Video of the Week: Peter Thiel and Garry Kasparov

Tyrone sent me a link to this video sometime in the past week and I watched it yesterday morning. These are two fascinating guys talking about fascinating things. I enjoyed it very much. It's about 50 mins long so a good candidate to put on the big screen and play while you do other things. Thanks to Airplay and Chromecast, that's getting easier and easier to do these days.


Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    …or Plex, if you don’t have Airplay or Chromecast. Free is good too.

    1. kidmercury

      i was having trouble getting youtube on plex because htey keep shutting down all the apps that enable that. do you know of any good ones?

      1. William Mougayar

        Hmm. I use Roku to access it, and it works fine. The syncing is good. Are you using their bookmarklet to capture the video?

        1. kidmercury

          an old update to roku made plex act all funky for me, but then they did another update a couple weeks ago and it’s all good now. i wish i had checked plex before ordering chromecast — i might not need it now! plex is an awesome app, must have for all roku owners.

          1. William Mougayar

            You can stream from your iPhone now into the Roku (but it’s just from the video library). It’s a step towards full replication. I suspect the Android version should be around the corner.

  2. gregorylent

    can’t think of the name thiel without thinking of palantir of which i am deeply suspicious

    1. jason wright

      sadly now the default positive to take on the whole bunch of them.the whole space in deeply infected and compromised. i include those who fund as well as those who start.american democracy is now seen in many parts of europe as a thing to ridicule. british democracy is much the same. I like the swiss system.

    2. punkeek

      yeah, a bit ironic though, given thiel is a libertarian.

    3. William Mougayar

      The government has been a Palantir customer for a long time. I was on a panel with their CEO in 2010.But Peter Thiel has been very generous in spreading his wealth around and he has invested up and down the ladder, including many seed level startups, and that’s a good thing.

      1. fredwilson

        at sun valley, the only person on the NSA panel discussion who took the right stance was the CEO of Palantirhe may be suppling the technology, but he also is cognizant of the issues and i like the way he thinks about the issues that arise when people use his software

        1. William Mougayar

          Palantir’s work is mind-boggling and touches an incredible array of areas. They are unique at what they do. They were inadvertently tied to the NSA program.I hope my comment didn’t imply to paint them in a bad light. We should ask Gregory why he is “suspicious”.

    4. kidmercury

      kooks constantly harass thiel……lol he must hate them so much. he’s higher up in bilderberg which draws great suspicion. i like a lot of his ideas though. ahead of his time.

      1. Richard

        What specifically has him ahead of his time?

        1. kidmercury

          The original idea behind paypal was to be an independent currency of the internet. in other words the same thing people say about bitcoin. He also has said for years that technology is outgrowing the political environment it operates in, and we see that happening now with the legal struggles all the resource sharing xompanies face.I think his ideas on fkoating cities and other ways of escaping nation state governments will be seen as the obvious path over the next decadr or so.

    5. William Mougayar

      What are you suspicious about, Gregory?

  3. DavesBlend

    “Would you rather invest in a space ship that goes to Mars, or Mars candy bars?” Are current market forces and government policy sufficiently fostering investment frameworks to accelerate foundational advances in science and technology? My opinion is largely No, under current trajectories. The good news is that we can still alter the course.

    1. jason wright

      no customers on Marsironically, buildings ships that go to Mars is not expensive enough to happen. Too cheap, too doable. corporations don’t want fixed cost projects when the game is the transfer of public wealth to private control.

  4. jason wright

    is that a Maybach?scrub that question. it is not a Maybach.

  5. Andrew Kennedy

    From min 25:59 – 26:15 is really fascinating. Kasparov: “I have almost impeccable record in exhibition games, I haven’t lost since 2001”. When he plays “simuls” he often times plays 30 people at a time and doesn’t lose a game.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Ya, I really liked that part, too. It was really interesting listening to him talk about his experience while he’s playing.

      1. Andrew Kennedy

        Totally. The dynamic I took from his comments about winning in chess was ironically very similar to the warren buffet approach to investing.. If you protect yourself and play conservatively, eventually, they all crumble… Growing up I played chess competitively and then got really into hockey and stopped playing as much. I was embarrassed for a long time that I won more chess trophies than hockey trophies, but nowadays I think it’s pretty cool. It’s a great game for kids to learn.

