Hey of us. It’s Lauren Goode right here, filling in for Steven Levy—who final I heard was foil-boarding up at Lake Tahoe whereas sourcing his subsequent, not-yet-announced e-book. I’m writing from my perch in Silicon Valley, amidst the drift smoke from the devastating fires in Northern California. We’re additionally in the midst of a fraught gubernatorial recall election right here, and ready to see what the reopening of colleges means for this important section within the Covid-19 pandemic. What’s that? Sorry—my editor tells me I’m supposed to avoid wasting the dire stuff for the “End Times” part of this article. Don’t fear: Despite all this, somebody in Silicon Valley is definitely constructing the subsequent huge tech firm.