Insanely Great: The Dominant IT Fable

  • Sandford BorinsEmail author
  • Beth Herst


This chapter outlines a dominant nirvana fable of the successful IT startup from the interrelated Microsoft and Apple origin stories to recent instantiations concerning Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Uber. The popularization of this fable has channeled the potentially disruptive ideology of digital innovation into the institutions of contemporary venture capitalism. The chapter also describes two counter-fables: the thrown-over original partner elbowed out of the business and the nightmare of the failed IT startup. The successful startup fable is now being challenged by narratives about the IT industry’s rampant underrepresentation and harassment of women, monopolization by the most successful firms, and the covert but widespread use of the Internet and social media for extremism.


Startup Information technology Hacker Disruption Harrassment 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor of Strategic ManagementUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Narrative and Innovation IncorporatedTorontoCanada

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