        1. LE

          “very similar to the warren buffet approach to investing..”What Warren Buffet can do (deals essentially handed to him on a silver platter to evaluate) is not what others can do.And back when Warren wasn’t Warren things were different company and investing wise.Not the same game today. He has a huge advantage. If you think this isn’t the case ask yourself why if that is the methodology that he has, and assuming he is totally transparent (and telling the truth) why can’t others do the same thing that he does?By the way you also have to ask yourself why if he’s figured out this great way to make money why he is so eager to share it and not protect it? (I know the obvious answers to this question of course.)This isn’t the same as saying that someone can’t be learned from his approach obviously.

          1. Andrew Kennedy

            I agree with you. Kasparov sees future chess moves in his head like Buffet sees new deal opportunities in the real world. With that type of advantage there is clearly no need to take risk as there will “always” be another opportunity.

          2. B12N

            I’ll take a shot at “By the way you also have to ask yourself why if he’s figured out this great way to make money why he is so eager to share it and not protect it?”.It goes against human nature and it’s very difficult thing to do. I remember reading his NYTimes op-ed at the end of 2008/early 2009(?) telling everyone he’s buying stocks in the USA, when “fear” was at its peak (WB: be greedy!). I wonder how that turned out, especially for the critics when it was published.Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. Easier said than done. Far easier said.

  6. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I don’t know enough detail about either of these two to comment on them, their methods or philosophies. But, I always feel a little weird listening to two guys being driven around in a limo and eating at an expensive restaurant opine on the concentration of wealth.Thiel, if I understand correctly, is a vocal Libertarian. I find I agree with a lot of my Libertarian friends’ ideas. But there’s always a point where they insist on shoving *everything* through their black and white framework. So, no matter how good an idea or effective a solution, if it doesn’t fit their framework, it’s rejected. It bothers me to see people just fall back on this kind of ideological on/off switch instead of working a problem.To use a technology metaphor: coming at problems with a litmus test is sort of like insisting on building everything in Python or PHP, instead of seeking out the best solution, no?

    1. Matt A. Myers

      “… So, no matter how good an idea or effective a solution, if it doesn’t fit their framework, it’s rejected. …”I feel this is probably a case of just not wanting to be bothered, or not having the time (at the moment), to find a place for the ideas in their framework – though I think that is lazy and doesn’t help build trust (or relationship build). What should happen is all ideas should be compiled and prioritized, categorized, etc..

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        I’m always hesitant to consider any Libertarian whom I know, personally, as lazy because they aren’t (so far). And, as I said, they have a lot of good ideas, in my opinion.I think it’s sort of like being in love. They are in love with Libertarianism (which I can understand), and wouldn’t dream of “cheating” on it 😉 That’s how it strikes me, anyway.At then end of the day, though, I think the belief that an ideology is the solution to other failed ideologies is fatally flawed.

    2. PrometheeFeu

      It’s hard to respond to what you said without specifics. But what you are describing is something that everybody does. You have a framework which you use to assign value to ideas and that’s how you select ideas you like. Libertarians care about enhancing a particular view of individual liberty. So if an idea does not enhance individual liberty, it isn’t “good” or “effective”. It’s a bad idea. You just have a different ideology with a different value system.A better technology metaphor would be that you are trying to build a payment platform while your friend is trying to build an ecommerce site. So you propose some ideas which are great for a payment platform and you don’t understand why your friend does not like them. But really, the problem is that your ideas are not good ideas for him to adopt. They are in fact terrible ideas because they don’t do what he wants them to do.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        I think there’s truth to what you say.But my experience with Libertarianism is that there’s never any room for compromise. I might say, “But this solution will save thousands of lives!” If it compromises someone’s liberty, it’s rejected.

