a16z

By a16z

SHOW DESCRIPTION

The a16z Podcast discusses tech and culture trends, news, and the future -- especially as ‘software eats the world’. It features industry experts, business leaders, and other interesting thinkers and voices from around the world. This podcast is produced by Andreessen Horowitz (aka “a16z”), a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm. Multiple episodes are released every week; visit a16z.com for more details and to sign up for our newsletters and other content as well!


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EPISODES LIST
02.17.2019

a16z Podcast: Who's Down with CPG, DTC? (And Micro-Brands Too?)

with Ryan Caldbeck (@ryan_caldbeck), Jeff Jordan (@jeff_jordan), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) It's clear that all kinds of commerce companies and consumer products have been disrupted -- or enabled -- by tech. Yet for certain categories, like consumer packaged goods (CPG), it seems like tech hasn't changed things very much. How is the rise of so-called "micro-brands" (or emerging brands) playing out here? And, how is it possible that "real" -- different -- innovation isn't really happening in the CPG industry, despite the tremendous legacy of brand, talent, and more in the space? How are CPG companies tackling grocery, which represents the perfect end-capsule and case study of challenges -- and opportunities -- in going from offline to online, from online to offline, and more? As for grocery itself, stores themselves (in the U.S. at least) haven't changed very much due to tech, either... is it a last-mile delivery thing; could we also possibly move to distribution-only centers in the future? Finally, while the holy grail of performance marketing and personalization remains elusive for the industry -- let’s face it, most brands are still guessing in the dark (and forget trying to customize offerings!) -- even going direct-to-consumer (DTC) hasn't been shining as much of a light here as one might expect. Or so argue the guests in this episode of the a16z Podcast, featuring Ryan Caldbeck of CircleUp, along with a16z general general partner Jeff Jordan, in conversation with Sonal Chokshi. Cuz this episode is all about CPG, DTC; micro-brands, yah you know, all kinds of commerce.

02.16.2019
02.14.2019

a16z Podcast: Cryptonetworks as Emerging Economies (Done Right?)

with Chris Burniske (@cburniske), Joel Monegro (@jmonegro), Denis Nazarov (@Iiterature), and Jesse Walden (@jessewldn) When designing cryptonetworks -- really, emerging economies -- how do we avoid some of the monetary and fiscal policy failings of "real-world" economies? Like not separating currency and capital, which accelerated and spread economic growth through the former... but also concentrated the latter into the hands of a few? Yet how can we empower users to access capital while also managing risk? If the promise of cryptonetworks is to better align incentives and value capture, then we can't make the same mistakes as we did in traditional economies. We also have the chance to do novel things not possible in the physical world, through software. So this episode of the a16z Podcast -- featuring voices from Placeholder VC and a16z Crypto -- goes deep into the nuances and mechanisms of cryptonetworks, tokens, and decentralized applications at every layer of the "stack". Chris Burniske (who has written a lot about financial modeling-influenced frameworks for analyzing crypto) and Joel Monegro (who has written about "fat protocols", and once managed the Digital Economy Department at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Dominican Republic) of Placeholder VC discuss and debate all of the above -- and more! -- with a16z crypto's Denis Nazarov and Jesse Walden (co-founders of Mediachain, which was acquired by Spotify). Throughout the history of information technology, we've gone from hardware to software, and software to data. So what's next, what's the layer above data? The answer is governance -- which gives more people a way to participate in decision making around a given network -- but the answer for how to implement the best governance isn't so clear. --- The views expressed herein are those of the individual personnel quoted herein. This presentation is provided solely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a recommendation to invest in any instrument nor do they constitute an offer to provide investment advisory services. This content should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax and other related matters concerning any investment. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investor or prospective investor, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Please seehttps://a16zcrypto.com/disclosures for additional important information.

