I'm Surya

I ran for Congress, was on reality TV, was once a brand manager, and have worked at various startups. I just finished my book. I'm active on Twitter. Full bio here.

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NYT on Google & A.I

Found this to be really riveting exploration of how Google used machine learning advances (AI, neural networks, and other fun buzz words) to dramatically improve Google Translate. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/14/magazine/the-great-ai-awakening.html?ref=magazine&_r=0 It’s a brave new world and exciting times. From the age of 15 when I first started messing around on the Internet, I knew this was the space I wanted to […]


what apple music should be

Om Malik on Apple Music in The New Yorker. April 28, 2003, Apple launched the iTunes Music Store, saving the music industry from the scourge of piracy while creating a large and steady source of revenue for Apple. Thirteen years later, however, what started as a simple and intuitive way to find music has become a […]


stimulus withdrawal.

A few days ago I decided that I’d start 2014 with a pretty simple change: To seek less stimulus. I wrote a blog post and a status update sharing my impending Facebook absence. I sent an email at work to no longer expect immediate email responses. The changes ended up being: No more Facebook. Conditions […]


The past is just a story we tell ourselves.

Prodded by the overwhelmingly good reviews, I saw Her last night. The most positive reviews called it was the best movie of 2013. The concept of a human falling in love with a smarter version of Siri sounded kind of ridiculous. But since writer-director Spike Jonze is uber-talented and the trailer looked good, I went. It’s […]



I gave up Facebook for the first few months of 2012. Cold-turkey stopped reading my feed + posting. In the lead-up to my summer of traveling, I got back on the Facebook-train and probably posted too frequently. Since then I’ve settled into a steady routine of trying my best to “like” pictures of friends’ children […]


Google, P&G, and Insidious Interviews

Interesting article in the NY Times about what Google has learned about hiring over the years. The highlights: 1) GPA & standardized test scores were uncorrelated with employee performance. 2) Ability to answer brainteasers was uncorrelated with employee performance. 3) Behavioral interviews were effective in predicting employee performance. In 2007, I shared with Google my […]


square and starbucks.

What’s in it for Starbucks? That’s the question I was asking after I digested the big news from last night that Square signed a deal with Starbucks to power their payments. I won’t detail the deal, because if you haven’t read about it already, you definitely don’t care about this post. First, I’m surprised at […]


the less discussed, other sinister plot at groupon.

I love Silicon Valley. Love almost everything about the technology ecosystem. I grew up in New Jersey watching with extreme envy and wonderment as the ‘95-01 boom-bust played out. Like most, I also share a certain reverence for Steve Jobs. Unfortunately, the Valley tends to indulge in one of the less enviable Jobsian traits: the […]


the deal with manufacturing.

A few years ago I was obsessed with manufacturing. While not an expert, I have read thousands of pages on the topic and hundreds of articles. In my campaign for Congress, I tried to make jobs, and as a result, manufacturing a cornerstone. All that to say, that this is something I find interesting and […]


what is quora?

The best site you (probably) have never heard of. I started playing around on Quora a little over a year ago. In that time I’ve become addicted. However it’s one of these sites that’s contained to Silicon Valley + a few people connected to Valley’ers. So let’s talk about it. So what is Quora? 1) […]