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If you think the internet came out of Silicon Valley, that NASA planned the first satellite to orbit earth, or that IBM created the modern computer – think again. Each one of these breakthroughs was conceived at RAND, a shadowy think tank in Santa Monica, California.
Rand rose out of the ashes of World War II. After witnessing the success of the Manhattan Project—the $2 billion initiative that created the first atomic bomb—a five-star Air Force general named Henry “Hap” Arnold concluded that America needed a team of great minds to keep the country’s technology ahead of the rest of the world. In 1946, he gathered together a small group of scientists and $10 million in funding and started RAND (which stands for Research and Development).