the computer wars. Utopian Entrepreneur is a tour-de-force of visionary thinking and a testament to the power of expressive language: visually and verbally, theoretically and theatrically. Her new book is a gem.
Jessica Helfand, Helfand Drenttel Studio, and Lecturer, Yale School of Art