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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“Scott Hartley artfully explains why it is time for us to get over the false division between the human and the technical.” —Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO and author of Change by Design

Scott Hartley first heard the terms fuzzy and techie while studying political science at Stanford University. If you majored in humanities or social sciences, you were a fuzzy. If you majored in computer or hard sciences, you were a techie.

While Silicon Valley is generally considered a techie stronghold, the founders of companies like Airbnb, Pinterest, Slack, LinkedIn, PayPal, Stitch Fix, Reddit, and others are all fuzzies—in other words, people with backgrounds in the liberal arts.

 In this brilliantly counterintuitive book, Hartley shatters assumptions about business and education today: learning to code is not enough. The soft skills—curiosity, communication, and collaboration, along with an understanding of psychology and society’s gravest problems—are central to why technology has value. Fuzzies are the instrumental stewards of robots, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. They offer a human touch that is of equal—if not greater—importance in our technology-led world than what most techies can provide.

 For anyone doubting whether a well-rounded liberal arts education is practical in today’s world, Hartley’s work will come as an inspiring revelation.
Finalist for the 2016 Financial Times/McKinsey Bracken Bower Prize
A Financial Times Business Book of the Month

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LibraryThing Review

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

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

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Hartley, a venture capitalist with a Stanford political science degree, doesn’t actually spend much of his full-length debut attacking the straw man presented in his introduction, the “dire warnings ... Read full review


1 The Role of the Fuzzy in a Techie World
2 Adding the Human Factor to Big Data
3 The Democratization of Technology Tools
4 Algorithms That Serve Rather Than Rule Us
5 Making Our Technology More Ethical
6 Enhancing the Ways We Learn
7 Building a Better World
8 The Future of Jobs
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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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