Book Launch: Robert Lalka - Venture Alchemists: How Big Tech Turned Profits Into Power

Book Launch: Robert Lalka - Venture Alchemists: How Big Tech Turned Profits Into Power

The Garden District Book Shop is pleased to welcome Tulane professor, Robert Lalka to discuss his latest book The Venture Alchemists: How Big Tech Turned Profits into Power. 

Professor Lalka sitting down with local communication expert and founding member of the Nieux Society, Jonah Evans to discuss The Venture Alchemists and his research, followed by a Q&A. Afterwards, Lalka will be available to chat with guests and personalize copies of his book.

Entry to the event is free and open to the public. The book shop encourages interested parties to RSVP to ensure entry and reserve a copy of the book, as space is limited.

Additional copies will be available to purchase. 


In The Venture Alchemists, Rob Lalka demystifies how tech entrepreneurs built empires that made trillions. Meta started as a cruel Halloween prank, Alphabet began as a master’s thesis that warned against corporate deception, and Palantir came from a campus controversy over hateful speech. These largely forgotten origin stories show how ordinary fears and youthful ambitions shaped their ventures—making each tech tale relatable, both wonderfully and tragically human. Readers learn about the adversities tech entrepreneurs overcame, the troubling tradeoffs they made, and the tremendous power they now wield. Using leaked documents and previously unpublished archival material, Lalka takes readers inside Big Tech’s worst exploitations and abuses, alongside many good intentions and moral compromises.

This masterfully researched book reveals the all-too-human origins of today's tech titans. Rob Lalka transports us to the dorm room debates, campus lab breakthroughs, and free speech controversies where iconic companies like Facebook, Google, PayPal, and Palantir first emerged. Lalka traces the ambitions, adversities, and compromises that transformed young innovators into billionaires; here, the companies are vivid characters, and the entrepreneurs are real people, flaws and all.  -- Walter Isaacson, National Humanities Medalist and author of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs

Event date: 

Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 6:00pm

Event address: 

The Garden District Book Shop
2727 Prytania St
New Orleans, LA 70130
The Venture Alchemists: How Big Tech Turned Profits Into Power By Rob Lalka Cover Image
ISBN: 9780231210263
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Columbia Business School Publishing - May 14th, 2024