02.12.2019

a16z Podcast: Voting, Security, and Governance in Blockchains and Cryptonetworks

with Phil Daian (@phildaian) and Ali Yahya (@ali01) Whether in corporations, boardrooms, or political elections, voting is something we see in all kinds of social systems... including blockchains. It's the natural human tendency for how to organize decisions, and in distributed systems without centralized middlemen, it's the only clear Schelling point we can come up with. But too many people design voting mechanisms in distributed systems in isolation -- sometimes naively "porting over" assumptions from the real world or from simple cryptoeconomic models without thinking through the economic adversaries present in a larger, more rational (vs. "honest") game-theoretic system. So how are blockchain systems different from real-world paper and electronic voting systems? How can such systems be gamed, and what are the implications for cryptoeconomic security... as well as the governance of distributed organizations? This hallway-style episode of the a16z Podcast covers all this and more. Recorded as part of our NYC roadtrip, it features Cornell Tech PhD student and software engineer Phil Daian, who researches applied cryptography and smart contracts -- and who also wrote about "On-chain Vote Buying and the Rise of Dark DAOs" in 2018 (with Tyler Kell, Ian Miers, and his advisor Ari Juels). Daian is joined by a16z crypto partner Ali Yahya (previously a software engineer and machine learning researcher at GoogleX and Google Brain), who also recently presented on crypto as the evolution -- and future -- of trust. --- The views expressed herein are those of the individual personnel quoted herein. This presentation is provided solely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a recommendation to invest in any instrument nor do they constitute an offer to provide investment advisory services. This presentation should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax and other related matters concerning any investment. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investor or prospective investor, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Please see https://a16zcrypto.com/disclosures for additional important information.

02.10.2019

a16z Podcast: Product-Market SALES Fit (What Comes First?)

with Jyoti Bansal (@jyotibansalsf), Peter Levine, Satish Talluri (@satishtalluri), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) One of the toughest challenges for founders -- and especially technical founders who are used to focusing so much on product features over sales -- is striking "product-market fit". The concept can be defined many ways, but the simple definition shared in this episode is: it's when you understand the business value of your product. And that comes down to users, which is where the concept of "product-market-sales fit" comes in, observes Jyoti Bansal, founding CEO of AppDynamics (which was acquired by Cisco for $3.7B the night before it was to IPO). Bansal shares this and other key milestones and frameworks for company building in conversation with a16z general partner Peter Levine; enterprise deal team partner Satish Talluri (who was a director of product and growth operations there); and Sonal Chokshi. So in that shift from product-market fit to product-market-SALES fit, how much should you optimize your go-to-market for product... and even the other way around? What does this mean for product design and product management? When should companies offer services? As for pricing, how do you know you're not leaving value on the table? Again, it comes down to product-market fit: If your business case is strong, you will not be leaving money on the table, argues Bansal in this special podcast series on founder stories and lessons learned in enterprise go-to-market.

02.03.2019
01.31.2019
01.30.2019

a16z Podcast: Connecting Hearts, Bodies, and Networks to Cure Cancer

Veterinary oncology can inform human oncology, and vice versa -- providing a better model for looking at drug performance, interrelationships, and more. Especially when you add in data (there's no "doggy HIPAA!") and networks to get a "living laboratory at scale". Or so argues Amy Abernethy (Chief Medical and Chief Scientific Officer at Flatiron Health and advisor to One Health), who was recently named the new Principal Deputy Commissioner of the FDA, pending ethics clearance; and Christina Lopes, CEO and co-founder of One Health; in conversation with a16z bio general partner Jorge Conde. Dogs -- as a species, as pets, as companions, as family members -- evolved alongside humans, so are actually more similar to us... not just genetically and in terms of the biologic pathways that may cause cancer, but also in exposure to similar environmental factors as well. But what does this all mean when it comes to thinking about real-world evidence in science, human clinical trials, and more broadly, building a bio company? How can product designers -- of all kinds -- backwards-architect their product roadmap for data network effects? And how can bio founders keep both a big-picture roadmap in mind while also focusing on specific milestones, and while working across unconnected disciplines as well? We cover all this and more in this special episode of the a16z Podcast, recorded during the recent J.P.M. healthcare conference in San Francisco.

01.26.2019
01.17.2019

a16z Podcast: Pulse Check on Consumer Tech Trends 2019, CES and Beyond

with Benedict Evans (@benedictevans) and Steven Sinofsky (@stevesi) Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) puts the latest and greatest developments in consumer technology on display in Vegas. But beyond the excitement and the hype, what's really here -- or not here -- to stay? Will televisions roll up into tiny boxes? Will Alexa find her way into electric carving knives? Which of these new gadgets will stand the test of time?  In this episode of the a16z podcast, Benedict Evans and Steven Sinofsky share their take not only on what this year’s show had to offer, but the broader trends at play. From the evolution of the smart home and voice interfaces to the cycle of bundling and unbundling and the future of TV and entertainment, the discussion is a pulse check on where we're at. --- The content provided here is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to purchase any investment solution or a recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on a16z.com should be relied on in any manner as advice. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures/ for further information. This podcast may contain forward-looking statements relating to the objectives, opportunities, and the future performance of the U.S. market generally as well as specific publicly traded companies. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of such words as; “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “should,” “planned,” “estimated,” “potential” and other similar terms. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, estimates with respect to financial condition, results of operations, and success or lack of success of any particular investment strategy. All are subject to various factors, including, but not limited to general and local economic conditions, changing levels of competition within certain industries and markets, changes in interest rates, changes in legislation or regulation, and other economic, competitive, governmental, regulatory and technological factors affecting a portfolio’s operations that could cause actual results to differ materially from projected results. Such statements are forward-looking in nature and involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, and accordingly, actual results may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements or examples. None of AH Capital Management, L.L.C. or any of its affiliates, principals, employees nor any other individual or entity assumes any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, subsequent events or any other circumstances. All statements made herein speak only as of the date that they were made.

