a16z

a16z

www.a16z.com
The a16z Podcast discusses tech and culture trend…
On Marrying Entertainment and Technology
Dec 8 • 44 min
with Marc Andreessen (@pmarca), Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Meg Whitman (@MegWhitman) In this episode of the a16z Podcast, based on a discussion that took place at our annual a16z Summit, Marc Andreessen interviews Jeffrey Katzenberg — formerly CEO and…
The IQ and EQ of Robots
Nov 21 • 34 min
with Boris Sofman (@bsofman), Dave Touretzky (@DaveTouretzky), and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) We’re just now beginning to truly see the the first ‘real’ robots in the home, from Roombas to toys to companions to… well, much more. How are humans…
Ancient Dreams of Technology, Gods & Robots
Nov 19 • 37 min
with Adrienne Mayor (@amayor) and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) Is it possible that ancient Greeks and Romans dreamed of technological innovations like robots and artificial intelligence millennia before those technologies became realities? In this…
M&A and Innovation, Inside Out
Nov 16 • 42 min
with Stephanie Cohen and Martin Casado (@martin_casado) As chief strategy officer of Goldman Sachs (and former global head of financial sponsors M&A), Stephanie Cohen has seen it all when it comes to the ins and outs of M&A. And what it means to innovate…
Automation + Work, Human + Machine
Nov 5 • 28 min
with Prasad Akella, Paul Daughtery (@pauldaugh) and Frank Chen (@withfries2) What is different on that factory floor from Henry Ford to today? In this conversation, Prasad Akella, Founder and CEO of Drishti; Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology and Innovation…
Eyeballs on the Game
Oct 20 • 26 min
with Jeff Jordan (@Jeff_Jordan), Yogi Roth (@YogiRoth), Zack Weiner and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) For decades, the increasing value of sports teams, rights, licenses and more have been fueled by sports media. But dollars follow eyeballs, and eyeballs…
From Research to Startup, There and Back Again
Oct 8 • 55 min
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…
How to Manage a PR Agency
Sep 27 • 39 min
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…
New Upstarts in an Old Industry
Sep 25 • 33 min
with Michael Ovitz (@michaelovitz), Ben Horowitz (@bhorowitz), and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) When Michael Ovitz co-founded the Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), he turned a number of the entertainment industry’s well-entrenched…
Technological Trends, Capital, and Internet ‘Disruption’
Sep 23 • 54 min
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)…
Tesla and the Nature of Disruption
Sep 17 • 43 min
with Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) and Steven Sinofsky (@SteveSi) In another of our hallway conversation episodes, Benedict Evans and Steven Sinofsky talk all about Tesla — and more broadly, the nature of disruption overall. How disruptive is Tesla…
What’s at the Core of the Latest Apple Announcement?
Sep 14 • 28 min
with Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) and Steven Sinofksy (@StevenSi) In this hallway-style conversation episode of the a16z Podcast, Benedict Evans and a16z board partner Steven Sinofsky discuss Apple’s September 2018 keynote event and share their…
Seeing into the Future — Making Decisions, Telling Stories
Sep 8 • 46 min
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…
The Case Study of Dollar General and Surviving (Thriving!) Retail
Sep 6 • 21 min
with Jeff Jordan (@Jeff_Jordan), Cal Turner Jr., and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) The “death of retail” in the face of e-commerce and tech disruption is a very real phenomenon, but what about the flip side of that story — that is, retail thriving…
When Organic Growth Goes Enterprise
Aug 25 • 29 min
with Martin Casado (@martin_casado), Andrew Chen (@andrewchen), Russ Heddleston (@rheddleston), and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) What happens when the bottoms up, organic growth usually associated with consumer companies starts to go…. enterprise? Part…
Crypto and the Evolution of Open Source
Aug 21 • 37 min
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…
The Basics of Growth 2 — Engagement & Retention
Aug 9 • 32 min
with Andrew Chen (@andrewchen), Jeff Jordan (@jeff_jordan), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) Once you have users, how do you keep them engaged, retain them, and even “resurrect” or re-engage them? That’s the focus of this episode of the a16z Podcast, which…
