The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Apr 25, 2017 - Business & Economics - 304 pages
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Financial Times Business Book of the Month
Finalist for the 2016 Financial Times/McKinsey Bracken Bower Prize

A leading venture capitalist offers surprising revelations on who is going to be driving 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 misled the business world for decades: that it's the techies who drive innovation.

But in this brilliantly contrarian book, Hartley reveals the counterintuitive reality of business today: it's 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. It is they who are bringing context to code, and ethics to algorithms.They also bring the management and communication skills, the soft skills that are so vital to spurring growth.

Hartley looks inside some of today's most dynamic new companies, reveals breakthrough fuzzy-techie collaborations, and explores how such collaborations are at the center of innovation in business, education, and government, and why liberal arts are still relevant in our techie world.
 
 

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User Review  - deldevries - LibraryThing

An important look into the role of liberal arts education. Even though technology skills are important, so are fundamental skills such as critical thinking, reading comprehension, logical analysis, argumentation, and clear and persuasive communication. Read full review

Contents

1 The Role of the Fuzzy in a Techie World
1
2 Adding the Human Factor to Big Data
31
3 The Democratization of Technology Tools
59
4 Algorithms That Serve Rather Than Rule Us
86
5 Making Our Technology More Ethical
109
6 Enhancing the Ways We Learn
140
7 Building a Better World
173
8 The Future of Jobs
201
Back Matter
227
Back Flap
291
Back Cover
292
Spine
293
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About the author (2017)

SCOTT HARTLEY is a venture capitalist and startup advisor. He has served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the White House, a partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures, and a venture partner at Metamorphic Ventures. Prior to venture capital, Hartley worked at Google, Facebook, and Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. He is a contributing author to the MIT Press book Shopping for Good, and has written for publications such as Inc.Foreign PolicyForbes, and the Boston Review.

Hartley has been a speaker at dozens of international entrepreneurship events with the World Bank, MIT, Google, and the U.S. State Department’s Global Innovation in Science and Technology (GIST) program. Hartley holds an MBA and an MA from Columbia University, and a BA from Stanford University. He is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations.
 

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