        1. PrometheeFeu

          But is that really compromise for you? Or do you just value saving those lives more than protecting the liberty of that person?In my experience, when people have told me that I am unwilling to compromise, (in political discussions) it was because they have competing priorities and they are compromising between their own competing priorities. Libertarians compromise between their own competing priorities, but they aren’t willing to give up something which they find important in exchange for something which they find unimportant.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            well, I think it’s like you say… we have to first agree on what the problem *is* before we can then endeavor together to solve the problem.But, following on my example, my problem with the Libertarian approach is that nothing outside the framework can be considered. I don’t pretend to put myself above ideologies, but one of mine is to try to avoid ideologies! So I honestly do try very hard (often failing) to at least intellectually see ideas through to their logical conclusion before rejecting them outright because they don’t pass my litmus test (of, say, the solution cannot pollute the public water supply).So it worries me that Libertarianism *seems* to tell its followers, “don’t worry, there aren’t any difficult questions – just put them through the litmus test.”But, sure. I have ideologies the eventually cause me to reject ideas that might be good in some ways. For example, I think depriving people of healthcare is immoral. You’d have a hard time getting an idea past me that conflicted with that ideology.

          2. PrometheeFeu

            I understand the appeal of avoiding ideology. It’s something I tried very hard to do myself some time ago. But the problem is that you can’t get rid of ideology. An ideology is merely a system of political values. Without a system of political values, you cannot have political preferences. In practice, ridding yourself of ideology means adopting an ideology (usually some form of utilitarianism) and then blinding yourself to it completely.I also don’t think that libertarianism tells its followers that there are no hard questions. I think to the contrary that there are many forms of libertarianism and that picking between the different strains requires answering very hard questions. But the questions are different from say, what conservatives or liberals have to answer. For instance, how do we deal with the fact that property has been stolen countless times over the centuries? This is a question that liberals and conservatives find thoroughly uninteresting. But for a libertarian, that question opens a whole can of worms and there are many competing answers.But if you ask a libertarian whether the construction of a road justifies the use of eminent domain, the answer is an easy: “no”. There is no need to think anything through. You might as well ask a liberal whether taxing blacks more heavily than whites is justifiable. Most liberals hear the question and won’t see the need to think it through because it is easy. Heaping heavier taxation on a group that was historically oppressed is facially wrong in liberal thought and there is nothing wrong with leaving it at that.

          3. SubstrateUndertow

            Surely holding tight to a singular ideological viewpoint is a rare thing these days.

          4. PrometheeFeu

            I’m not sure what you mean by “singular ideological viewpoint”.

        2. LE

          Not a comment on what the parent replied to you but what I have found is that it’s difficult to argue with someone who spends much time answering objections to a particular way they feel about something. They have so much more experience defending something they will run circles around you. It’s like me and my mom. She knows something is wrong and I just run circles around her with irrefutable logic and she has nothing to say to counter me. Happens all the time.Here’s a shortcut that seems to come in handy (as I say “generally”). Where there is smoke there is fire. If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck it’s a duck. Consequently your stereotype from my view is true.

        3. pointsnfigures

          Inside every hard left liberal is a totalitarian trying to get out~David Horowitz

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Interesting choice.

    3. LE

      Agree. I hate labels and the way they are used. (Generally as always. [1])[1] Because I hate when people say “well but you said that…and now you say this … and doesn’t that mean…”. They don’t realize that there is an implied “generally” or “mostly” that is always subject to a different set of circumstances that might make you change your mind.

      1. jason wright

        rock logic is for rocks.short comment. what’s up?

        1. LE

          Longer comment elsewhere. Enjoy.

    4. LE

      “a little weird listening to two guys being driven around in a limo and eating at an expensive restaurant opine on the concentration of wealth.”What’s your opinion of the Oprah Swiss store 38k handbaggate?

    5. SubstrateUndertow

      The problem with holding too tight to any single ideological perspective such as libertarianism is that it ignores Gödel’s incompleteness theorems.Paraphrased as:A single perceptive viewpoint can generate consistence at the expense of completeness.A multi-perceptive viewpoint can generate completeness at the expense of consistency.As a natural extension of our own biological cognitive-substrate most of us choose the comfort, some would say practical realism, of running around with a triangulating third-eye.Maybe God gets to have both?

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Thanks – I learned something new :)When I was an actor, we were taught that our job was to tear the interpretation of our lines to shreds, turn them upside and down and inside out. The job was to *never* feel sure you had the right answer. The goal was to always feel a little off balance, a little in danger. The minute you felt sure of yourself and like you knew everything, you were a crappy actor.I think its a good metaphor for life and for personal philosophies 🙂

    6. Richard

      Ouch, that’s a weak metaphor?