01.17.2019

a16z Podcast: Dark Data in Healthcare

with Susannah Fox (@susannahfox), Anil Sethi (@anilsethiusa / @ciitizencorp), Vijay Pande (@vijaypande), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) The problem of "dark data" in healthcare isn't just a feel-good empowerment thing, but a structural issue that leads to miscommunication and extra friction, different players in the entire healthcare system not being able to collaborate with each other, and just major missed opportunities all round. And yes, it also leads to lack of empowerment for patients, not to mention doctors too (who often have less than 30 minutes on site to do their jobs). But we already know all that. What's not clear is WHY and HOW is this the case, when the very point of HIPAA -- the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (of 1996!) -- is to make data portable, not private. That is, IF patients know to ask for it... and can easily get it. So what if we could have a sort of permissioned "permissionless innovation" for healthcare data, not only bringing all that dark data to light, but more importantly -- borrowing from the history of internet innovation -- letting all sorts of expected and unexpected uses be built on top as a result? What happens when data and entities can talk to each other (à la APIs) through patients at the center of the circle of data? From the Dr. Google problem (or opportunity!) to clinical trials and even the opioid crisis, we -- Susannah Fox (former CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services); Anil Sethi (CEO and founder of Ciitizen); and a16z bio general partner Vijay Pande; in conversation with Sonal Chokshi -- explore all this and more in this episode of the a16z Podcast. Let there be light!

01.16.2019

a16z Podcast: The Science and Business of Innovative Medicines

with Vas Narasimhan (@vasnarasimhan), Jorge Conde (@jorgecondebio), Vijay Pande (@vijaypande), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) On average, only 1 out of 20 medicines works when we actually bring them into the human body, and these rates of success haven't moved much in the pharma industry overall in the past 15 years, despite much scientific progress. Because if you really think about it, it's incredible that we find any human medicine that works at all, given that human beings are the product of billions of years of evolution, and represent an incredibly complex system we do not fully understand. Yet the business of the pharma industry -- and Novartis in particular, which covers everything from generics to innovative medicines -- is not that different from other large enterprises when it comes to managing R&D and pipelines of ideas, talent, and sales. So in this conversation, a16z bio general partners Jorge Conde and Vijay Pande with Sonal Chokshi interview Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis. How does the world's largest producer of medicines in terms of volume -- 70. billion. doses. a. year. -- balance the science and the business of innovation? How does an enterprise at such vast scale make decisions about what to build vs. buy, especially given the fast pace of science today? How does it balance attitudes between "not invented here" and "not invented yet"? Narasimhan also takes us through the latest trends in therapeutics, such as cell and gene therapies (like CAR-T for cancer and more); RNA-based modalities; and others -- a sweeping tour from small molecules to large molecules to proteins and other modalities for making medicines. But where does tech come into all this, and where are we, really, on science becoming engineering? Why do both big companies and bio startups now need to get market value signals (not just approvals!) from payers earlier in the process of making therapeutics? And beyond all that, how could clinical trials be reinvented? Finally, what should all scientific (and all technical) leaders know when it comes to leadership? All this and more in this episode of the a16z Podcast, recorded recently on the road while at the J.P.M. health conference in San Francisco.