The Basics of Growth 1 — User Acquisition
Aug 9 • 20 min
with Andrew Chen (@andrewchen), Jeff Jordan (@jeff_jordan), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) Growth is one of the most top of mind questions for entrepreneurs building startups of all kinds (and especially consumer ones) — but how does one go beyond a mindset…
Earned Secrets
Aug 4 • 16 min
with Ben Horowitz (@bhorowitz) and Sharon Chang (@sychang) What does it really take to start a startup (or work at one)? In this episode of the a16z Podcast — based on a Q&A with Ben Horowitz as part of an event hosted by a16z’s Technical Talent and…
Cryptonetworks and Cities — Analogies
Jul 31 • 37 min
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…
Cryptonetworks and Decentralization — Building Blocks
Jul 31 • 46 min
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…
High Growth in Companies (and Tech)
Jul 20 • 34 min
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…
The Regulatory Landscape for Crypto
Jul 16 • 33 min
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?…
Building Companies in Crypto, from People to Code
Jul 16 • 27 min
with Tina Bhatnagar (@tinab), Preethi Kasireddy (@iam_preethi), Lily Liu (@calilyliu), and Kim Milosevich (@kimbatronic) Whether it’s sharing the decision-making behind joining a crypto company to the perspectives of a passionate early adopter (or…
Decentralization and Crypto, the Big Picture
Jul 16 • 41 min
with Chris Dixon (@cdixon), Elizabeth Stark (@starkness), and Jessica Verrilli (@jess) Why does decentralization matter? This episode of the a16z Podcast — based on a discussion that first took as part of an “Intro to Crypto” event that Andreessen…
The Scientific Revolution of Ancient DNA
Jul 13 • 31 min
with Jorge Conde (@jorgecondebio), David Reich, and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) Trying to reconstruct the deep past of ancient humans out of present-day people has until now been like trying to reconstruct a bomb explosion in a room from bits of…
On Mentors and Mentees
Jul 13 • 32 min
with Ken Coleman, Ben Horowitz (@bhorowitz), and Michel Feaster (@michelfeaster) Everyone talks about the importance of mentorship in our professional development, whether it’s networking to broaden career opportunities or learning from someone more…
Beyond Zero-Sum Thinking in the Game of Tech… and Life
Jul 6 • 42 min
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…
All Things Compensation
Jun 22 • 39 min
Compensation is a topic near and dear to everyone’s heart… but what does “compensation” fully mean — and what does it include, what doesn’t it include? How do entrepreneurs compete for talent in an intensely competitive environment, while balancing their…
Construction Under Tech — The Build
Jun 15 • 36 min
with Martin Fischer (@fischermartin), Saurabh Ladha (@ladhasaurabh), Chris Rippingham, and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) Continuing our series on how tech is changing construction — one of the industries most resistant to change (and facing declining…
Construction Under Tech — Info Flows
Jun 13 • 32 min
with Greg Lynn (@greglynnform), Gina Neff (@ginasue), Tracy Young (@Tracy_Young), and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) Construction has been one of the industries most resistant to innovation and change over the last decades — productivity has actually…
The End (and Beginning) of Programming
Jun 8 • 19 min
There are over 20 million programmers out there — and double that, if you count everyone else coding in other ways — but where are the next 100 million developers? How do we get to a billion developers? The answer, observes a16z general partner Peter…
The Hard Things about Security
Jun 6 • 33 min
Here’s the hard thing about security: the more authentication factors you have, the more secure things are… but in practice, people won’t use too many factors, because they want ease of use. There’s clearly a tension between security and usability, not to…
Autonomy in Service
May 27 • 28 min
with Gregory Allen (@Gregory_C_Allen), Gayle Lemmon (@gaylelemmon), Ryan Tseng, and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) We now live in a world where connecting the dots between intel and modeling threats has become infinitely more complex: not only is the…
When Journalism Goes Global
May 26 • 23 min
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is the organization responsible for the compilation and release of the first the Panama Papers, a series of 11.5 million documents that detailed the offshore dealings of governments and individuals…
