The uncanny redemption of SF’s most famous tech brother

In May, Gopman learned of a reason why the City Hall was so slow. One email was written in the press two months earlier by Sam Dodge, then the public policy director of the mayor’s office for city-sponsored housing. “[Gopman] is limiting my existence! ”Dodge wrote. “Not really, but I think he’s a fake… if you want to educate him, he’ll use it to delete his Google search profile of all the horrible things he did. talking about the homeless… He’s relatively harmless, but I don’t really want any more connection between him and the City. “

The email confirmed Gopman’s growing fears that officials were laughing at his back. He tweeted by himself: “still waiting for a personal apology”.

His project continues to unravel. In June, he posted about his dome plan, and the reporters picked it up. “What do homeless people need? The geodetic dome, apparently, “wrote Verge. One person on Twitter called it “mini Epcots”. “The future imagined by Ayn Rand will be extremely welcome, forever.” An anonymous assistant mayor told the Guardian of the UK, “It reminds me of a dog house.”

“Everyone is focused on the dome, that is underdeveloped, “ Cities across the country have been experimenting with planned plantations, with varying degrees of success, says Gopman, so the idea is precedent. Plus, the arches are more weather resistant and look better than tents, something Gopman thinks might soothe some NIMBYs. Half a dozen homeless people joined a gathering group at the public library, and others Gopman and Jackson talked to on the street, said they wanted to live there.

Confused and frustrated, Gopman returned to the group he understood well: technology. Gopman got an advice from a well-known guy that Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh might be a good guy to give a lecture on the creation of a dome city in Las Vegas. Hsieh has all the political influence Gopman lacked in San Francisco, investing $ 350 million in downtown Vegas along with his shoe e-commerce headquarters. Plus, Hsieh owns and lives in a Burning Man-inspired Airstreams and RV community – not far from a domed house, Gopman thought.

Gopman flew to Vegas on a poker flight, with plans to gamble Hsieh. When the boy’s trailer was well known, Gopman walked 40 minutes to the building to knock on Hsieh’s door.

A security guard stopped him. Gopman pulled the image of the dome on his phone to try to explain it to himself, but the guard didn’t.

“It didn’t work,” recalled Gopman, sounding baffled.

Gopman has worn out. He has been working full-time for the homeless for almost a year – with very little affirmation from the startup community, with full understanding that a tech boom is passing by him while he was pushed into a civilian space that didn’t want any solution. in Gopman packaging.

He decided it was time to go out.

“I became really depressed and exhausted at this point and sold myself,” Gopman said. “I just don’t get help from anywhere and I still feel like I’m being treated like an enemy even though I’m coming up with more disruptive solutions than anyone else in space. I made an early decision right after that to get rid of the towel, start traveling, and focus again on the startups that I appreciated.

Shortly after returning from Vegas, he booked a one-way ticket to Sweden, launching an eight-month backpacking tour around the world. He called it the “Eat, Pray, Love” trip The guardian reporter, caught by bloggers, fueled Gopman’s Twitter battle. One young politician tweeted: “I say this with a lot of admiration for you, Greg. Politics is a stupid game. But you still have to play. “

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