The New Renaissance

Through the 15th Century, if you were lucky to walk down the Medici owned Garden of San Marco, you’d find statuary scattered about at various stages of completion — hacked upon by sculptors like the young Michelangelo, unaware that they were using these as sketches for their greatest works. You would often find some of the greatest artists and scientists of the time — Donatello, Da Vinci and Galileo discussing their art and teaching their theories. Four hundred years later, the Impressionists created their greatest art at garden soirees like the ones at the Moulin de la Galette. Bohr, Einstein and Heisenberg’s debates famously birthed quantum theory at the Solvay conferences.

Fast forward another 100 years to now. Stone and canvas have given way to bits and bytes. Chisel, hammer and paintbrush have given way to keyboard, git and VM. French, Italian and German have given way to Ruby, Python and Go. Painters and sculptors have given way to code ninjas and UX designers. Welcome to the new Renaissance — where the world is reimagined — not in sculpture… not in portaiture… but in the mobile… in your car… in a company’s supply chain… in a bank’s branch.

When we launched Sequoia::Hack in 2013., we saw it as a chance for the strongest engineers, PMs and designers to gather at one place for two days and re-imagine the future. We believed that this would be a gathering of the best minds of the current renaissance and the platform would hopefully evolve as the people participating in it evolved. The garden soiree has given way to the hackathon.

Today, we are more than thrilled with the results. And maybe even a bit overwhelmed. We have seen games built on Google Cardboard, open source contributions to CouchbaseDB and new companies launched in healthcare and payments. Aditya of BookPad Tech (acquired by Yahoo) tells us that the Audience Prize they won in 2013 was one of the first checks the company received. The JusPay team built the Android version of their app at the hackathon, winning the Mobile track, while Melchi of CloudInfra won the first Infrastructure track prize. We even met a team at last year’s Hack that we eventually seeded.

We are super excited to now stand on the threshold of the the third episode of Sequoia::Hack. This year we also announce the first edition of Sequoia::Design — a challenge to the top designers out there to break the status quo.

So. To the engineer dying to build their pet project, to that designer looking to change the world, we’re laying down the gauntlet. Join 500 engineers, 50 designers, over 100 CTOs, PMs and CEOs from the most exciting technology companies in India and SEA. Come over to the ITC Gardenia (an unwitting wink maybe to the gardens I alluded to earlier) in Bangalore on the 29th and 30th of August.

Build your perfect world. Set your Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Fire that moon shot. We hope Sequoia::Hack and Sequoia::Design will be your launchpad to greater things in life.

Let’s usher in the new Renaissance. Only this time, its #fortheloveofcode