The fuzzy and the techie review
The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World by Scott HartleyOne of the nations leading venture capitalists offers surprising revelations on who is going to be leading innovation in the years to come
Scott Hartley first heard the terms fuzzy and techie while studying political science at Stanford University. If you majored in the humanities or social sciences, you were a fuzzy. If you majored in the computer sciences, you were a techie. This informal division has quietly found its way into a default assumption that has mistakenly led the business world for decades: that techies are the real drivers of innovation.
But in this brilliantly contrarian book, Hartley reveals the counterintuitive reality of business today: its actually the fuzzies-not the techies-who are playing the key roles in developing the most creative and successful new business ideas. They are often the ones who understand the life issues that need solving and offer the best approaches for doing so. They also bring the management and communication skills that are so vital to spurring growth.
Hartley looks inside some of todays most dynamic new companies, reveals breakthrough fuzzy-techie collaborations, and explores how such collaborations work to create real innovation.
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Software will write itself. Coding will be internally coded. Data will be ripe for "self"-interpretation. He sees a great deal of the high-tech industry following the path of manufacturing and mining jobs and becoming obsolete to all but a select few of the American workforce. While these claims are not new -- people have been saying for decades that machines will "be" the new humans -- they are picking up momentum amongst a strong group of economists, entrepreneurs, and higher education professionals, who still recognize the need for critical thinking and well-rounded intellectualism in the workplace.
Romin Irani’s Blog
Were dinosaurs fuzzies or techies? Did our hunter gatherer ancestors gain a survival advantage by being a fuzzy or a techie? Paleontologists and anthropologists are best suited to answer these questions. But what are fuzzies and techies? So should students today immerse themselves in acquiring the technical skills — computer programming, to be specific — that will make them highly sought after professionals? A couple of Pakistanis from non-technical backgrounds who launch a successful logistics start-up and an American who majored in theatre arts and launched a healthtech startup are the examples the author details early on to give us a flavour of the variety of people launching successful startups.
This book caught my attention a few months back since I am firmly of the belief that to create great products, it is not just about having technical prowess but a lot of other things and I specifically wanted to understand the role of liberal arts. It is this intersection of streams that is of deep interest to me. This is not just from an ideating perspective but even working with technical folks to bring their ideas to reality. The book is a good read. It gave me numerous examples of companies that either I had heard about or had no clue about. The latter was more interesting since I often found myself looking them up on the internet for precisely what they are doing. It was interesting to understand the background of the founders and honestly I have been humbled since I was not really sure if people with a very diverse background or completely unrelated background could go so deep and build a cutting edge or futuristic digital product.