Stripe Press

Ideas for progress

Where Is My Flying Car?
J. Storrs Hall

In Where Is My Flying Car?, engineer and futurist J. Storrs Hall sets out to answer the deceptively simple question posed in the book’s title. What starts as an exploration of the technical limitations of building flying cars evolves into an examination of the global economic stagnation that started in the 1970s. From the failure to adopt nuclear energy and the suppression of cold fusion and nanotechnology to the rise of a counterculture hostile to progress, Hall recounts how our collective ambitions for the future were derailed, with devastating consequences for global wealth creation and distribution. Hall then outlines a framework for a future powered by exponential progress—one in which we build as much in the world of atoms as we do in the world of bits, one rich in abundance and wonder.

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Author

J. Storrs Hall, Ph.D., is an independent scientist and author. He was the founding chief scientist of Nanorex, Inc. and a president of the Foresight Institute and is currently a research fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing and an associate editor of the International Journal of Nanotechnology and Molecular Computation. He was also accredited as an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the field of computational climate models. His previous books include Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine and Nanofuture: What’s Next for Nanotechnology. Now residing on Chesapeake Bay, he dabbles in aerodynamics design under the auspices of Eastern Shore Flying Cars, LLC.

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The Big Score: The Billion Dollar Story of Silicon Valley
Michael S. Malone

While Silicon Valley is synonymous with software, its beginnings were driven by a need for a better class of hardware. Michael S. Malone’s The Big Score is a panoramic history of Silicon Valley’s founding days—written as they were still playing out in 1985. One of the first reporters on the tech industry beat, Malone recounts the feverish efforts of technologists and entrepreneurs to build something that would change the world. Starting with the birth of the semiconductor in the 1930s, he illustrates how decades of technological innovation laid the foundation for the meteoric rise of the Valley in the 1970s. Malone punctuates this history with profiles of tech’s early builders, capturing the high-agency spirit that shaped the electronics revolution. A decades-long story with individual sacrifice and ingenuity at its core, The Big Score recounts the history of today’s most dynamic sector through its upstart beginnings.

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Author

Michael S. Malone has covered Silicon Valley and tech for over 30 years. His articles and editorials have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Economist, Fortune, New York Times, and San Jose Mercury-News. He has written or co-authored more than 25 award-winning books, including Bill and Dave and The Intel Trinity, and coproduced The New Heroes, an Emmy-nominated miniseries on social entrepreneurs. He lives in Palo Alto, California.

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Scientific Freedom: The Elixir of Civilization
Donald W. Braben

So rich was the scientific harvest of the early 20th century that it transformed entire industries and economies. Max Planck laid the foundation for quantum physics, Barbara McClintock for modern genetics, Linus Pauling for chemistry—the list goes on. But in the 1970s, the nature and pace of scientific discovery began to stagnate due to a combination of peer review, mandated justification of spending, and the push for short-term miracles. In Scientific Freedom, first published in 2008, Donald W. Braben presents a framework to find and support transformative scientific innovation. Even in the earliest stages, groundbreaking research can look unrecognizable to those who are accustomed to the patterns established by the past. As Braben argues, support for this research requires rethinking the processes used to discover and sponsor scientists with revolutionary ideas—and then giving them the freedom to explore.

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Author

Donald W. Braben is a scientist and author. From 1980 to 1990, he led British Petroleum’s Venture Research program, for which he developed a radical, low-cost approach to finding and funding researchers whose work might redefine their fields. He currently holds an honorary position at University College London.

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Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software
Nadia Eghbal

Over the last 20 years, open source software has undergone a significant shift—from providing an optimistic model for public collaboration to undergoing constant maintenance by the often unseen solo operators who write and publish the code that millions of users rely on every day. In Working in Public, Nadia Eghbal takes an inside look at modern open source software development, its evolution over the last two decades, and its ramifications for an internet reorienting itself around individual creators. By delineating the structure of open source projects, she explores, for the first time, the maintenance costs of production that software incurs for its developers. Drawing on hundreds of developer interviews and analyses of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, and YouTube, Eghbal argues that examining who produces things on the internet, and not just what they produce, helps us understand the value of online content today.