B2B2C
May 18 • 29 min
When it comes to B2B2C business models — which combine both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) — who really “owns” the customer? That question might not matter as much in more symbiotic, mutually beneficial marketplaces and other…
Network Effects, Origin Stories, and the Evolution of Tech
May 17 • 65 min
“The rules of the game are different in tech,” argues — and has long argued, despite his views not being accepted at first — W. Brian Arthur, technologist-turned-economist who first truly described the phenomenon of “positive feedbacks” in the economy or…
The Oral History Of TrialPay — Obstacles and Opportunities in Payments
May 11 • 46 min
In this hallway-style conversation (originally recorded as a video), a16z general partner Alex Rampell and Terry Angelos, SVP of Commerce Solutions at Visa, discuss the trials and tribulations of their time as co-founders of TrialPay, an e-commerce…
Shifting Risk Mindsets, From Tech to Bio
May 10 • 27 min
What challenges do first-time founders or tech founders encounter when building companies in the bio space, and how do they differ from traditional tech companies? In this hallway-style conversation episode of the a16z Podcast (originally recorded as a…
The Case Against Education, From Signaling to Rainbow’s End
May 9 • 44 min
with Bryan Caplan (@bryan_caplan), Marc Andreessen (@pmarca), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) Signaling and credential inflation — not learning — can explain why education pays in the labor market, and why we shouldn’t invest (any more) in it, argues Bryan…
Breaking Into Bio
May 1 • 41 min
with Atul Butte (@atulbutte), Daphne Koller (@daphnekoller), and Vijay Pande (@vijaypande) Whether you’re an academic seeking to move out of research and into industry, or simply interested in working at a bio startup, this episode of the a16z Podcast is…
Principles and Algorithms for Work and Life
Apr 21 • 49 min
with Ray Dalio (@raydalio), Alex Rampell (@arampell), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) Can one really apply the lessons of history and of the past to the present and the future, as a way to get what they want out of life? By deeply understanding cause-effect…
On Recent Consolidation in the Healthcare Industry
Apr 18 • 8 min
Many of the healthcare headlines lately have been about consolidation in the industry: Walmart and Humana; Aetna and CVS; Amazon, JP Morgan, and Berkshire Hathaway. But what does it all mean for patients, and startups — Will it decrease costs? What…
Players and Paths for Healthcare Startups
Apr 17 • 7 min
The creation of each new biotechnology enables a tool, a therapy, or a diagnostic: a molecule, a protein, an app, a platform. And the process underneath isn’t just complex in the science and engineering of it, but in the go to market. So who are the…
When (and How) Biology Becomes Engineering
Apr 16 • 22 min
Hypothesis, test, revise — that’s science. Engineering, however, doesn’t quite go that way: You have parts you know and understand (like legos), and then you use those parts to design and build something (like bridges). But the key is that when science —…
What to Know about GDPR
Apr 12 • 35 min
with Lisa Hawke (@ldhawke) and Steven Sinofsky (@stevesi) Given concern around data breaches, the EU Parliament finally passed GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) after four years of preparation and debate; it goes into enforcement on May 25, 2018.…
Feedback Loops — Company Culture, Change, and DevOps
Mar 28 • 44 min
with Nicole Forsgren (@nicolefv), Jez Humble (@jezhumble) and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) From the old claim that “IT doesn’t matter” and question of whether tech truly drives organizational performance, we’ve been consumed with figuring out how to measure —…
From Teaching Leadership to Being a Leader
Mar 26 • 22 min
Few operators become VCs, and even fewer go back to leading companies… so how does these perspectives change how one leads? Obviously, it’s a lot easier to think of a solution than execute on one… but then how does a leader empower one’s team to do the…
Improv’ing Leadership
Mar 23 • 23 min
Leadership is not just about management, but about passion, a bit of humor, and resilience. General partner Peter Levine and Dick Costolo (entrepreneur, former CEO of Twitter, and erstwhile comedian) share their thoughts on the topic in this episode of…
