Silicon Valley’s Growing Identity Crisis with Mehran Sahami and Mike Trigg


  • Mehran Sahami, Professor, Stanford University
  • Mike Trigg, Author, Advisor, Angel Investor


Join Stanford professor, early Google engineer, and co-author of System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot, Mehran Sahami, and author of the upcoming satirical corporate thriller, Bit Flip, and Silicon Valley tech veteran, Mike Trigg, in a conversation about the growing identity crisis many tech workers feel. With recent revelations about the detrimental impacts of Big Tech and the displacement created by COVID and extended work-from-home policies, many tech workers find themselves at a career crossroads. Mike and Mehran will delve into the challenges facing the tech industry today and what to do about it—a topic both authors explore in their books. Specific topics will include:

  • Disruption or Democracy – The manipulation and abuse of tech platforms to compromise our democratic institutions.
  • Gentrification and Bay Area Flight – How skyrocketing housing prices combined with perpetual work-from-home are leading many tech workers to leave Silicon Valley.
  • Ethical Tech – From fraud scandals like Theranos, to allegations of sexual misconduct, to the prevalence of ever-more autonomous, and potentially biased, algorithms, the tech industry is overdue for an ethical reboot.
  • The Tech Downturn – The impact of plummeting stock prices, collapsing cryptocurrency portfolios, and widespread layoffs on tech workers’ livelihood and mental health.

About the Speakers

Mehran Sahami is the James and Ellenor Chesebrough Professor in the School of Engineering and Associate Chair for Education in Computer Science at Stanford University. He is also the Robert and Ruth Halperin University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. Sahami earned his BS and PhD from Stanford University. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, he was a Senior Research Scientist at Google and a Senior Engineering Manager at Epiphany. Sahami is co-author, with fellow Stanford faculty Rob Reich and Jeremy Weinstein, of System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot.

Mike Trigg spent over 20 years in Silicon Valley’s tech industry before becoming an author. He has been a founder, executive, and employee at dozens of venture-backed start-ups, including Hightail, hi5, and Epiphany. He has also been an angel investor, advisor at several venture capital funds, and a contributor to TechCrunch, Entrepreneur, and Fast Company. Born in Kentucky and raised in Wisconsin, Trigg earned a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Menlo Park, California, with his wife and two sons. His first novel, Bit Flip, was published August 16 with SparkPress.