Ankord Memo - February 15, 2024


February 15, 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

February 15, 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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Greetings from a Warm but Cloudy Los Angeles,

Firstly, a massive thank you for tuning in once again to this newsletter. These days, I find that most of my serotonin comes from discovering new music that gives me chills, and the serenity of calm sunny days where I can spend my days reading and writing. As always, I find myself listening to more and more Cuban music, especially when the sun is shining and I get to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway with rolled down windows. As we look ahead, I can't help but feel excitement for the upcoming long weekend, with next Monday marking President's Day—a perfect opportunity to soak up more sunshine, discover some new tunes, and make some content! So please, kick back and enjoy another exciting edition of my newsletter.

Ankord Media:

From Milan the Author:

A few weeks ago, I had the incredible opportunity to sit down for an interview with Dr. Ben Kuipers, a distinguished mathematician at the University of Michigan renowned for his work in AI. Our discussion delved deep into the essence of cooperation and the imperative of cultivating win-win scenarios to propel our advancements in AI and to drive human progress. Dr. Kuipers introduced me to Robert Wright’s work on non-zero-sum progress which has profoundly influenced the current book I’m working on. As I continue crafting my work, I'm weaving in these insights, emphasizing the critical need and moonshot goal of global cooperation. Stay tuned as these transformative ideas take center stage in my upcoming book.

From Milan the Content Creator:

I recently had the opportunity to participate in an interview with Fox News, where we engaged in a discussion about President Biden's use of profanity to express frustration with his political opponents. Check out my comments here - and expect more election discourse as 2024 progresses! 

See here a video about why the DNC is going to intentionally lose this election. A solution to these problems can be found here

Ankord Labs Weekly Spotlight:


Accelerating with Google StartED: We're excited to share that Ahmad Elzahdan, CEO of Audo, recently participated in the well-respected Google StartED Accelerator program. Over the course of the week, Ahmad had the opportunity to engage in insightful mentorship sessions, workshops, and networking events aimed at fostering growth and innovation in the education technology sector. The program provided Ahmad with valuable resources and guidance, which will allow him to further solidify Audo's position as a leader in the industry. He provided some insights to share. 

Ahmad enthusiastically expressed how productive and “intense” the conference was - an immersive experience, extending far beyond the scheduled times due to the abundance of valuable information and engaging Q&A sessions. The week commenced with an inspiring induction by Alisa O'Hara, Google's Global Head of EdTech Partnerships, shedding light on Google's ambitious plans for education and introducing Google's EdTech integration partner, Zazmic. Ahmad enjoyed meeting with Anthony Hernandez, Google's Strategic EdTech Partnerships Manager, to discuss funding and growth opportunities for Audo. Throughout the sessions, Ahmad focused on future partnership opportunities and ideas for fundraising strategies and investor prospecting. Overall, the conference was a rigorous yet enlightening journey, fostering collaboration, networking, and strategic planning to propel Audo towards its ambitious goals.

Progress on the Roadmap: Progress at Audo is soaring as we look to fill key hires across various critical roles, including a Data Engineer, Senior Flutter Developer, and ML Engineer. Additionally, significant strides have been made in backend development with the implementation of features for Audo’s Job Match feature and a Server Migration. On the front end, the Audo team’s focus remains sharp, with the development of native Course Pages, Design Prototypes, and intuitive user interfaces for Audo’s Course Listings, Resume feature, and Job Tracker functionalities. Audo’s executive team has also been focusing on securing grants and partnerships specifically focused on the prison system, to provide Audo to inmates looking to avoid recidivism. Stay tuned as we continue to push boundaries and bring technological innovation at Audo.

Branding Revamp and Content: In a collaboration between the Audo and Ankord Labs teams, we've pooled our expertise to create motion graphics videos showcasing the latest features of our products and undergo a new logo creation journey. With a fresh new logo and product suite set to debut later this year, we are more clear on the problems we solve and the populations we solve them for, than ever before.

Ankord Labs Job Searches:

The Ankord Labs team is working round the clock to fill new positions that open in the startups we incubate. If you know any great candidates, please help us to connect to them and grow the Ankord family! Three great positions are open at Nota:

  • Director of Product Management: Come spearhead product development, collaborate closely with senior leadership, and drive innovation in alignment with Nota’s mission of revolutionizing the industry through responsible and innovative use of technology.
  • Director of Customer Success and Partnerships: Come be instrumental in driving customer success, fostering strategic partnerships, and advancing Nato’s business growth through tailored solutions, strong relationships, and collaborative initiatives.
  • Director of Data Science and A.I.: Lead both strategic planning and hands-on execution of our data initiatives, playing a pivotal role in developing and implementing our data strategy while actively contributing to the design, development, and deployment of AI models and machine learning algorithms.

Things I’m Reading:

  • Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, by Robert Wright: I've just finished Robert Wright's Nonzero as part of my quest to deepen my understanding of human cooperation and progress. Wright's compelling exploration of the interplay between cooperation, technology, and cultural evolution resonates deeply with me.  What captivated me most about the book was Wright's optimistic vision of human destiny, highlighting the potential for positive-sum outcomes and non-zero-sum progress, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. It's a refreshing perspective that reaffirms my belief in the power of collaboration and collective action to shape a better future for humanity.
  • AI and the Herculaneum Scrolls: This is a story I’ve been following this week - winners were announced in a Silicon Valley-funded competition to use AI to decipher ancient Roman scrolls preserved in lava. I am always blown away by wildly creative applications of AI, and as a fan of Roman philosophy, I can’t wait for humanity to rediscover “new” wisdom from the past.

Things I’m Watching/Listening To:

  • Cuban Music: There’s just something so energetic and moving about Cuban music. Maybe it’s that I speak just enough spanish for the songs to keep me dreaming about what they’re singing about, or maybe it’s the consistency of the clave beating to keep salsa dancers on beat, but on the days when peace goes out the door and I need energy, I double down on Cuban Music. Please follow my playlist for my favorites!
  • Milkshake 20 (Alex Wann Remix): With the early 2000s in the spotlight this week with Usher’s Superbowl performance, I have been blasting this remix on repeat. I love how remixes like this make something so classic feel fresh again. 
  • Beyonce Goes Country: I’m all for this song, I was a big fan of her song first country song Daddy Lessons when it came out, and in general I love when artists become entrepreneurs and diversify their audiences, reach, and just generally experiment with new sounds. Maybe I’m tired of pop stars making same-sounding music; her new song Texas Hold’em feels far from “same-sounding”. 

Wrapping Up

As I conclude this edition of my newsletter, I want to thank each of you for subscribing. I hope you get to find some time this week for introspection, reflecting on the profound impact we can have when there is consensus and cooperation in our lives and communities. I’m grateful for all the progress across the Ankord portfolio, and especially Audo this week as we direct our collective efforts toward driving scalable change. Stay tuned for more updates on my book manuscript, where we delve deeper into the transformative power of cooperation and the potential it holds for launching moonshot moments of progress. Until next time, let's continue to champion progress and embrace the journey ahead with optimism and determination.

I hope you find the balance of making time to relax, while getting ahead, this upcoming long weekend.  


Milan Kordestani