Fast Company

Rebuilding Our Economic Engine

“It’s time to build.”

So declared venture capitalist Marc Andreessen with elder-statesmanlike flourish in a widely circulated essay in April, just as the novel coronavirus began to overwhelm hospitals around the world. Housing, education, manufacturing, transportation—in all of these areas, he argued, we are suffering from “our widespread inability to build.” Andreessen’s solution was simple: “We need to want these things”; we need to find the “will” and the “desire” to build automated factories, internet-tutoring marketplaces, and supersonic aircraft. He did not mention software, the subject of his 2011 manifesto, “Why software is eating the world” (in which he augured that tech would disrupt the very same industries he now criticizes for their complacency).

On Twitter, techies swooned. “Hard to read this and not get amped,” one wrote.

Meanwhile, on the private exchanges where

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