  7. Pete Griffiths

    Thiel is an interesting contrarian. For those who want more exposure to his thinking this link will take you to a transcript of the lectures he gave at Stanford:

  8. ZekeV

    I highly recommend this essay by Kasparov, where he talks about playing chess with machines. Very interesting, and wider implications for how we think about and work with computers.…”Lured by the substantial prize money, several groups of strong grandmasters working with several computers at the same time entered the competition. At first, the results seemed predictable. The teams of human plus machine dominated even the strongest computers. The chess machine Hydra, which is a chess-specific supercomputer like Deep Blue, was no match for a strong human player using a relatively weak laptop. Human strategic guidance combined with the tactical acuity of a computer was overwhelming.”

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      Remember, if the machine (and its masters) are playing chess, play checkers.

      1. ZekeV

        As Kasparov explains, “Chess is far too complex to be definitively solved with any technology we can conceive of today. However, our looked-down-upon cousin, checkers, or draughts, suffered this fate quite recently thanks to the work of Jonathan Schaeffer at the University of Alberta and his unbeatable program Chinook.”

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          You know I was making joke. But, the real jump toward Autonomous AI is where if the machine playing chess or checkers against you knows of what comes after the match, as in another game(?) or go to the next room and discuss foriegn policy, or what to say to opponent if he/she wins or loses.

          1. ZekeV

            I’m starting to wonder if you could build an advanced Siri type AI that would pass the Turing test, but would still not satisfy the requirement of open-ended curiosity like you describe. In other words, if our current approach to developing AI is good at building tools for humans, but not barking up the right tree for true general AI.

          2. Dave W Baldwin

            Yes we can. But if you go too far out, money interests will think you’re nuts. Also, we already have AI thatearns from experience which needs more interaction to gain maturity. This decade will be an interesting one 😉

  9. LE

    The pre-roll on this is a wasted 40 seconds of nothing. [1]Similar to what is done in traditional TV, whether it be the nightly news or a reality show, you have to draw people into your story by giving an informative and/or exciting pre-roll to make them want to watch the rest of the piece.What do I see here? I don’t even know what the fuck it is.Some “wow here is our great weekly show” pre-roll or something.Guess what? Nightly News does 10 seconds. Other shows do 10 seconds. Don’t do more than that. If even that (I would do less). Better yet, show the highlights before the titling gizmo. (I don’t know the correct terms for all this stuff.)Most importantly, a video need to show highlights immediately [2] so people can decide if they want to take the time to watch the entire piece or not. It’s to easy to “change the channel” if you don’t grab a viewers attention (similar to a web page, news story etc. or of course a pitch for money or getting someone to buy.)Video on the web isn’t viewed in a movie theater where people are captive and aren’t going to get up in the first 1 minute if things don’t draw them in.I don’t know the original venue that this was produced for but people are to stuck in the way things used to be done and give no thought to the experience of the viewer. Perhaps if you are adapting a piece that was used elsewhere you could recut it differently? Ever think of that?I did some videos as a favor for a wedding (with a small consumer camera and nominal skill) and took the time (with a potential viewership of < 100 people) to take some scenes out of the longer clips that I posted and summarize as “highlights” at the start. Then I rolled the rest uncut with “here is the full piece”. Why? Because it was common sense and I thought about it from the viewers perspective what would make them interested in watching the entire piece. Actually emphasis is really just “I thought about it”. Even in the really short clips (less than 2 minutes) I put slow motion at the start with a few highlights to make it more interesting.[1] Strictly a comment on the production of this to keep in mind for anyone doing a similar thing. Not a comment on the actual content.[2] As an example all those videos of Fred speaking should show interesting outtakes at the start followed by the full piece. That will draw people in (or let them know right away that it’s not for them) similar to what is done with a movie trailer.

