Incoming, upcoming: Silicon Valley philanthropy, Google driving, SpaceX launch

Some interesting developments concerning Silicon Valley companies and other players:

• First, philanthropy. The Mercury News’ Jeremy Owens writes about Andreessen Horowitz’s vow to give half its earnings to charity, which partner Ben Horowitz announced in a blog post Wednesday. Marc Andreessen told the Wall Street Journal the commitment was “absolutely” influenced by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, his wife, who wrote the book “Giving 2.0,” which was published in October. So far, a $1 million initial gift will benefit some Bay Area food banks and other charities. Since its inception three years ago, Menlo Park-based Andreessen Horowitz has raised $2.7 billion (as of January), and invested in companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Zynga and Skype.

Google, which just this week announced Google Drive (on the cloud), is also reportedly looking for partners for its driverless technology (on the roads). The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is talking with automakers to gauge their interest in using the company’s software, which allows for automated driving. The gargantuan tech company first revealed it was testing driverless cars in 2010. (See Google: Robot you can drive my car, beep beep yeah.)

• Finally, Tesla CEO Elon Musk‘s other company, SpaceX, is preparing to launch a spacecraft to dock to the International Space Station on May 7, a first for a private spacecraft. The scheduled launch comes after a couple of delays, according to PCMag, which reminds us that the Dragon capsule’s first test launch into orbit (and retrieval) was completed in December. Southern California-based SpaceX was one of a few private companies chosen by NASA last year to help it develop commercial space transportation. The ambitious company’s goals include a space taxi and creating reusable rockets that would drive down the cost of space travel. Oh, and saving humanity from extinction by allowing multi-planet living.


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  • Bryan Harrison

    Kudos to Andreessen Horowitz.

    As a nonreligious person, I find it ironic that I wish such people and organizations would consider the advice of documents like the Bible and the Koran when crowing about their generosity.

    Character isn’t only about what we do. It’s also about how and why.