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a16z
MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, MARCH 2017
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How Aristotle created the computer
by Chris Dixon
The history of computers is often told as a history of objects, from the abacus to the Babbage engine up through the code-breaking machines of World War II. But it's better understood as a history of ideas -- mainly ideas that emerged from mathematical logic, an obscure and cult-like discipline that was initially considered a hopelessly abstract subject with no conceivable applications. And yet, it would provide the foundation for a field that would have more impact on the modern world than any other...
read this essay in The Atlantic
From Hidden Figure to sonic BOOM
with Christine Darden and Jeff Jordan
An aerospace engineer who worked at NASA for over 40 years, Dr. Christine Darden is one of the mathematicians that the book and movie Hidden Figures was based on. She would go on to become the first African American woman in senior management at NASA as well as lead the sonic boom team there. In this intimate conversation with a16z general partner Jeff Jordan, Darden shares how she first fell in love with math (and particularly geometry); the effect that Sputnik had on our culture (and her); and... the secrets of the sonic boom.
listen to this podcast
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From personal brand to company culture
with Alex Constantinople, Ben Horowitz, Hanne Tidnam, Margit Wennmachers  
Your brand is "what people say about you when you’re not in the room". And it is going to happen to you whether you choose to have an active part in building it or not. The same is true for building company culture -- unless you set it, "it'll just be what it is". So how then does one go about building a personal brand? And then, at a more collective, organizational level, how should founders (or leaders trying to turn their company around, confront disruption, etc.) go about creating a truly winning culture? 
Changing things, fast and slow
with Sonal Chokshi, Tyler Cowen, Benedict Evans, Yuval Harari, Alex Rampell, Kyle Russell
Two foundational technology changes rolling through the car industry at the moment -- electric and autonomy -- will completely remake the car industry and its suppliers, as well as have profound consequences beyond the car industry itself. Meanwhile (and perhaps not too much further out!), man may merge with machines, bypassing human evolution and changing everything from how we learn to how we work. But in other ways as we become too comfortable (partly due to tech), is change too slow, at least in the U.S.?
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Machine learning startups or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the data 
with Jensen Harris, AJ Shankar, and Steven Sinofsky
A lot of machine learning startups initially feel a bit of “impostor syndrome” around competing with big companies, because (the argument goes), those companies have all the data; surely we can’t beat that! Yet to achieve product market fit and actually solve a problem for customers, there’s a lot more that needs to happen beyond a giant corpus of data and the latest deep learning algorithm. So what happens when machine learning-as-a-service is really the feature... not the product? And what do you build, what do you buy, do you bother to customize?
listen to this episode of the a16z Podcast 
 
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Andreessen Horowitz
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Andreessen Horowitz · 2865 Sand Hill Road, Suite 101 · Menlo Park, CA 94025 · USA