Scott Hartley’s engineering classmates at the universities of Stanford or Columbia also studied literature and philosophy. “They sat next to me when I read Locke or Rousseau and debated structures of government, or read Dostoevsky and inquired into the depths of human psychology,” recalls the author of The Fuzzy and The Techie: Why the Liberal Arts will Rule the Digital World, a new book that gains importance in the context of students unduly pressurised to gain admission into institutes of technology.
Scott’s own friends also participated in school clubs for music, arts or sport, while spending their summers interning in start-ups, banks, or non-profits. “They might sum themselves up as ‘techie’, but half of their success is due to their ‘fuzzy’ abilities. These are the skills that enable a successful entrepreneur, not just their ability to write code,” reasons Scott, who’s a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, and worked for Google, Facebook, Harvard’s Berkman Klein Centre for Internet & Society, and the White House too, as a Presidential Innovation Fellow.