01.14.2019
01.11.2019
01.09.2019
12.29.2018
12.25.2018
12.23.2018

a16z Podcast: All About Stablecoins

with Andy Milenius (@realzandy), Jesse Walden (@jessewldn), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) The history, evolution, and use of money revolves around the important concept of debt: It’s what allows us to “time travel” and build toward the future — growing livelihoods, businesses, and the overall economy as a result. When it comes to crypto, however, this concept plays a key role as a way to potentially stabilize the volatility of cryptocurrencies, and more importantly, provide a more stable medium of exchange so key applications can be built on top of blockchains. That’s where stablecoins (cryptocurrencies pegged to a more stable asset, such as fiat dollars) come in. Because they’re deployed on top of blockchains, they retain the advantages of cryptocurrencies — digital, global, easily transferable, decentralized. And because open source networks are more transparent and auditable, these systems are far less opaque than, say, the huge house of cards that collapsed in the case of the 2008 financial crisis. But beyond bringing more people into a better financial system, why do stablecoins like Dai — and Maker, one of the oldest decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) on the Ethereum blockchain — matter to the crypto developer community? To banks? To anyone who thinks about the future of innovation… or even the future of the firm, and the future of work? How do (and don’t) DAOs and these kinds of smart contracts change everything we know about management and software development? This episode of the a16z Podcast explores the answers to these questions and more, with Maker CTO Andy Milenius in conversation with Sonal Chokshi and a16z crypto partner Jesse Walden. Here are just two quotes from our jam session: Blockchains are an "open-access, permissionless, choose-your-own adventure story"; and smart contracts are an mp3-like "compression format" for scaling trust. Let the music begin! --- Please note that the a16z crypto fund is a separate legal entity managed by CNK Capital Management, L.L.C. (“CNK”), a registered investor advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. a16z crypto is legally independent and operationally separate from the Andreessen Horowitz family of fund and AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“AHCM”). In any case, the content provided here is for informational purposes only, and does NOT constitute an offer or solicitation to purchase any investment solution or a recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on a16zcrypto.com should be relied on in any manner as advice. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax and other related matters concerning any investment. Furthermore, the content is not directed to any investor or potential investor, and may not be used or relied upon in evaluating the merits of any investment and must not be taken as a basis for any investment decision. No investment in any fund advised by CNK or AHCM may be made prior to receipt of definitive offering documentation and due diligence materials. Finally, views expressed are those of the individual a16z crypto personnel quoted therein and are not the views of CNK, AHCM, or their respective affiliates.

12.21.2018

a16z Podcast: Building Crypto, from Vision to Reality

with Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong), Chris Dixon (@cdixon), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) Where are we, really, right now -- in terms of what we can/ can't do with crypto today? And what will it take to get from vision to mainstream reality? This episode of the a16z Podcast covers all this and more. It's based on a conversation that took place between Coinbase CEO and cofounder Brian Armstrong and a16z crypto general partner Chris Dixon, interviewed by a16z editor in chief Sonal Chokshi, at our at our annual Summit in November 2018 -- following a series of presentations that covered everything from early adoption, myths, and the global need for crypto; to crypto as seen through the lens of trust; to key terms and concepts that enable entirely new use cases on top of crypto. But what are the missing pieces needed to get us there? Is crypto is too much like a religion... and if so, how does one build a company, culture, community in such an intense environment? Where does the history of open source come in? And finally, what are some of the most interesting applications and trends in the space? --- Please note that the a16z crypto fund is a separate legal entity managed by CNK Capital Management, L.L.C. (“CNK”), a registered investor advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. a16z crypto is legally independent and operationally separate from the Andreessen Horowitz family of fund and AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“AHCM”). In any case, the content provided here is for informational purposes only, and does NOT constitute an offer or solicitation to purchase any investment solution or a recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on a16zcrypto.com should be relied on in any manner as advice. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax and other related matters concerning any investment. Furthermore, the content is not directed to any investor or potential investor, and may not be used or relied upon in evaluating the merits of any investment and must not be taken as a basis for any investment decision. No investment in any fund advised by CNK or AHCM may be made prior to receipt of definitive offering documentation and due diligence materials. Finally, views expressed are those of the individual a16z crypto personnel quoted therein and are not the views of CNK, AHCM, or their respective affiliates. Please see https://a16zcrypto.com/disclosures/ for further information.

