Greg Gopman, the erstwhile CEO of hackathon organizing company AngelHack, has once again revealed himself to be far from angelic. After his 2013 screed against homeless "degenerates" brought him internet infamy, the 'reformed' Gopman sought image rehab with a Silicon Valley apology and a self-aggrandizing plan to solve homelessness. But today, the sad, fairly predictable news reaches us from the Guardian that Gopman has admitted defeat, fled to Asia, and in his words, gone "a little Eat, Pray, Love."
Gopman, who once observed that Market Street was a "grotesque" scene of "crazy, homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash" who "gather like hyenas, spit, urinate, taunt you, sell drugs, get rowdy, [and] act like they own the center of the city," was, in his words, "crucified" by the public for those comments. He returned to the limelight with some messianic delusions in 2015 when the Chronicle ran his big plan to fix a problem for which he demonstrated little empathy and less understanding. It seemed maybe legit, very possibly well-meaning, and like it could gain some traction. But it later came out that the vainglorious dudebro had actually fibbed about meeting with Mayor Lee to discuss his ideas. In fact Gopman just cornered Lee at a public event.
And let's not forget how just a couple months ago, Sam Dodge, the Director of Public Policy at the Mayor's Office of Housing Opportunity, Partnership & Engagement, said in an email snagged by SF Mag, "[Gopman] is the bane of my existence. Not really, but I think he is a phony. He is relatively harmless, but I don't really want any more connections between him and the City."
In an update, we now we learn that Gopman's plans, which included geodesic dome shelters that professionals called depressing and basically laughed off, are being squashed in what Gopman perceives as a concerted attack against him.
“The people in charge of helping the homeless really don’t care,” Gopman told the Guardian via email. "I’m doing a little Eat, Pray, Love trip in Asia right now,” he wrote, maybe just to troll us with self-parody. "After working on homelessness for the past year, I was disheartened seeing how little people actually care, politicians especially.” You know, he did spend a whole year on this.
Asked whether Gopman's ideas were promising, an anonymous senior aide to the mayor said "No. He threw something out there, but people working with him got sick of his ego. Last I heard he’s been vacationing for six months.”
On the subject of vacations, it bears noting that Gopman was sued in 2014 by his AngelHack co-founder Sabeen Ali of using his former company' bank accounts to pay rent, credit card bills, and fund "'elaborate vacations' in Thailand and Colombia." Gopman is currently in Vietnam.