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Author

Nadia Eghbal is a writer and researcher who explores how the internet enables individual creators. From 2015 to 2019, she worked independently and at GitHub to improve the open source developer experience. She is the author of “Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital Infrastructure,” published by the Ford Foundation.

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The Art of Doing Science and Engineering
Richard W. Hamming

What inspires a great idea? Can we train our thinking to develop world-changing understandings and insights? Richard Hamming would say yes. In The Art of Doing Science and Engineering, he elaborates on his seminal essay “You and Your Research,” a provocative challenge to anyone who wants to build something great, and offers a manual of style for how to get there. Playfully framed as a textbook, and rich in its recounting of influential individuals like Albert Einstein and Grace Hopper, this unorthodox memoir by the seminal mathematician and engineer encourages the reader to aspire to, learn from, and surpass the achievements of yesterday’s greatest minds. This edition includes the original 1996 compilation of Hamming’s lectures for the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, along with a new foreword by designer and engineer Bret Victor and more than 70 redrawn graphs and charts.

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Author

Richard W. Hamming (1915–1998) was a scientist and mathematician who discovered formulas that allow computers to correct their own errors. He provided crucial programming support to the Manhattan Project, and later joined Bell Labs. In 1968, he received the Turing Award, the highest honor in computer science.

A roundtable on Richard Hamming
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The Making of Prince of Persia: Journals 1985-1993
Jordan Mechner

Before Prince of Persia was a bestselling video game franchise and a Disney movie, it was an Apple II computer game created and programmed by a lone developer, Jordan Mechner. Mechner’s candid and revealing journals from the time capture the journey from his parents’ basement to the forefront of the fast-growing 1980s video game industry, as a 20-year-old fresh out of college with a liberal arts degree—and the creative, technical, personal, and professional struggles that brought the Prince into the homes of millions of people worldwide. In The Making of Prince of Persia, on the 30th anniversary of the game’s release, Mechner looks back at the journals he kept from 1985 to 1993 and annotates them with insights into the game that established him as a pioneer of cinematic storytelling in the industry.

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Author

Jordan Mechner is a game designer, screenwriter, and author. His other books include the sketchbook journal Year 2 in France and the Eisner Award-nominated graphic novel Templar, a New York Times bestseller illustrated by LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland.

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Get Together: How to Build a Community With Your People
Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huynh, and Kai Elmer Sotto

Although communities feel magical, they don’t come together by magic. Whether starting a run crew, connecting with fans online, or sparking a movement of K-12 teachers, the secret to getting people together is to build your community with people, not for them. In Get Together, the founders of the community strategy agency People & Company—Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huynh, and Kai Elmer Sotto—provide a practical and heartfelt guide to create thriving communities, both in person and online. The authors break down into clear steps the challenges of getting passionate people together, help individuals and organizations navigate the intricacies of leading a community, and share true stories of everyday people who have created vibrant communities. Get Together shows that if we join forces—as company and customers, artist and fans, organizer and advocates—we’ll do more together than we ever could alone.

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Authors

Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huynh, and Kai Elmer Sotto founded People & Company, which helps organizations build communities. In 2021, People & Company was acquired by Substack.

Conversation with People & Co.
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An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management
Will Larson

While management is foundational to any organization, engineering management in particular presents its own set of challenges—especially in high-growth environments. How and when should your engineers pay down technical debt? How do you tackle a seemingly endless stream of migrations? How do you ensure that each engineer on your team is growing at the right pace? Will Larson’s An Elegant Puzzle explores the specific challenges of engineering management—from sizing teams to handling technical debt to developing succession planning—and provides a guide to solving complex managerial problems. Drawing on his experience at Digg, Uber, and Stripe, Larson presents a thoughtful approach to engineering management that balances structured principles with human-centric thinking. A useful primer for engineering leaders of all levels at companies of all sizes, An Elegant Puzzle lays out a road map for building organizations where engineers can thrive.