12.18.2018
12.08.2018
11.21.2018
11.19.2018
11.17.2018
11.05.2018
10.20.2018

a16z Podcast: From Research to Startup, There and Back Again

The period from 2000-2016 was one of the best of times and worst of times for tech and the Valley (dotcom, financial crisis, Google IPO, Facebook founded, unprecedented growth, and so on), and John Hennessy -- current chairman of Alphabet, also on the boards of Cisco and other organizations -- was the president of Stanford University during that entire time. Given this vantage point, what are his views on Silicon Valley (will there ever be another one, and if so where?); the "Stanford model" (for transferring IP, and talent, into the world); and of course, on education (and especially access)? Hennessy also co-founded startups, including one based on pioneering microprocessor architecture used in 99% of devices today (for which he and his collaborator won the prestigious Turing Award)... so what did it take to go from research/idea to industry/implementation? General partners Marc Andreessen and Martin Casado, who also founded startups while inside universities (Netscape, Nicira) and led them to successful exits (IPO, acquisition by VMWare), also join this episode of the a16z podcast with Sonal Chokshi to share their perspectives. But beyond those instances, how has the overall relationship and "divide" between academia and industry shifted, especially as the tech industry itself has changed... and perhaps talent has, too? Finally, in his new book, Leading Matters, Hennessy shares some of the leadership principles he's learned -- and instilling through the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program -- offering nuanced takes on topics like humility (needs ambition), empathy (without contravening fairness and reason), and others. What does it take to build not just tech, but a successful organization? image credit: Jitze Couperus / Flickr

10.08.2018

a16z Podcast: How to Manage a PR Agency

with Shannon (Stubo) Brayton (@sstubo), Margit Wennmachers (@wennmachers), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) One of the company building topics that’s surprisingly mystifying is PR -- and only surprising since so much of the strategy and tactics behind public relations are actually hidden from public view. We've tried demystifying the topic in an ongoing series, covering everything from "the why, how, and when" of PR" and leaders building a personal brand to crisis communications. But the most frequently asked question startup founders, especially technical ones, have is how to manage a PR agency -- from when to bring one in and the mechanics of onboarding and engaging with them; to key acronyms to know in the process of doing so (what's an AoR? RFP? GA?); to what are the ideal configurations for the who-what-where of in-house vs. agency PR. So this episode of the a16z Podcast provides perspectives from both sides of the table (in-house vs. agency, big company vs. startup) for what it takes, featuring PR legends and veterans Shannon (Stubo) Brayton, chief marketing officer at LinkedIn (formerly at OpenTable and formerly vice president of corporate communications at eBay) and Margit Wennmachers, operating partner at Andreessen Horowitz who heads up the marketing function (and who co-founded and later sold The Outcast Agency), in conversation with Sonal Chokshi. It's not dictation -- whether from company to agency, or agency to reporter, or PR to internal stakeholders -- there's a lot of strategic thinking involved even with seemingly incidental things. And... it's a leap of faith.

09.27.2018
09.25.2018

a16z Podcast: Technological Trends, Capital, and Internet 'Disruption'

with Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) and Chris Dixon (@cdixon) There's all sorts of interesting tech trends happening right now, including AI, VR/AR, self-driving cars and drones (as well as interesting stuff happening in verticals like healthcare and finance) -- and there's a lot also happening in seemingly more "mature" tech revolutions, such as mobile and cloud. But where are we now, really, with these shifts... and how does that inform how we think about the next couple decades? And does a framework like Carlota Perez's -- as outlined in Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages and summarized by venture capitalist and longtime internet investor Fred Wilson (of Union Square Ventures) -- fully apply when it comes to software? Because, argues Chris Dixon (general partner on a16z crypto), software "has so much more plasticity, ability to adapt, ability to evolve" that unlike hardware, "the core itself will also dramatically change... not just the apps around it". The total economic value that will be unlocked with the software revolution, observes Wilson, should be orders of magnitude bigger than what we saw with manufacturing for sure. But just how much internet innovation is actually powering true disruption (i.e., is more than just a sustaining innovation, to use Clayton Christensen's terminology)? How do new business models change everything? Dixon and Wilson consider all this and more in this hallway-style episode of the a16z Podcast, where we recorded the two having a think-aloud conversation about everything from the history of the internet and startups, the evolution of capital and infrastructure, to the advent of crypto. How do they they both define "decentralized", what do they think of dApps, and where do NFTs and "crypto goods" come in?? One thing's for sure: It's the most interesting time they've both ever seen in over 30 years of internet work, life, and play. Please note that the a16z crypto fund is a separate legal entity managed by CNK Capital Management, L.L.C. (“CNK”), a registered investor advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. a16z crypto is legally independent and operationally separate from the Andreessen Horowitz family of fund and AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“AHCM”).  In any case, the content provided here is for informational purposes only, and does NOT constitute an offer or solicitation to purchase any investment solution or a recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on a16zcrypto.com should be relied on in any manner as advice. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax and other related matters concerning any investment.