  10. Pete Griffiths

    As a film this is pretty disappointing. The video has way too may shots of driving around NY at night and any ‘story’ is poorly articulated.The scene of Peter Thiel playing the guy in the Manhattan Chess Club was pretty funny. Thiel was 2300+ Mr Beard is a B player (around 1600-1800) which is a huge gulf.Another interesting point was when Kasparov commented on how good the Rybka chess program was. Interesting because now such programs are WAY stronger. Houdini was a recent major step forward.BTW – The book that these two were working on was never published. I ordered it ages ago and I think it is now shelved.I respect Thiel’s devoted contrarianism. It stems, I think, from from a relentless curiosity and penchant for high level thinking and it drives his investment themes. But I felt that the ‘technology is burnt out’ thesis (which was to have been a major thesis of the book) is forced and unconvincing.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      In the late 70s the book ” Gödel Escher Bach” steered we to thinking about technology a as sort of organically triangulated trinity. – physical technology- social technology (cultural constructions)- meta-technologymeta-technology being visualized as engineering the dovetail between physical-technologies and social-technologies as well as modelling the counterproductive limits inherent in both physical and social technology.I didn’t read their message as “technology is burnt out” but rather as physical-technologies in isolation from any proper meta-technology efforts to cleverly remixing them with social-technologies will lead to disaster via the hubris of self-refferencial extreme.The other two key points they made about, the concentration of wealth and the lack of sound-money seem, to me, are a direct consequence of our failure to innovate on that meta-technology-remixing front, a failure to effectively dove-tail our social and physical engineering assets.The massive blackhole of incumbent wealth and power makes financing escape-velocity on that endeavour near impossible.Maybe they are just holding their power while they scout out the possible exits?

      1. Pete Griffiths

        Gosh – it’s been a long time since I read GEB and I honestly don’t remember that physical, social, meta technology dimension of it at all.Perhaps I put it too strongly with ‘technology is burnt out’ but I think they do strongly argue that the pace of effective technological innovation has slowed radically over the last 40 years compared with the preceding 40 years. The examples they gave about passenger planes and the ‘war on cancer’ seem to support this view.My suspicion is that we are in the early days of science by big data. Effective science has always relied upon access to techniques. In many cases this has meant mathematical advances, in others experimental equipment… whilst a whole raft of problems could be addressed with 20th century math and fairly simple computers the advent of powerful statistical tools, massive storage and parallel processing is prying open a set of problems that would otherwise be intractable. These tools take time to become widely available and make their way across the sciences. But I believe that big data techniques in fields such as medicine (bioinformatics) which are pretty recent, have huge promise and I am optimistic that the kind of advances these techniques make possible may well usher in a massive new wave of scientific discovery and practical innovation. The degree of difficult of the science increased but the necessary tools are coming online. I am optimistic.

    2. kidmercury

      i love thiel hating on silicon valley for their failure to innovate outside of the realm of the almighty photo app. unless society solves the energy crisis within a decade or two, i think you’ll see technology regress. this will be marketed as something great for the environment, though i think that’s a bunch of b corp.

      1. Pete Griffiths

        When we’re all living in tents, wallowing in our own filth and submitting to influenza by the million it will indeed be a great day for the environment. 🙂

      2. Richard

        Mr. Energy “crisis” ? I hear alot about him. Where do I find this monster?

        1. kidmercury

          Check gas prices. Just the beginning.

  11. Guest

    Kasparov is a genius without a doubt, but am I the only one that feels like I’m listening to a cranky old man at times?

    1. Richard

      Ageism is not mich different from Raceism. It’s ignorant and outdated.

