Nathan Myhrvold

Hertz Fellow: Nathan Myhrvold

Princeton University

Area of Study

Theoretical and Mathematical Physics

Fellowship Years

1979 - 1984

“One good idea can change the world forever.”

Nathan Myhrvold, 1979 Hertz Fellow, has dedicated his career to fostering the spirit of innovation and to reshaping the ways in which inventions are defined and applied to society at large.

Nathan is the Founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures (IV), a private equity and venture capital firm focused on building and growing an invention marketplace. Additionally, IV brings together the world’s brightest minds to collaborate on pioneering solutions to some of the world’s most systematic problems. Among the cutting edge projects IV is researching are the climate impacts of zero-emission micro-nuclear reactors and the lifesaving capabilities of mosquito zapping lasers that can prevent the spread of malaria.

Before founding IV, Nathan spent 14 years at Microsoft serving as its Chief Strategist and Chief Technology Officer. Prior to his time at Microsoft, Myhrvold worked under Dr. Stephen Hawking at Cambridge University during which time he completed his postdoctoral fellowship in applied mathematics and theoretical physics. As a Hertz Fellow, Nathan earned his Doctorate in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics and his Master’s Degree in Mathematical Economics from Princeton University. Additionally, Nathan earned Master’s Degrees in Geophysics and Space Physics, and his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from UCLA. To date, he has been awarded hundreds of patents and has hundreds of patents pending.

Inventing is not Nathan’s only passion. He is also a world-renowned paleontologist, an accomplished photographer and an acclaimed master chef. His co-authored cookbook series, Modernist Cuisine, has won awards for “Cookbook of the Year” and “Cooking from a Professional Point of View” from the James Beard Foundation.

“Most ideas will fail, and I am completely OK with that. Inventing is not a game where you should count misses or strikes. Inventing is about the power of the idea.”