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Decoding the World - Chapter 1

Meet The Author: Arvind Gupta

Arvind Gupta is the founder of IndieBio, the world’s largest biotech accelerator, and a partner at Mayfield. Previously he was design director of IDEO in Shanghai. He has a degree in genetic engineering from University of California, Santa Barbara. In the past two decades he has been a BASE jumper, big wall climber, and jiu-jitsu grappler.

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Meet The Author: Po Bronson

Po Bronson is Managing Director of IndieBio. His science journalism has been honored with nine national awards, and cited in 185 academic journals and 503 books. He’s the author of seven bestselling books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller What Should I Do With My Life?

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Praise

"Like being a fly on the wall of the world's most interesting dinner party. Spectral, scary, stupefying, and yet strangely optimistic, DECODING THE WORLD is a journey through the weirdness and wondrousness of the natural world, and our precarious place within it. Required reading for restless times."—James Nestor, New York Timesbestselling author of Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
"YES! This is it. The Big Book of Answers you've been looking for. It's kind and funny. It explores and explains. Think of it as a guide book to the human animal for the 21st century."
Noah Hawley, creator of Fargo
"Fascinating and terrifying. Gupta and Bronson bring biotech to the people, demystifying the anxieties of our fraught and fragile times."
Fatima Bhutto, author of The Shadow of the Crescent Moon
"DECODING THE WORLD is an absolute delight. Bronson and Gupta have tackled complex, often daunting scientific topics and made them come alive for the reader in a way that amuses and enthralls, while also delivering some urgent calls to action. This is one of the most creative, entertaining, and inspiring looks into the future that you will ever find."—Ashlee Vance, New York Times bestselling author of Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
"Buddy stories have led to number of Hollywood classics, ranging from The Odd Couple to 48 Hours. In DECODING THE WORLD, Po Bronson and Arvind Gupta take us several hundred miles up the California coast for a new buddy story that uncovers the biotech startup world. In these tales of friendship and exploration, Bronson and Gupta show us how biological engineering is emerging as a dominant technology of this century, one that will help change our world for the better."—p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 17.0px; font: 14.7px Helvetica; color: #262524; -webkit-text-stroke: #262524; background-color: #ffffff}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}James J. Collins, MIT and Harvard bioengineer
"In DECODING THE WORLD, [the authors deliver]...bold visions for the future...Their experiences fuel interesting discussions about pressing issues and trailblazing science. [And] ask us to rethink everything from government sugar subsidies to the ways we test for disease."
San Francisco Chronicle
"These two headed off to explore knowledge, invention, art, superstition, maybe even salvation and have emerged with what looks like the planet's first atlas of apocalypse avoidance."
Jack Hitt, author of Bunch of Amateurs
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Find out where our world is headed with this dazzling first-hand account of inventing the future from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of What Should I Do With My Life? and the founder of science accelerator IndieBio.

Decoding the World is a buddy adventure about the quest to live meaningfully in a world with such uncertainty. It starts with Po Bronson coming to IndieBio.

Arvind Gupta created IndieBio as a laboratory for early biotech startups trying to solve major world problems. Glaciers melting. Dying bees. Infertility. Cancer. Ocean plastic. Pandemics.

Arvind is the fearless one, a radical experimentalist. Po is the studious detective, patiently synthesizing clues others have missed. Their styles mix and create a quadratic speedup of creativity. Yin and Yang crystallized.

As they travel around the world, finding scientists to join their cause, the authors bring their firsthand experience to the great mysteries that haunt our future. Natural resource depletion. Job-taking robots. China’s global influence.

Arvind feels he needs to leave IndieBio to help startups do more than just get started. But as his departure draws near, he struggles to leave the sanctum he created. While Po has to prove he can keep the “indie” in IndieBio after Arvind is gone.

After looking through their lens, you’ll never see the world the same.