Ankord Memo - March 19, 2024


March 19, 2024


Milan Kordestani

Entrepreneur, writer, and founder of 3 purpose-driven companies oriented toward giving individuals control over their own discourse and creation. Milan works to produce socially positive externalities through a mindset of social architecture.

Milan Kordestani

March 19, 2024

Milan Kordestani Profile Image

Milan Kordestani

Hi! I'm Milan, an LA based founder and writer, architecting impact-first businesses.

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Hello to all 1,600 of you friends!

It’s been a whirlwind since last week with lots to share about SXSW! But before we get started on the updates from my trip to Austin, I want to take a moment to reflect on an event I attended last week where we got to celebrate the work of my mother, philanthropist Bita Daryabari, and the work of her organization, The Pars Equality Gala. It was a night that resonated deeply with family pride and a profound sense of admiration for the organization my mother has been building for over fifteen years. Ever since its inception, I’ve always made it to this Gala, even during college when flights from Colorado to LA meant late nights and early mornings. Witnessing the Pars Equality Center blossom from a fledgling idea into a beacon of support for the Persian-speaking community in California, and now extending its reach to Afghan refugees, has been nothing short of extraordinary.  

To be present that night, surrounded by the organization's positive impact and witness to my mother's unwavering dedication firsthand, was truly humbling. I couldn't be more grateful to have such a hardworking, inspiring, and service-oriented leader as a mom and role model. The Pars Equality Center is a testament to her strength and vision, and I can't wait to see what incredible things they achieve next.

Ankord Media:

If you don’t know about my work as a writer and content creator, know that I’m a best-selling author and journalist who contributes regularly to Entrepreneur, Rolling Stone, and Forbes, championing conscious capitalism and innovation across industries. My first book, I'm Just Saying: A Guide to Maintaining Civil Discourse in an Increasingly Divided World, reached #2 on the Wall Street Journal’s Bestseller List in 2023, and I am working on a follow-up manuscript focused on fostering moonshot moments.

From Milan the Author:

In my pursuit of fleshing out the transhumanism aspects of my upcoming manuscript, I've been drawn to explore the specific challenges facing Generation Z. Studies and interviews paint a concerning picture: saddled with student loan debt and entering adulthood during a time of soaring living costs, this generation feels deeply disillusioned and pessimistic. Social media bombardment with negativity further fuels their apathy, with many believing their vote holds no power to change a seemingly bleak future.  This lack of faith in older generations to create a better world is a stark reality.

This context is precisely why I'm invested in exploring transhumanism.  My book delves into the evolution of the human psyche, culture, and philosophies that will be necessary to foster collaboration and a shared vision. Psychedelics even emerge as a potential tool to help Gen Z navigate these complex emotions and chart a more positive course for the future. Ultimately, my goal is to explore avenues for creating a more unified vision for the future of our species.  

From Milan the Content Creator:

I’m incredibly humbled and excited to share that this newsletter has officially broken past 1,000 subscribers! A huge thank you to all the early readers who joined me on this journey from the beginning. You helped build this fantastic community, and I wouldn't be here without your support.

Now, for the newcomers: welcome aboard, I'll be making a conscious effort to provide more background information moving forward. Here’s a quick recap for newcomers, which seasoned vets can skip!

Ankord Labs Weekly Spotlight:

Ankord Labs isn't your typical venture studio. We take a unique approach, acting as a co-founder for startups that scale social impact sustainability. We partner with visionary CEOs who share our commitment to social good. Together, we engineer impactful companies that tackle real-world challenges faced by real people. We don't just invest; we offer a comprehensive suite of services designed to incubate and support these startups and propel them towards success. Each week, I rotate highlighting the progress made at one of Ankord Labs’ featured startups:

  • Audo: An AI career concierge that weighs your career aspirations against your current qualifications and current job market demand to guide you toward revenue-generating jobs.
  • Guin Records: An artist-friendly, family-run, record label partnering and investing in artists who prioritize their ownership, longevity, and impact in music culture.
  • Narratives: Narratives is a 501(c)(3) content house, publishing a diverse set of interviews from people’s lives to showcase stories of redemption, personal growth, and struggle to create empathy online.
  • The Doe: The Doe is Narratives’ anonymous publishing platform that specializes in anonymous, personal stories with the aim of promoting empathy.
  • Nota: A venture-backed content creation and distribution platform created for legacy media publishers to efficiently and affordably create content so they can focus on reporting more than editing.

