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Marc Andreessen's Book Recommendations

Co-developer, Mosaic, the first-ever browser for the WorldWideWeb. Co-founder, Netscape (sold to AOL) and Opsware (sold to HP). Co-founder A16Z, presently Silicon Valley’s most influential venture fund.

True Names

by
About
The Book
Once in a great while, a science fiction story is so visionary, yet so close to impending scientific developments that it becomes not only an accurate predictor, but itself the locus for new discoveries and development. True Names by Vernor Vinge, first published in 1981, is such a work. Cyberspace, Software Bots, Avatars etc are all anticipated here; this before IBM had launched the PC!

True Names

by Vernor Vinge
About
The Book
Once in a great while, a science fiction story is so visionary, yet so close to impending scientific developments that it becomes not only an accurate predictor, but itself the locus for new discoveries and development. True Names by Vernor Vinge, first published in 1981, is such a work. Cyberspace, Software Bots, Avatars etc are all anticipated here; this before IBM had launched the PC!
What Marc Andreessen says

if you haven’t had the pleasure, be sure to read True Names, Vinge’s 1981 novella that forecast the modern Internet with shocking clarity. Fans of Gibson and Stephenson will be amazed to see how much more accurately Vinge called it, and before Neuromancer‘s first page cleared Gibson’s manual typewriter.

Chase, Chance and Creativity

by
About
The Book
This book examines the role of chance in the creative process. James Austin tells a personal story of the ways in which persistence, chance, and creativity interact in biomedical research or any creative endeavour, drawing on his own research and examples from the history of science.

Chase, Chance and Creativity

by James H. Austin
About
The Book
This book examines the role of chance in the creative process. James Austin tells a personal story of the ways in which persistence, chance, and creativity interact in biomedical research or any creative endeavour, drawing on his own research and examples from the history of science.
What Marc Andreessen says

Originally written in 1978, and updated in 2003, this is the best book I’ve read on the role of luck, chance, and serendipity in medical research – or, for that matter, any creative endeavour. And because the author’s a neurologist, he has a grounding in how the brain actually exerts itself creatively.

Glasshouse

by
About
The Book
In the twenty-seventh century, accelerated technology dictates the memories and personalities of people. With most of his own memories deleted, Robin enters The Glasshouse - an experimental polity where he finds himself at the mercy of his own unbalanced psyche.

Glasshouse

by Charles Stross
About
The Book
In the twenty-seventh century, accelerated technology dictates the memories and personalities of people. With most of his own memories deleted, Robin enters The Glasshouse - an experimental polity where he finds himself at the mercy of his own unbalanced psyche.
What Marc Andreessen says

Stross is the single best emerging talent with several outstanding novels in various styles under his belt. Glasshouse is Stross’s latest book and perhaps the best introduction to his work. A paranoid journey into a world of intergalactic teleportation and arbitrary physical body reshaping will have you thinking twice about who you are, and how you know who you are.

About
The Book
Carlota Perez draws upon Schumpeter's theories of the clustering of innovations to explain why each technological revolution gives rise to a paradigm shift and a "New Economy" and how these "opportunity explosions", focused on specific industries, also lead to the recurrence of financial bubbles and crises. These findings are illustrated with examples from the past two centuries: the industrial revolution, the age of steam and railways, the age of steel and electricity, the emergence of mass production and automobiles, and the current information revolution/knowledge society.
About
The Book
Carlota Perez draws upon Schumpeter's theories of the clustering of innovations to explain why each technological revolution gives rise to a paradigm shift and a "New Economy" and how these "opportunity explosions", focused on specific industries, also lead to the recurrence of financial bubbles and crises. These findings are illustrated with examples from the past two centuries: the industrial revolution, the age of steam and railways, the age of steel and electricity, the emergence of mass production and automobiles, and the current information revolution/knowledge society.
What Marc Andreessen says

Best historical examination of how important new technologies impact the economy, and one of two books that have best predicted the evolution of the US economy the last 6 years.

Thirteen

by
About
The Book
Thirteen, released as Black Man in UK, is near-future science fiction, very much in the vein of Bladerunner. A failed government program to produce a more violent, aggressive form of military fighter has resulted in the U.S. rounding up most of the test subjects and isolating them on Mars, a place where no one with any sense would wish to spend their days. But not all of the government subjects have been caught and shipped out to Mars. Enter Carl Marsalis, a hit man who would like nothing more than to stop killing and put his past behind him-and when he's eventually captured in Miami, it seems like the government might take care of his problems for him. Unfortunately, around the same time a transport from Mars arrives back on earth. The entire crew has been killed by a stowaway who turns out to be one of these violent superhumans-and maybe something worse. Now Marsalis is given a choice: use his heightened powers to hunt down the killer, or face a fate worse than death.

Thirteen

by Richard Morgan
About
The Book
Thirteen, released as Black Man in UK, is near-future science fiction, very much in the vein of Bladerunner. A failed government program to produce a more violent, aggressive form of military fighter has resulted in the U.S. rounding up most of the test subjects and isolating them on Mars, a place where no one with any sense would wish to spend their days. But not all of the government subjects have been caught and shipped out to Mars. Enter Carl Marsalis, a hit man who would like nothing more than to stop killing and put his past behind him-and when he's eventually captured in Miami, it seems like the government might take care of his problems for him. Unfortunately, around the same time a transport from Mars arrives back on earth. The entire crew has been killed by a stowaway who turns out to be one of these violent superhumans-and maybe something worse. Now Marsalis is given a choice: use his heightened powers to hunt down the killer, or face a fate worse than death.
What Marc Andreessen says

Undoubtedly Morgan’s best-written novel so far, Thirteen is a near-future story of genetic engineering gone badly wrong — a future version of all those classic paranoid political thrillers of the 70’s but with a much harder edge. Highly recommended. Also very helpful re advising on things to think about before booking your next trip back from Mars.

The Second Machine Age

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About
The Book
Two thinkers at the forefront of their field reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. The Second Machine Age will alter how we think about issues of technological, societal, and economic progress.

The Second Machine Age

by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee
About
The Book
Two thinkers at the forefront of their field reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. The Second Machine Age will alter how we think about issues of technological, societal, and economic progress.
What Marc Andreessen says

Brynjolfsson and McAfee are right; we are on the cusp of a dramatically different world brought on by technology. The Second Machine Age is the book for anyone who wants to thrive in it.  I’ll encourage all of our entrepreneurs to read it, and hope their competitors don’t.

Also Recommended by
  • Mohamed El-Erian

    An optimistic analysis of the breathtaking technological changes that are changing both the workplace and our homes; provides us with a terrific feel for our rapidly changing world, including what it takes to better understand and navigate it.

  • Dominic Barton

    I enjoyed how the authors describe that, unlike the Industrial Revolution, the digital revolution has created technology that replaces human labor instead of complementing it. The authors urge that this unprecedented pace of innovation should both excite us and prompt us to reflect on our values and choices.

  • Jeffrey Sachs

    An important contribution to the economics of the new age of robotics and artificial intelligence.