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Author

Will Larson has been an engineering leader at technology companies including Yahoo, Digg, Uber, Stripe, and Calm. An Elegant Puzzle draws from writing on his blog, Irrational Exuberance. He is also the author of the book Staff Engineer.

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The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium
Martin Gurri

When it comes to the flow of information, technology has categorically reversed the balance of power between the public and the elites who manage the great hierarchical institutions of the industrial age—government, political parties, and the media. In The Revolt of the Public, Martin Gurri tells the story of how insurgencies, enabled by digital devices and a vast information sphere, have mobilized millions of ordinary people around the world. Originally published in 2014, The Revolt of the Public now appears in an updated edition, which includes an extensive analysis of Donald Trump’s improbable rise to the presidency and the electoral triumphs of Brexit. Gurri concludes with a look forward, considering whether the current elite class can bring about a reformation of the democratic process, and whether new organizing principles, adapted to a digital world, can arise out of the present political turbulence.

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Author

Martin Gurri is a geopolitical analyst who specializes in the relationship between politics and global media. He spent 28 years analyzing open media at the CIA. The Revolt of the Public draws from writing on his blog, The Fifth Wave.

Conversation with Martin Gurri
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Stubborn Attachments: A Vision for a Society of Free, Prosperous, and Responsible Individuals
Tyler Cowen

Throughout history, economic growth has alleviated human misery, improved human happiness and opportunity, expanded political rights, and lengthened human lives. If we want to prolong growth trends and the overwhelmingly positive outcomes for societies that come with them, every individual must become more concerned with the welfare of those around us. So how do we enable such altruism? In Stubborn Attachments—a culmination of 20 years of philosophical and economic thinking and research—Tyler Cowen argues that reason and common sense can help free us of the faulty ideas that hold us back as people and as a society, allowing us to set our sights on the long-term struggles that maximize sustainable economic growth while respecting human rights. At its heart, Stubborn Attachments makes the contemporary moral case for economic growth and delivers a dose of inspiration and optimism about the future.

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Author

Tyler Cowen is a professor of economics at George Mason University and director of the Mercatus Center. He was named in an Economist poll as one of the most influential economists of the past decade. He is the author of several books, including the New York Times bestseller The Great Stagnation, and is an opinion columnist at Bloomberg. He also cowrites the blog Marginal Revolution and hosts the podcast Conversations with Tyler.

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The Dream Machine
M. Mitchell Waldrop

Behind every great revolution is a vision, and behind one of the greatest revolutions of our time—personal computing—is the vision of J. C. R. Licklider. He wasn’t an engineer and he didn’t start a company or write code; instead, he was a relentless visionary who saw great potential in the way individuals could interact with computers and software. At a time when computers were a short step removed from mechanical data processors, Licklider was an enthusiastic catalyst for the seminal research that ultimately led to the internet. In a simultaneously compelling personal narrative and comprehensive historical exposition, The Dream Machine by M. Mitchell Waldrop tells the story of the birth of the computing revolution through the life of a man who shifted our understanding of what computers were and could be. Originally published in 2001, the book now appears in a new edition, which includes the original texts of Licklider’s three most influential writings.

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Author

M. Mitchell Waldrop earned a PhD in elementary particle physics and a master’s in journalism at the University of Wisconsin. He has been a writer and editor at Science and Nature. He is the author of Man-Made Minds (1987), a book about artificial intelligence, and Complexity (1992), about the new sciences of complexity.

