What a long, strange journey to Showtime it has been since 2017.....
Friends, I’ll keep this brief: When I took my first Uber (then UberCab) 12 years ago through the streets of San Francisco, I had no idea it would eventually become so inextricably linked with my life.
The company was a true disruptor as I covered its rise for the Times, and eventually grew into a multi-billion dollar behemoth — the ur-unicorn of a certain era of Silicon Valley. It all nearly came crashing down in 2017 as scandal after scandal rocked the company and its co-founder, Travis Kalanick. The company was salvaged, though not before Kalanick was forced out of his CEO seat by his own investors.
Because the story so consumed my life that year, I felt there was so much more to say about what went down, and wrote a book — my first — about the saga and what the rise and near collapse of Uber meant about Silicon Valley.
As I was promoting the book in 2019, I thought to send a copy to Brian Koppelman, whose podcast I enjoyed and whose work, with longtime partner David Levien, I had been a fan of since forever. If I was lucky, maybe Brian would read the first chapter and invite me onto his podcast so I could desperately push my book.
Somehow I got much luckier. Brian and David loved the book, and along with their collaborator Beth Schachter, wanted to adapt Super Pumped into a TV show. In the wings would be support from much of the amazing crew and writing staff from their hit show Billions. I couldn’t believe it.
Now, a little more than two years later, Koppelman, Levien and Schachter’s Super Pumped is about to debut on Showtime. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kyle Chandler and Uma Thurman star, and a host of other very talented actors support them.
I cannot tell you how wonderful everyone has been, how sharp and creative Brian, David and Beth are along with the other writers and producers, how hard-working the crew and production team was, and how fantastic our cast of characters turned out to be. I owe endless thanks to Showtime’s executive and marketing teams for supporting the production and the vision. And I truly appreciate that they let me consult on how the history of it all went down, even when it sounded too crazy to be true.
Brian, David, Beth and the rest of the team have created something truly special, and I feel so fortunate to have been a part of it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
As a postscript: Showtime has already renewed us for a second season, which will focus on Facebook and will be based on my forthcoming book on the social network. I couldn’t be more thrilled to work with the team and the network again, and am so fortunate Brian, David and Beth have been so willing to take chances on my work and turn it into amazing visual stories.
(Now all I have to do is go write the rest of this Facebook book! If you happen to be a current or former Facebook employee who wants to talk about your experience as I’m reporting it out, feel free to email me anytime.)