  12. sigmaalgebra

    The US Research Universities: They arestill here, and while their funding variessome from year to year, basically thefunding is likely sufficient for nearlyall the really good work the peopleavailable and trying know how to do.STEM Fields: The research universitiesare likely moving forward about as fast asboth we can expect and was done in thepast.Technology: The research libraries arestill there, and the research is likelybeing added at, again, both as fast as wecan expect and was done in the past.Yes, as should be expected, right along weget some nice progress. E.g., at theJames Simons magazine ‘Quanta’ athttps://www.simonsfoundatio…”Physicists Close In on ‘Perfect’ OpticalLens”based some on cute theoretical work inquantum optics and, now, construction ofmaterials to permit negative index ofrefraction in ultraviolet wavelengths.It appears that the microelectronicsindustry will be going for 10 nm linewidth as in”Moore’s Law could stay on track withextreme UV progress After years of delays,new technology could come on-line by 2015″by Peter Bright – Aug 7 2013, 7:00pm EDTat…Information Technology (IT)Entrepreneurship: In the video Thiel andKasparov seemed to be looking at some ofthe more recent technology presumably tosee if there are some interesting currentcases and also to look for ‘trends’.However, it appears that in informationtechnology, the relatively fundamentaltechnology used is nearly alwaysrelatively old.Lesson: We might conclude that for ITentrepreneurship now or soon, currenttechnology cases or trends are nearlyirrelevant.VC Funded IT Entrepreneurship: In arecent essay by Paul Graham and a recentcomment by Mark Andreessen, there are eachyear only about 15 projects worth Series Afunding. Further, each decade there areonly a few projects as successful asGoogle or Facebook.Yes, each year there are many IT projectsstarted, sent to VCs, etc.So from the many only a tiny fraction areworth a Series A.Lesson: We have to suspect that thetrends of technology and of the many ITprojects started recently give poorinsight into the 15 projects worth fundingin the next 12 months or the next Googleor Facebook. I.e., in this case a trendis not a very good friend. Instead, haveto look at projects one at a time withlittle or no reference to ‘trends’. Thatis, in Google or Facebook or the 15projects a year, there are few or nomeaningful trends, and trends fromtechnology as a whole and the many ITprojects started each year but not worthyof a Series A are nearly irrelevant. Or,the ‘trends’ are Moore’s law, theInternet, mobile, and infrastructuresoftware — we know that, and it tells usnext to nothing about the next 15 goodSeries A projects or the next Google orFacebook.Why? There is a lot on the shelves of theresearch libraries so far a very long wayfrom any IT startup. If want some newtechnology, then a bottleneck is just’mining’ the shelves of the researchlibraries.Of course, Kasparov seemed to be asking ifwe were about to have general purposeartificial intelligence good enough alsoto be a winning chess program. F’getabout it! Else, Kasparov is a bright guyand should ‘learn to code’, try for a fewyears, and then tell us what obstacles hesaw.Thiel and Kasparov were talking about”ultimate” in computer chess. No, whatthe ‘ultimate’ is is well known and in,say,T. Parthasarathy and T. E. S. Raghavan,’Some Topics in Two-Person Games’, ISBN0-444-00059-3, American Elsevier, NewYork.if each player plays a perfect game, thenthere has to be exactly one of threecases: (1) White always wins, (2) Blackalways wins, or (3) each game is a tie.Likely and apparently so far no one knowswhich of cases (1)-(3) holds or how theperfect play would go. The problemappears to be one in mathematics donemostly by humans and not a problemdirectly in human chess expertise,computer chess software, or computerscience.Kasparov seems like a bright guy ‘acrossthe board’ with some special insight intothe US, but the sound quality was often abit too low for me to understand hisEnglish.

    1. Richard

      VC Funded IT Entrepreneurship: In arecent essay by Paul Graham and a recentcomment by Mark Andreessen, there are eachyear only about 15 projects worth Series Afunding. Further, each decade there areonly a few projects as successful asGoogle or Facebook.Citation ?

      1. sigmaalgebra

        > Citation ?Ah, picky, picky, how can he be SO picky?:-)! Heck, I don’t even have a “citation”that the sun will come up tomorrow! Sincethe highly self-esteemed, formerly highlyrevered, at one time highly coveted NYTdoesn’t give citations, why should I?Besides my little post already had threecitations, two URLs and a math book!I typed the post from memory, and mine wasnever very good. So, okay, I’ll try tofind the sources of my flawed memory.Besides, this post may never see the lightof day because like my…maybe Shana will keep this post in”waiting for moderation” for days! :-)!Maybe my post on girls was PG-17?For the Andreessen quote, there at…isMarc Andreessen On The Future OfEnterpriseAlexia TsotsisSunday, January 27th, 2013with”Alexia Tsotsis: What about startups thataren’t in your portfolio, because you saidthat only 10, 15 companies a year areresponsible for 97 percent of the returns.Which enterprise companies that aren’t inyour portfolio are you interested in?”The article seems never to have made clearjust when Andreessen “said” that. Alsoit’s not clear from the context of thearticle if Andreessen meant all VC, allinformation technology (IT) VC, justenterprise IT VC, or all investments inhis firm’s portfolio. Such is’journalism’, recently discussed on AVC.To try to find where Andreessen “said”that, I did Google search”Marc Andreessen” “10-15” 97% returnsenterprise responsiblefromJanuary 1, 2012 to August 31, 2013and got only four hits with the Tsotsisinterview one of them and the others notsources of the statement.At…is the most recent of the long series ofPaul Graham essays on entrepreneurship,this essay”How to Convince Investors”with also”August 2013″(This is one of a pair of essays on fundraising. The next one, on fund raisingtactics, is coming soon.)”with in part”Investors are looking for startups thatwill be very successful. But that test isnot as simple as it sounds. In startups,as in a lot of other domains, thedistribution of outcomes follows a powerlaw, but in startups the curve isstartlingly steep. The big successes areso big they dwarf the rest. And sincethere are only a handful each year (theconventional wisdom is 15), investorstreat “big success” as if it were binary.Most are interested in you if you seemlike you have a chance, however small, ofbeing one of the 15 big successes, andotherwise not. [1]”So he has “the conventional wisdom is 15″and seems to be referring to all”startups”, at least within what heconsiders at YCombinator which are all ornearly all in IT.

