Image for post
Image for post
Google Doodle celebrating Gobind Khorana

As immigration policy is a hot button issue of the day, I want to share the story behind today’s Google Doodle. It celebrates Gobind Khorana, a Nobel Prize winning biochemist and DNA researcher. Born in a small village in Punjab, Khorana was drawn to the United States as many have been: to continue his academic research.

And what incredible research it was! In addition to being the first to chemically synthesize oligonucleotides, and thereby create the world’s first syntheticgene, he was the first to show that the order of nucleotides in DNA determines which amino acids are produced — work…

Image for post
Image for post
The New York Times front page highlights a London terrorist attack in which 7 people lost their lives.

It’s absolutely tragic when people lose their lives in terror attacks. A world where anyone dies due to such attacks is an unjust world. But we all have a choice to make in how we respond to such vile acts.

The goal of these attacks isn’t just to extract the largest death toll possible, but just as much to sow fear and terror in the broader society — hence the name “terror attacks.”

Sharing pictures and videos and even news articles about terror attacks helps to spread this fear and rarely offers any actionable insight.

It’s not surprising, then, that…

Image for post
Image for post

With Trump making the disastrous decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, it’s more important than ever that private industry steps up. Entrepreneurs and even Fortune 500s might not be able to match the scale or impact of a global coordinated effort to combat climate change, but there’s quite a lot they can do.

Innovation in the clean energy space is flourishing. Solar is now cheaper than coal (unsubsidized) in many parts of the world. Battery powered cars will soon cost less than gasoline powered ones.

If you’re as upset as I am by the decision…

Lora Kolodny of TechCrunch recently ran a fascinating interview with Impossible Food’s CEO Pat Brown. I’m a big fan of their work but Pat gets quite a number of things very wrong when discussing clean meat. I’m a bit of a clean meat aficionado, so let’s examine his points one by one to set the record straight.

“First of all, it’s not true you can do a better job that way. Because then you buy into, at best, the same limitations that a cow has.”

This misses entirely one of the core innovations of clean meat! Namely, that by focusing…

Yesterday I ate meat for the first time in 20 years and I couldn’t be happier. Let me explain why.

Humans have a long history with meat. Nearly 10,000 years ago, homo sapiens began domesticating animals for meat, milk, and hides. While the scale and sophistication of the effort has grown greatly since our ancestors in Mesopotamia began domesticating goats, the basic formula hasn’t changed all that much. We selectively breed animals with traits we want, feed them for months to years, and then slaughter them to make beef, pork, chicken, turkey, gelatin, and leather, sometimes after extracting their breastmilk…

The moderators at Hacker News, one of the world’s most popular sites amongst developers and entrepreneurs, recently banned political discussions for a week.

I’m currently #51 on the Hacker News leaderboard, started my professional career in political organizing, graduated from Y Combinator (the organization that runs Hacker News), and now run a VC fund focused on funding companies solving systemic societal problems. Which is all to say, I care deeply about both Hacker News itself and the relationship between Silicon Valley, the world of politics, and society as a whole.

I understand why the moderators made the decision they did…

This is a very sad night but not the end of days. While tonight’s events are gut wrenching, there is still much to be hopeful for. It’s important we all get up tomorrow and get engaged, both in our government and in other ways to make this world a better place.

Tomorrow I’m going to wake up and meet with entrepreneurs using CRISPR to end heart disease, I’m going to meet with founders building a platform for sustainable and ethical investing, and with the CEO of a company building the future of automated transportation with an aim of reducing pollution…

Paul Graham (PG) is one of my favorite writers. His Essays are just about all well worth the time to read (and sometimes re-read). It’s not often that I disagree with PG’s reasoned, thoughtful arguments, not to mention disagree vehemently. His recent essay on Economic Inequality, however, feels very off the mark.

In the essay, his overarching point seems to be that an ever-increasing level of economic inequality is a necessary function of living in a healthy society where wealth is created for the benefit of all and innovation flourishes. Further, he argues that attempts to limit such inequality would…

It’s no longer acceptable for a website to not render well on mobile. In the next decade, it won’t be enough for a company to merely be profitable. Customers, employees, and investors will all demand a company produce positive impact as well.

This might seem unlikely, but so did businesses moving to the cloud as quickly as they did, or web traffic moving to mobile with such haste. …

Seth Bannon

Seth Bannon. Social entrepreneur. Impact investor. Founder of @AmicusHQ, @FiftyYearsVC, @Impactdottech. @YCombinator alum. Forbes 30 Under 30. Vegan.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store