Ankord Memo - March 1, 2024


March 1, 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 1, 2024

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Milan Kordestani

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

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Ah, sweet relief; I’m nearly 100% from the flu I had a couple of weeks ago. I spent the past week on the mildly rainy shores of the Bay Area, but I am back in Los Angeles now. This week I was thrilled to attend a Google Education event exclusive to Google Partners and startups in their accelerator. Representing Audo, I was able to spend the day getting unreleased and insider product demos of Google’s new features and products as they pertain to AI and Gemini’s integration in education. Google is building an incredible suite of tools to power educators to make education for K-12 so much more personalized by integrating generative AI tools into Google Classroom. Beyond the dreamy day at Google, visiting the Bay and seeing family is always great: lots of fun spending time with my siblings, hiking with my mom, watching the new Bob Marley movie, and more. 

Ankord Media:

From Milan the Author:

I've been working like a madman on my manuscript this week. Two whole chapters emerged from the fray, diving deep into the ethics and history surrounding moonshot moments and transformative technologies like AI and synthetic biology. I find myself revisiting history and eras like ancient Sumeria or Renaissance Italy, pondering how those pivotal technologies fundamentally reshaped their worlds back then to draw similarities and predictions for our future. This journey has spurred deep reflection on my own techno moral virtues (see my book rec below!), challenging me to consider the legacy we, as technologists today, are building for future generations. It's both profound and slightly overwhelming but in the best of ways!

Ankord Labs Weekly Spotlight:

Josh Brandau is working hard to close our funding round at Nota we’re about 70% of the way there and I can’t wait to share more details on who all invested and what’s in store for 2024 and beyond. I’ve been working on crafting a memo documenting Ankord Labs’ investment in Nota, the team, and the vision which I will share with you all in the next few weeks. For now, the team is focused on product iteration based on customer feedback, and growing revenue. 

Josh and the Nota team have also been closing so many customers that we’ve been running out of bandwidth and are looking to hire more support; check out the open roles on LinkedIn here. While the Nota team is still meeting and onboarding publishers every week, they’ve been taking a strategic approach by prioritizing larger commercial deals until the team expands. Nota has also recently signed a deal with INN, and is working on deals with publication powerhouses LION and ONA. 

Protecting the Integrity of Our Elections: Nota’s most exciting announcement this week, however, has been its involvement with the Tech Accord to Combat Deceptive Use of AI in 2024 Elections, joining 19 other major media companies like Microsoft, Google, X, TikTok, Amazon, and more. This agreement outlines how participating companies will address the risks of fake election content generated by AI on their platforms. This includes content created within their own systems, open-source models they offer, or content simply shared on their platforms. There are real concerns about AI in the upcoming elections, and companies need to proactively address the issue before and during the election process to ensure the freest and fairest outcomes for our democracy. This accord marks Nota’s commitment to electoral transparency, and shows our commitment to keeping news honest and reliable for American voters.

Things I’m Reading:

  • Technology and the Virtues: A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting, by Shannon Vallor: I’m currently so engrossed in Shannon Vallor's book, her philosophical focus resonates deeply with me, particularly her emphasis on the need for a shared ethical foundation amongst those developing and utilizing AI. Vallor's exploration of how ancient philosophical virtues can serve as a foundation for a new approach to technology is a refreshing and insightful perspective that I find both thought-provoking and necessary for navigating the complexities of our digital future.

Things I’m Watching/Listening To:

  • What's something I wouldn't believe about you? (Strangers Answer), by Thoraya: Empathy building content, like these personal narrative interviews, holds a special place in my heart. I'm drawn to the raw honesty, the unfiltered essence of narratives that allow individuals to speak their own truths in their own words. There's a power and authenticity in these stories that cuts through the noise, forging a genuine connection between storyteller and listener. This is the kind of deeply human content we aspire to build at Narratives. These stories inspire me, not only as a journalist but also as a person, constantly reminding me that the most fascinating, most incredible tales often lie in the unvarnished experiences of those around us.
  • Guaguansoul: Evan Young, Co-Founder and COO at Nota, put me on to an incredible album this week. It’s super funky, latin music with a modern flare and inconsistent rhythm changes like Jazz. I highly recommend adding it to any loungey playlists you have. 

Wrapping Up

That wraps it up for this week! Thank you once again for taking the time to catch up on the highlights of what I’m working on and the content I’m consuming. Next week I look forward to sharing some exciting updates from Ahmad’s adventures representing exciting developments on all the various projects across Ankord. It's truly a privilege to have you here reading my long-form writing and supporting my dynamic ecosystem at Ankord. Until next week, stay curious, and please consume some of the interesting content I linked above!


Milan Kordestani