09.24.2018
09.18.2018
09.14.2018

a16z Podcast: Seeing into the Future -- Making Decisions, Telling Stories

with Steven Johnson (@stevenbjohnson), Chris Dixon (@cdixon), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) There's a lot of research and writing out there on "thinking fast" -- the short-term, gut, instinctual decisions we make, biases we have, and heuristics we use -- but what about for "thinking slow" -- the long-term decisions we make that both take longer to deliberate and have longer spans of impact on our lives... and the world? Because we're not only talking about decisions like who to marry (or whether to move) here; we're also talking about decisions that impact future generations in ways we as a species never considered (or could consider) before. But... why bother, if these decisions are so complex, with competing value systems, countless interacting variables, and unforeseeable second- and third-order effects? We can't predict the future, so why try? Well, while there's no crystal ball that allows you to see clearly into the future, we can certainly try to ensure better outcomes than merely flipping a coin, argues author Steven B. Johnson in his new book, Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions That Matter Most. Especially because the hardest choices are the most consequential, he observes, yet we know so little about how to get them right. So in this episode of the a16z Podcast, Johnson shares with a16z crypto general partner Chris Dixon and a16z's Sonal Chokshi specific strategies -- beyond good old-fashioned pro/con lists and post-mortems -- for modeling the deliberative tactics of expert decision-makers (and not just oil-company scenario planners, but also storytellers). The decisions we're talking about here aren't just about individual lives and businesses -- whether launching a new product feature or deciding where to innovate next -- they're also about even bigger and bolder things like how to fix the internet, or what message to send aliens with outcomes spanning centuries far into the future. But that's where the power of story comes in again. * * * The content provided here is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to purchase any investment solution or a recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on a16zcrypto.com should be relied on in any manner as advice. Please see https://a16zcrypto.com/disclosures/ for further information.

09.08.2018
09.06.2018
08.25.2018

a16z Podcast: Crypto and the Evolution of Open Source

with Devon Zuegel (@devonzuegel), Denis Nazarov (@iiterature), and Jesse Walden (@jessewldn) The open source movement enabled so much in computing, including the collaborative building of libraries -- that is, building blocks of code that developers could combine together to build applications. But as these applications grew to massive scale, those libraries ended up being somewhat asymmetrical for "nights-and-weekend" developers (compared to say, the disproportionate resources of a large company with billions of users and big data). Blockchains, however -- enabled by cryptotokens that align incentives among stakeholders -- shift open source development from libraries, to the creation of shared, open, permissionless services. Instead of being siloed and repetitively produced as if from the industrial factory era, any smart contract developed on Ethereum becomes a shared service that can interact with any other service... incentivizing developers to improve on existing services, build on top of them, and enable combinatorial innovation at greater scale than ever before. But if decentralized networks are to win the third era of the internet, how will we resolve challenges such as single-purpose services (another form of consolidation), community conflicts, and other issues? In this video, freelance software engineer (and blockchain app developer) and writer (and urban watcher) Devon Zuegel guest-interviews a16z crypto partners Denis Nazarov and Jesse Walden, the co-founders of Mediachain Labs (which was acquired by Spotify in 2017). They draw on their past experiences leading open source development of a decentralized media attribution protocol for connecting creators to their audience, and what the implications of "services vs. libraries" could be for creatives now. And what about identity, stablecoins and crypto finance, and more? Finally, they extend their previous analogy of cities and network effects and how it fits the idea of libraries vs. services in crypto. * * * Please note that the a16z crypto fund is a separate legal entity managed by CNK Capital Management, L.L.C. (“CNK”), a registered investor advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. a16z crypto is legally independent and operationally separate from the Andreessen Horowitz family of fund and AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“AHCM”).  In any case, the content provided here is for informational purposes only, and does NOT constitute an offer or solicitation to purchase any investment solution or a recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on a16zcrypto.com should be relied on in any manner as advice. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax and other related matters concerning any investment. Furthermore, the content is not directed to any investor or potential investor, and may not be used or relied upon in evaluating the merits of any investment and must not be taken as a basis for any investment decision. No investment in any fund advised by CNK or AHCM may be made prior to receipt of definitive offering documentation and due diligence materials. Finally, views expressed are those of the individual a16z crypto personnel quoted therein and are not the views of CNK, AHCM, or their respective affiliates.  Please see https://a16zcrypto.com/disclosures/ and https://a16zcrypto.com/disclaimers for further information.