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High Growth Handbook: Scaling Startups from 10 to 10,000 People
Elad Gil

Global technology executive, serial entrepreneur, and angel investor Elad Gil has worked with high-growth tech companies like Airbnb, Twitter, Google, Stripe, and Square as they’ve scaled from small companies to global enterprises. Across all of these companies, Gil has identified a set of common patterns, and compiled them into a repeatable playbook in High Growth Handbook. In this definitive guide, he covers key topics for scaling startups from 10 or 20 employees to thousands, including the role of the CEO, board management, recruitment and management of executive teams, M&A, IPOs, and late-stage funding. Informed by interviews with some of the most dynamic leaders in Silicon Valley, including Reid Hoffman, Marc Andreessen, and Aaron Levie, High Growth Handbook presents a road map for navigating the most complex challenges that confront leaders and operators in high-growth startups.

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Author

Elad Gil is an entrepreneur, operating executive, and investor or advisor to private companies such as Airbnb, Coinbase, Checkr, Gusto, Instacart, Opendoor, Pinterest, Square, Stripe, Wish, and others. He is cofounder and chairman at Color Genomics. High Growth Handbook draws from writing on his blog.

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A film about
Stewart Brand
Synopsis

“We are as gods and might as well get good at it,” wrote Stewart Brand in 1968, as the opening sentence to the now iconic Whole Earth Catalog. For decades, Brand has had an uncanny ability to push “ideas that seem at the edge of believability,” accelerating progress in culture, technology, environmentalism, and more. His approach to work and life influenced many technologists who have gone on to shape our modern world, including Steve Jobs. We Are As Gods, produced by Stripe Press, is the first feature film about Brand’s remarkable life. Marrying never-before-seen footage with contemporary interviews, the film chronicles his journey, from his early days with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters through the birth of the personal computing revolution, to his latest quest to reorient environmentalism.

Reviews
This is a deep dive into the history and life of a truly fascinating man who sees the ‘whole Earth’ in a way that you probably don’t.
In We Are As Gods, Brand emerges as one of the signature players of the technological age, in and out of the most important rooms at just the right moments in history. . . . The filmmakers, David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, portray Brand as that rare kind of tech prophet, a man who never looks back. A true, uncompromising futurist.
What’s most admirable about We Are As Gods is the documentary’s ability to present Brand’s climate change message while also demonstrating the struggles and roadblocks to making that happen.
Select tracks
  1. ➀ “Goliath Ascent With Fur”
    50.33s
  2. ➁ “Reasonable Question”
    127.58s
  3. ➂ “Triumph Mode”
    36.21s
  4. ➃ “Arranged Pattern”
    101.67s
  5. ➄ “Scottish Attack”
    57.38s
  6. ➅ “Climbdown”
    93.21s
  7. ➆ “Eagleman Soft Bells”
    54.13s
  8. ➇ “January 07003”
    8.46s
  9. ➈ “Brand Ostinato”
    65.13s
Original score by Brian Eno

The original score was composed by experimental musician and artist Brian Eno, who’s collaborated with artists such as David Bowie, the Talking Heads, and U2. Along with Brand, Eno is a founding board member of the Long Now Foundation, whose mission is to foster long-term thinking and responsibility. He contributed 24 original tracks, in addition to some classics.

Brian Eno at home — December 1974
A film about
Stewart Brand
Directed by David Alvarado & Jason Sussberg / Edited by Annukka Lilja & Ben Sozanski / Sound design by Peter Albrechtsen, MPSE / Re-record mixing by Pete Horner / Animation by Chase Massingill & Adrian Winter / Cinematography by David Alvarado / Executive produced by Everett Katigbak / Executive produced by Henry S. Rosenthal / Executive produced by Gerry Ohrstrom / Executive produced by Matt Winkler / Executive produced by Lauren Driscoll & John Driscoll / Co-executive produced by Laurie Benenson, Bill Benenson & William Eigen / Produced by David Alvarado, Kate McLean, Jamie Meltzer & Jason Sussberg
Presented by Stripe Press
A Structure Films Production In Association with Complex Corp. & The Redford Center