It used to be that stories of tech companies breaking all the rules and fighting city hall were considered sexy. But right now we’re having conversations with more suspicion about things like unproven driverless technology, online advertising, unstoppable data collection and automation. Here with a defense of tech’s disruptive mentality is Bradley Tusk, a political operative turned tech consultant who has a new book called “The Fixer.” It’s full of pirate stories of him helping heroic startups, like Uber, work around innovation-killing politicians and their rules. Host Molly Wood asks Tusk whether it's the right time for a book that takes the side of tech companies. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.
Bradley Tusk: The world that I live in is not the Google, Amazon, Facebook world. It's the world of Series A, relatively early stage startups, who are trying to get off the ground. They've got some new idea that's usually a tweak on an existing industry, they figure out a better way to do it. They launch whoever the entrenched interest is, whether it's the taxi cartel, the hotel industry, the casinos, whoever it is. They don't want competition. They don't want lose market share. So they lean on the regulators and politicians to crack down. And then my job is to kind of fight it out and make it OK.