A rollicking ride through a political savant’s adventures at the chaotic intersection of tech and politics
Described as “Silicon Valley’s political savior” (Fast Company), “Uber’s political genius” (Vanity Fair), and “Silicon Valley’s favorite fixer” (TechCrunch), Bradley Tusk has regularly found himself in the middle of some of the most heated battles of our time. And he usually wins, using a strategic mix of PR savvy, political brinksmanship, and an uncanny grasp of how the system really works. In The Fixer he tells the sometimes funny, sometimes appalling tale of his accidental education—and shows what the rest of us can learn from it.
Tusk got his first taste of politics as a college sophomore, a er marching into Philadelphia’s city hall and ask- ing Mayor Ed Rendell for a job. Before long he was working behind the scenes with prominent politicians such as Senator Chuck Schumer, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, and New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, for whom Tusk served as campaign manager.
He then applied his experience to the private sec- tor, when a little startup called Uber was threatened with destruction by deep-pocketed and politically connected taxi fleet owners. Mayors around the country were under pressure to force Uber out of their cities. The startup couldn’t compete on campaign contributions, but Tusk realized the power of Uber’s happy customers. In New York, he mobilized those customers to protest on behalf of Uber’s working-class drivers against the taxi industry. Mayor Bill de Blasio, faced with strong opposition from where he least expected it—the progressive left—had to back down from new regulations against Uber. Other cities followed suit.
Since then, Tusk has led the charge in many fields against entrenched interests that want to keep innovators down. He’s held insurance companies at bay while startup Lemonade launched in each state, helped Eaze legalize on-demand cannabis delivery, and aided online sports- betting sites FanDuel and Dra Kings against the regulatory death grip casinos tried to put on them.
Combining sharp wit, astute observations of power dynamics, and hard-won advice for any new venture, The Fixer is a vivid and entertaining look behind the curtain and a must-read for any political junkie or aspiring entrepreneur.
Bradley Tusk is a venture capitalist who protects startups from political risk. He is the CEO and founder of Tusk Ventures, the first venture capital fund dedicated to working with and investing in startups in regulated industries. His fund, Tusk Ventures, has now worked with and invested in dozens of startups like FanDuel, Lemonade, Eaze, Circle, Ripple and Bird. Bradley previously served as Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign manager in New York City, Deputy Governor of Illinois, and Senator Chuck Schumer’s communications director.
On top of his roles as CEO of Tusk Holdings and Tusk Ventures, his foundation is leading the work to bring mobile voting to elections in the United States. Bradley also writes a regular column for The Observer and hosts a podcast about tech, culture and politics called Firewall. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago Law School, Bradley lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children.