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True Tales of Working the Web


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

If your last name isn't Bezos, Gates or Cheng, work in the Internet economy can be nasty, brutish...and long.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Bill Lessard and Steve Baldwin’s engaging and ironic book discusses the lives lead by workers in the Internet economy. The fictitious accounts introduce people toiling at all levels of employment in the Internet economy. The picture isn’t pretty. Because it is driven by intense greed, the Internet economy is hard - if not downright brutish - on its employees. You cannot understand why employees work under these conditions, but clearly these circumstances are designed to exploit a bubble in the capitalistic structure. Executives and managers may not like the clear anti-management tone of this book, but may still find it a worthwhile read. Employees, of course, will love this book. recommends it to anyone who wants a different perspective on the Internet economy.


NetSlaves and the Internet Economy

Who works in Internet companies? What types of jobs do they do? What types of lives do they lead? You have probably heard that employees of Internet companies are enormously wealthy. The media does a great job of promulgating the Net’s "universal success myth," which is that everyone connected to a "" is a millionaire, in actuality or in stock options. But when you look deeper, below the IPOs and the hype, you find another reality. Millions of people work in the Internet environment who are not getting wealthy. In fact, they work long hours for low wages in bad working conditions. These people are NetSlaves.

NetSlaves come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. At the bottom rung of the corporate structure are the Garbagemen, who keep the system running. At the top rung are the Robber Barons, who launch IPOs. In between are: Cops and Streetwalkers who chase bad Net elements and deliver pornography; Social Workers who manage Net communication; Cab Drivers who write Web site code; Cowboys and Card Sharks who design and manage Web site coding projects; Fry Cooks who manage multiple Web site projects; Gold Diggers and Gigolos...

About the Authors

Bill Lessard and Steve Baldwin are the co-creators of the NetSlaves Web site Lessard has written for the Industry Standard and CNET. He spent years as a NetSlave for Prodigy, Pathfinder, and a variety of start-ups before joining Union Bank of Switzerland. He lives in Yonkers, New York. Baldwin has been an editor at PC Magazine, Computer Shopper, and Pathfinder. He developed "Ghost Sites of the Web," an acclaimed webzine devoted to failed Web sites. He lives in New York City.

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