Inside the Cult of Kibu:
And Other Tales of the Millennial Gold Rush

by Lori Gottlieb and Jesse Jacobs

> About the Book
> What People are Saying
> Reviews
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About the Book
In the spring of 2000, Lori Gottlieb was lured away from Stanford Medical School to become editor-in-chief of, a high-profile Silicon Valley online community for teen girls dubbed in the Internet vernacular as "Yahoo! for Gen Y, with an estrogen slant." But when the company whose goal was to "empower" young women turned into the behind-the-scenes equivalent of Heathers meets Lord of the Flies (apparently, its female co-founders confused themselves with their target demographic), Gottlieb published a no-holds-barred exposé in the Industry Standard. Her irreverent essay inspired hundreds of emails in response, including one from Jesse Jacobs, then the head of content for, the Net's leading online film site.

They clicked, so to speak, and embarked on a journey to produce a hilarious and very personal collective memoir of the New Economy. The result is a one-of-a-kind backstage pass to a world of extremes: brilliance and inanity, exhilaration and desperation, and of course, money (real and imagined). Weaving together Gottlieb's experiences at Kibu with those of nearly 100 participants—from media icon Kurt Andersen to Hollywood mogul Peter Guber; from popular Bay-area author Po Bronson to Public Enemy rapper Chuck D, Gottlieb and Jacobs present an oral history of a time that is now imprinted on our collective psyche.

Featuring a richly engaging and incisive tapestry of voices from the front lines—venture capitalists and engineers, receptionists and lawyers, advertising executives and CEOs, party planners and pundits, media moguls and MBAs—Inside the Cult of Kibu is much more than an account of life in an alternate universe. It's a unique reflection of what happens when business, technology, and popular culture combine and ignite in a spectacular display.

What People are Saying
"An intoxicating collective memoir of the American Dream gone wild, Inside the Cult of Kibu takes you through the looking glass for a one-of-a-kind tour of the New Economy's most eventful years and the personalities that fueled it. This intriguing group portrait of both the major and minor players is chock-full of insightful, hilarious and priceless anecdotes. What's astonishing is that this story is true."
—Peter Guber, former CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Author of Shoot Out: Surviving the Fame and Misfortune of Hollywood

"Definitely not a F***ed Book. Gottlieb and Jacobs are the like the Studs Terkels of the New Economy."
—Philip "Pud" Kaplan, Founder of F*** and Author of F'd Companies: Spectacular Dot-Com Flameouts

"This smart and hilarious voyeur's view offers a seminal collection of voices ranging from the haunting to the absurd. Gottlieb and Jacobs expertly capture the comic—and tragic—theatrics of the New Economy."
—Stacy Horn, Founder of Echo and Author of Cyberville: Clicks, Culture, and the Creation of an Online Town

"An extraordinary and highly entertaining behind-the-scenes portrayal. Gottlieb and Jacobs depict the players and culture in vivid Technicolor and with Gonzo-like understanding."
—Tim Draper, Founder and Managing Director of Silicon Valley VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Wired News
"Hilarious…Good and gossipy…Inside the Cult of Kibu deserves a place on the bookshelf right next to that other classic of digital bubble-popping, Michael Lewis' The New New Thing."

The Washington Monthly
"Really funny… Kibu contains a lot of entertaining stories, many of them telling and insightful, about the era's delusions and incompetencies and lifestyle excesses. [Gottlieb and Jacobs] have the right Alice-in-Wonderland perspective, the naive good sense that frames the irrationalities around them... Entertaining stuff."

"[Gottlieb's] writing style manages to show both the dark humor and pathos of her situation at…Gottlieb and Jacobs dig up new, amusing details surrounding the desperation of the dot-com endgame."

The Boston Globe
"[Gottlieb's] wry commentary is engaging … Kibu's misadventures are funny."

People Magazine
"Gottlieb and Jacobs compiled this oral history of that time when Old Media people were lured away from stable jobs by the promise of massages, Frappuccinos and office Ping-Pong."
"A fascinating look at the quirky culture told in a variety of voices… humorous… the descriptions and voices make it worthy of notice."

Publishers Weekly
"An amusing snapshot of [the] era."

"Unlike the typical web gripe-site...illuminates a wild and wacky scene."

The Dallas Morning News
"An eclectic collection of tales of companies and individuals swept along in the New Economy boom and subsequent bust."

The Orange County Register
"This book reveals that, whatever you think you know about the dot-com era, the truth is probably more outrageous."
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