  13. sachmo

    How interesting… I studied robotics, have been a huge fan of chess, and studied the game using Maurice Ashley’s chess program years back (who makes a cameo). Lived in NYC and read articles by kasparov on AI and chess, especially on how computers have come to dominate chess.Awesome video, thanks for posting.

  14. Dave W Baldwin

    Interesting vid.a) Dissing robotics- let’s see, you have machines dismantling bombs and at this point in flyover country. You have Curiousity on Mars that will start to show a slight bend toward the autonomous in AI. You have the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) that is after the robot becoming “co-” related to inhabitant, worker and so on. I could go on.b) Implying the playing of chess is what will decide how smart the AI is? Gimme a break. Limiting the understanding of AI over to narrow ability will retard the achieving of what will truly change the world for the better. The discussion below regarding the 3 points needs to changed from the 2D triangle and thought of as 3D triangular prism.c) At this point, the move in AI over to the more “human” is in the stage of imitation. IMHO, we need to be pushing for the stage after that where ML is on the level of reacting to and changing the possible negative into positive. At this time, you have the robot face that looks very human and we can (in the next year) get to where that face will “express” different emotions. Yet those emotions will be either what is commanded, or on the side of AI, imitate what is observed. If the person frowns, would it not be smarter if the machine face were to “express” happiness?d) I can go on, but the importance of achieving the next levels of AI pointing toward autonomy is of high importance. I do draw comfort in the fact it is a no brainer that the bigger exploration of Mars (and asteroids) will be via the more autonomous machine(s) and not the group of ultra rich who want to be catered to and focus all resources on flying themselves there.

  15. elbruzyilmaz

    These two had another cool debate going on at the Oxford series a while back.I enjoyed that one as much as this one. Here is the link:http://www.oxfordmartin.ox….

  16. davidblerner

    As a long-time tournament chess player (and fan of Kasparov’s) as well as the guy who runs Entrepreneurship @ Columbia (where Kasparov and Thiel visit the robotics lab in this piece), this video definitely held my attention. Ok, it’s certainly true (as some people point out in other comments) that the production value left a lot to be desired- but Thiel and Kasparov’s essential message hits home- which is that tech has not made big strides over the past several decades- we have incrementalism – as opposed to great leaps and bounds…It was actually hilarious to see them at the Robotics Lab lecturing the team- no one I’ve ever seen does stuff like this- ie. roll into some scientists lab and say – “this robotic hand- so what? It’s primitive and there’s no commercial application- why don’t you work on some big ideas?” Most people just nod respectfully, ask a few questions and leave…We need more voices like these who challenge the status quo and ask provocative questions… We need leaders like this who challenge our science and tech community to think bigger… Thanks for sharing…

    1. fredwilson

      thanks for stopping by and leaving this comment. that’s great!

      1. davidblerner

        your post actually inspired me to finally kick-off a series on Chess & Tech that I’ve been ruminating on for years. Here’s the inaugural post: (it’s called “hidden knowledge”)

  17. jmb

    Very enjoyable — thanks for sharing!

  18. Youssef Rahoui

    Great vid, thanks! Kasparov was my idol when I was a kid and getting passionate about chess!

  19. andyidsinga

    hehe – I love Thiel and Karsparov but the the whole robotics lab scene sounded like two old guys trying to convince young people technology hasn’t come very far… and not doing a good job at it.I like the one guy’s comment that what took years before takes and afternoon now >> progress