08.21.2018
08.09.2018
08.09.2018
08.04.2018

a16z Podcast: Cryptonetworks and Cities -- Analogies

with Denis Nazarov (@iiterature), Jesse Walden (@jessewldn), Ali Yahya (@ali01), and Devon Zuegel (@devonzuegel) Cryptonetworks are often compared to firms, people, or even coral reefs -- but, observes a16z crypto partner Ali Yahya, they might be much more similar to cities. Where does that analogy fit, and where does it break down? And what can we learn from how cities both emerge from the bottom up and are motivated by a top down vision/design  and apply to open source networks such as those in crypto? In this episode of the a16z Podcast -- guest hosted by freelance software engineer (and blockchain app developer) and writer (and urban watcher) Devon Zuegel -- a16z crypto partners Denis Nazarov, Jesse Walden, and Yahya share their thoughts on "rough consensus"; shared myths and beliefs; modularity vs. monolithic design; and the rivers and riverbeds that people build cities and code around. At the end of the day, it's all about mass coordination at scale... but what are the incentives for building the infrastructure and ecosystem, for running experiments but also determining governance as well? *** Please note that the a16z crypto fund is a separate legal entity managed by CNK Capital Management, L.L.C. (“CNK”), a registered investor advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. a16z crypto is legally independent and operationally separate from the Andreessen Horowitz family of fund and AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“AHCM”).  In any case, the content provided here is for informational purposes only, and does NOT constitute an offer or solicitation to purchase any investment solution or a recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on a16zcrypto.com should be relied on in any manner as advice. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax and other related matters concerning any investment. Furthermore, the content is not directed to any investor or potential investor, and may not be used or relied upon in evaluating the merits of any investment and must not be taken as a basis for any investment decision. No investment in any fund advised by CNK or AHCM may be made prior to receipt of definitive offering documentation and due diligence materials. Finally, views expressed are those of the individual a16z crypto personnel quoted therein and are not the views of CNK, AHCM, or their respective affiliates.  Please see https://a16zcrypto.com/disclosures/ and https://a16zcrypto.com/disclaimers/ for further information.

08.01.2018

a16z Podcast: Cryptonetworks and Decentralization -- Building Blocks

with Chris Dixon (@cdixon), Ali Yahya (@ali01), and Devon Zuegel (@devonzuegel) “Show me the incentive and I'll show you the outcomes.” At the end of the day, observes a16z crypto general partner Chris Dixon, Satoshi's whitepaper [the original bitcoin paper outlining a peer-to-peer decentralized network and blockchain sans centralized third parties] is nine pages of incentives. It's the kind of incentive design that you can use to build many other things on the internet (which itself is driven by very simple core protocols and could even upgrade itself as a result). But only with the right incentives (and alignment of those incentives among different entities), of course. Which is where cryptonetworks come in -- especially since they don't rely on hardware buildout (as with earlier generations of internet deployment), but rather on software (which is essentially just logic, the kind of building block you can use to build countless other things). The breadth of possibilities is endless. This means that platforms and networks (and operating systems, for that matter) can spend less time, energy, money, and frankly, suffering due to fighting -- thanks to distorted business models that lead them to extract value from users and compete among complements (vs. substitutes/better alternatives). The internet-native business models baked into crypto, however, could lead to greater competition and better options for users. But what are the missing building blocks, that can help make such networks more iterated games vs. one-off prisoner's dilemmas? And what will it take for these networks to truly reach web-scale, as it's still just the beginning? Because decentralization is the means to an end -- not the end in and itself -- observes a16z crypto partner Ali Yahya, so what do we need to build next to get there? In this episode of the a16z Podcast (guest hosted by freelance software engineer and writer Devon Zuegel), Dixon and Yahya share their thoughts on where we've been, and where we're going with the internet. Please note that the a16z crypto fund is a separate legal entity managed by CNK Capital Management, L.L.C. (“CNK”), a registered investor advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. a16z crypto is legally independent and operationally separate from the Andreessen Horowitz family of fund and AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“AHCM”).  In any case, the content provided here is for informational purposes only, and does NOT constitute an offer or solicitation to purchase any investment solution or a recommendation to buy or sell a security; nor it is to be taken as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. In fact, none of the information in this or other content on a16zcrypto.com should be relied on in any manner as advice. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax and other related matters concerning any investment. Furthermore, the content is not directed to any investor or potential investor, and may not be used or relied upon in evaluating the merits of any investment and must not be taken as a basis for any investment decision. No investment in any fund advised by CNK or AHCM may be made prior to receipt of definitive offering documentation and due diligence materials. Finally, views expressed are those of the individual a16z crypto personnel quoted therein and are not the views of CNK, AHCM, or their respective affiliates.  Please see https://a16zcrypto.com/disclosures/ and https://a16zcrypto.com/disclaimers/ for further information.

