A company named Anduril Industries is testing a sophisticated digital wall, called Lattice, to prevent unauthorized crossings along the US-Mexico border. Instead of using a fence and barbed wire, Lattice uses cameras, virtual reality and radar. If the system works, Anduril hopes to become a major player in the defense industry. But are the politcal values of its co-founder, Palmer Luckey, reason for concern?
Bezos: If you go back to 1999, it’s hard to remember how effervescent the bubble was. People who really didn’t have any passion for technology or the Internet were giving up their careers as doctors and mining Internet gold. And when the bubble popped, a meaningful fraction of our people left. They realized they didn’t really want to be doing this. Some of them got laid off, some of them left of their own accord. Those were not happy days. This super-valuable person you really liked leaves. So your skin gets thicker. Not just me, but all of the executives who stayed.
It had taken a while for the world to realize what an amazing treasure Steve Jobs was. But Jobs knew it all along. That was part of what was so unusual about him. From at least the time he was a teenager, Jobs had a freakish chutzpah. At age 13, he called up the head of HP and cajoled him into giving Jobs free computer chips. It was part of a lifelong pattern of setting and fulfilling astronomical standards. Throughout his career, he was fearless in his demands. He kicked aside the hoops that everyone else had to negotiate and straightforwardly and brazenly pursued what he wanted. When he got what he wanted — something that occurred with astonishing frequency — he accepted it as his birthright.
Want to know how Google is about to change your life? Stop by the Ouagadougou conference room on a Thursday morning. It is here, at the Mountain View, California, headquarters of the world’s most powerful Internet company, that a room filled with three dozen engineers, product managers, and executives figure out how to make their search engine even smarter. This year, Google will introduce 550 or so improvements to its fabled algorithm, and each will be determined at a gathering just like this one.
Why does Google even need a chief economist? The simplest reason is that the company is an economy unto itself. The ad auction, marinated in that special sauce, is a seething laboratory of fiduciary forensics, with customers ranging from giant multinationals to dorm-room entrepreneurs, all billed by the world’s largest micropayment system.