Guin Records: SXSW was a whirlwind of incredible music, and catching live sets by Guin Records' artists Ketu and Tempest was a definite highlight. Their energy was infectious, and the crowd was electric. But beyond the music, it was even more special to share the experience with my sister, Misha Kordestani. Seeing her shine as CEO of Guin Records at SXSW filled me with immense pride. It's inspiring to witness her dedication and vision shaping the careers of such talented musicians.

Digital Brawl: Peso Pluma's SXSW show blew me away. If you don't believe me, check the Rolling Stone comments where 300 people basically agreed with my claim that he's the “Dalai Lama of Mariachi music.” Apparently, I wasn't the only one who felt like I'd witnessed musical enlightenment. The man's voice? Pure magic, perfectly suited for a unique mariachi subgenre called Corrido. His stage presence? Electrifying.  Of course, the internet being the internet, there were a few dissenters who unleashed their fury on my glowing review. "Gringo idiot" seemed to be the insult of choice, but hey, a little uncivil discourse is a small price to pay for commenting my thoughts on Peso Pluma's musical prowess in an online comment section.

Hats Off to Texas: SXSW may have had its fair share of Texas-sized bugs (flying cockroaches are something else), but the food scene more than made up for it! I kicked things off by catching up with friends in Austin at Lambert's Downtown BBQ – a hidden gem I discovered with Audo CEO Ahmad Elzahdan on my first SXSW adventure last year. The second night brought the Guin Records team together at the legendary Terry's Black's.

Things I’m Reading:

  • The Geopolitics Of AI Chips Will Define The Future Of AI from Forbes - While researching asteroid mining for my manuscript, I stumbled upon a fascinating piece that explored the intersection of AI’s technical limitations and international politics. The article further highlighted the potential for international tensions as nations jockey for position to claim or regulate these valuable rare minerals used in chip production. This unexpected discovery has opened up a whole new dimension to consider when thinking about the future of asteroid mining.
  • What It’s Like Being a Doctor During Ramadan from The Doe - Though this article comes from The Doe’s extensive archives, the issues it tackles are clearly still relevant today. The Doe staff's decision to re-release it on Instagram has sparked important conversations about religion and health, making it a perfect read as we enter Ramadan.
  • Funny in Farsi - I’m a huge fan of Firoozeh Dumas, so I always love coming back to this book. It's a hilarious and heartwarming memoir that chronicles her experience immigrating to America from Iran as a child. I find that Dumas's witty observations capture the cultural clashes and triumphs of growing up bicultural, and the story's core of finding humor and connection in new experiences resonates with immigrants of all backgrounds, including my own parents.

Things I’m Watching/Listening To:

  • Lots of Peso Pluma! - As I mentioned above, SXSW was an opportunity to really enjoy this artist live. I have been playing his tunes in my playlist this week, but I wanted to connect you here to some of his videos, which I also find creative and energizing. Check them out!
  • Guin Artists - Catching an artist live can truly elevate your fandom. Here at Guin, we've been lucky to witness some incredible performances. A few personal highlights include Ketu and Tempest. Not only were they phenomenal live, but exciting new projects are brewing with both of them! Stay tuned for those, and be sure to give these talented artists a spin in the meantime.

Wrapping Up

As we reach the end of this newsletter, I want to express my sincere gratitude for your continued readership. Your engagement with my content is exciting, and I truly appreciate you being a part of the community. And to my newest readers, a warm welcome again! I’m thrilled to have you join me, and I hope you'll find these newsletters informative and engaging. Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or suggestions you might have.

This coming week includes the joyous celebration of Nowruz. Nowruz, steeped in traditions that stretch back millennia, marks the Persian New Year. Celebrated on the spring equinox, it's a vibrant festival that transcends mere celebration; it's a symbolic cleansing and renewal, mirroring nature's awakening as winter gives way to spring. I hope all my Iranian readers have a great holiday and enjoy a meal with loved ones. I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a prosperous and blessed year ahead! May the coming year be filled with good health, happiness, and success!


Milan Kordestani

Milan Kordestani, a social entrepreneur and impact-driven founder, serves as the CEO of AnKord Labs, a startup incubator committed to fostering businesses that scale social impact at scale. With over 6 years of experience building predominantly technology-based startups, Milan architects and invests in co-founders who are deeply ethical, and compelled to contribute to making the world a better place. He is an avid contributor to several online publications, and his first book reached #2 on the Wall Street Journal’s Bestseller List. Milan's values are to scale conscious capitalism, and cultivate collaborative consensus to advance the species.