08.01.2018

a16z Podcast: High Growth in Companies (and Tech)

with Elad Gil (@eladgil) and Chris Dixon (@cdixon) There's a lot of knowledge out there -- and networks of talent (especially in Silicon Valley) -- on what to do in the early stages of a company, going from 0 to 1, and even in going from 1 to 100... but what about beyond that? It's not as simply linear as merely doubling or tripling resources and org structures; it's actually much more complex on many levels, communication to coordination. Because with great scale comes great complexity... and many, many more places for things to break down. So how should founders/CEOs of growing tech startups think about everything from hiring (including key executives) to product management (what is it, really, beyond common myths/misconceptions around the role?) to thinking about late-stage financing, M&A, and other key aspects of building a company? This episode of the a16z Podcast shares both specific answers to -- and general mindsets for thinking about -- these questions. Chris Dixon, general partner on a16z crypto, interviews Elad Gil, investor/advisor to numerous tech companies; co-founder of Color Genomics; formerly of Google and also co-founder and CEO of Mixer Labs (acquired by Twitter, where he also became a VP). He's the author of the new book, The High Growth Handbook, on scaling companies from 10 to 10,000 people. But the two also explore the growth -- and evolution -- of market and tech trends, including the continuation of mobile/cloud; machine learning (and silicon); crypto; and finally, longevity -- both in the near term and further out in the future. Should people -- and even companies for that matter -- really live longer?

07.20.2018

a16z Podcast: The Regulatory Landscape for Crypto

with Katie Haun (@katie_haun), Robin Weisnman (@robinweisman), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) What’s going on, regulation-wise, in crypto? How should people who want to join a company or build something new in the space think about the regulatory environment? What to make of all the headlines, or the "alphabet soup" of agencies potentially involved in regulating crypto? This episode of the a16z Podcast shares principles -- as well as key players/acronyms to know -- for sorting the signal from the noise in the regulatory landscape for crypto. The experts in conversation with a16z editorial partner Sonal Chokshi include: Robin Weisman, who helped found and is a lobbyist for Coin Center, a nonprofit policy research and advocacy group for cryptocurrencies; and was formerly a director of government relations at Nasdaq; and Kathryn (Katie) Haun, who teaches crypto at Stanford Business School; is on the boards of Coinbase and HackerOne; is a former federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, where she led their first digital currency task force and prosecuted a number of cases in the space; and was recently announced as general partner.  The discussion is based on a panel that originally took place at the “Intro to Crypto” event that Andreessen Horowitz and #Angels put on in April 2018. You can see other talks from this event -- including a video on the building blocks of crypto; as well as sessions on the big picture of decentralization to building companies in crypto, from people to code -- here. This panel also presented the below slide, which is referenced in (but is not necessary to follow) this episode: https://a16z.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/regulatorylandscape-acronyms-introtocrypto_a16z.png photo credit: Erin Brethauer

07.17.2018
07.17.2018
07.17.2018
07.13.2018
07.13.2018

a16z Podcast: Beyond Zero-Sum Thinking in the Game of Tech... and Life

with Marc Andreessen (@pmarca), Ben Horowitz (@bhorowitz), and Steven Johnson (@stevenbjohnson) The rise of zero-sum thinking -- which has come snapping back recently -- slows and even halts progress, observes Marc Andreessen. Because you're then dividing up a smaller piece, adds Ben Horowitz, instead of growing the pie altogether. This is true not just in economics, politics, and tech, but also in business relationships (and life), too. And speaking of such relationships, how does the partnership between Ben and Marc work, more than two decades later, how has it changed through different types of organizations -- and is there anything startup co-founders (and other colleagues) can take away from it? Where do they find the creative inspiration, information, and influences for new ideas? And then, more broadly, how do they think about tech change... including jobs, automation, AI in general? This episode of the a16z Podcast covers these questions and much more. It's based on a fireside chat that took place at our annual a16z Summit event in November 2017 (which brings together large companies, finance investors, academics, and startups to talk all things innovation), and is moderated by author Steven B. Johnson -- who has written numerous magazine articles, 11 books so far (including Where Good Ideas Come From), and also hosted the PBS series “How We Got to Now”. Incidentally, those are the de facto themes for this conversation, which arcs from past to present to future -- taking us from blinking cursors to dashboards to screens and beyond.

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