Insights

Nathan Myhrvold Sits Down with Slate Magazine

December 14, 2011

As part of its “Conversations with Slate” series, Slate Magazine recently posted excerpts from an interview with IV CEO Nathan Myhrvold. Nathan and host Jacob Weisberg touch on topics ranging from the role of the U.S. in 21st century innovation, to this year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster and even the dual nature of food as both sustenance and art:

  • In part one, Nathan discusses the different approaches to invention and technology taken by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, and both the roles of the executives and their companies in the history of the computer industry:“Literature happens in part because literature critics help us refine how we think about things. And I think a lot of Jobs’ role was to refine for Apple how it thought about products, and refine for the world how you thought about products.”
  • Part two covers the development of the venture capital market and Nathan’s belief in the need for a similar market for invention in the U.S.: “By creating a professional venture capital market where anybody could start a new company if they had a good enough idea…that was enormously liberating, it caused tens of thousands of companies to come into existence.”
  • The third installment focuses on the current state of nuclear energy and the need for continued invention to tackle the global energy crisis: “The bad news is we need a miracle, because no existing technology will do it…the good news is, we’re good at miracles!
  • The final excerpt covers Modernist Cuisine, and the unique roles both art and science play in the world of cooking: “Food is interesting in that it’s a source of great pleasure. And I think in that sense food can be an art as much as music or painting or photography. But it’s also a necessity. We can say that we need culture and we need art, but not like we need food.”

Keep an eye out for an audio podcast version of the interview in full, available soon here

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