On Morals and Meaning in Products, Business, and Life
Mar 21 • 24 min
Focusing only on the technical, “crunchy, wonky stuff” behind policies or products sometimes misses the humanity at the center of why we’re doing the thing in the first place. Because systems — whether algorithms and artificial intelligence, or capitalism…
How to Live Longer and Better
Mar 16 • 17 min
with Kristen Fortney (@kpfortney), Jeff Kaditz (@jeffkaditz), David Sinclair (@davidasinclair), and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) Even without a mythical fountain of youth, scientific advances have already dramatically increased how long humans live. But…
The API Economy — The Why, What, and How
Mar 13 • 30 min
with Cristina Cordova (@cjc), Augusto Marietti (@sonicaghi), Laura Behrens Wu (@laurabehrenswu), and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) APIs (application programming interfaces), observe the guests in this episode of the a16z Podcast, can be described as everything…
Containing the Monolith — From Microservices to DevOps
Mar 7 • 17 min
What happens when monolithic architectures are broken down into containers and microservices (or when things are broken down into smaller units, not just in infrastructure but perhaps even in company structure too)? From building more dynamic websites to…
Space — the Near Frontier
Mar 4 • 14 min
When most people think of space, they think of outer space: Mars, billionaires with rockets, and the “final frontier”. But space innovation is actually playing out right now — in an immediate and more accessible way, thanks to techonologies getting…
The State of Security
Feb 28 • 17 min
with Joel de la Garza, Stina Ehrensvärd, Niels Provos, and Martin Casado Given the heated discussions around security and the c-word (“cyber”), it’s hard to figure out what the actual state of the industry is. And clearly it’s not just an academic…
Creating a Category, from Pricing to Positioning
Feb 24 • 31 min
with Martin Casado (@martin_casado), Michel Feaster (@michelfeaster) and Sonal Chokshi (@smc90) The purpose of category creation, argue the guests in this episode of the podcast, isn’t just about making a dent in the way companies work and changing what…
The Self-Flying Camera
Feb 22 • 22 min
with Adam Bry (@adampbry), Chris Dixon (@cdixon), and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) Now that we’ve finally reached the age of the truly autonomous commercial small drone — and in this case, a self-flying camera — what happens when you take the pilot out…
The Internet of Taste, Streaming Content to Culture
Feb 18 • 42 min
Once upon a time it was inconceivable that a company in Silicon Valley could make content that was any good; the running joke, shares Marc Andreessen, “was like, what are we gonna do — we’re gonna film a router instruction manual? It was just an absurd…
The Business of Continual Change
Feb 18 • 26 min
Every large company — especially ones that have been around for a long time — goes through multiple cycles of change. But how do you know where to go next, and when, and how? The management literature is full of case studies, research, and of course,…
How Technology Is Changing Investing
Feb 16 • 16 min
As people begin to gain access to information that was previously left to only trained specialists, a new set of asset classes are being created — and they are changing the way we think about everything from banking to customizing portfolios and more. But…
Data, Insight, and the Customer Experience
Feb 13 • 16 min
In 2017 The Economist declared data to be the world’s most valuable resource. And yet “data insight” is one of those phrases that, while important, is now so ubiquitous it’s been numbed of meaning. So how do you actually get the most meaningful insights…
The Evolution of Payments
Feb 11 • 19 min
The battle between every startup and incumbent comes down to whether the startup gets distribution before the incumbent gets innovation, oft observes a16z general partner Alex Rampell. But how does this play out when most of the players, big and small,…
When Is VR’s iPhone Moment?
Feb 7 • 23 min
There was a lot of hype about VR ad then it seemed to go pretty quiet. So where are we right now? Bigscreen founder Darshan Shankar and a16z general partner Chris Dixon take the pulse on VR, AR, and mixed reality — especially where it’s going the next 24…
All about Bike Sharing
Feb 3 • 30 min
with Lee Kleinman (@LeeForDallas), Joshua Schank (@joshuaschank), Andrew Savage, and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) There’s a new wave of bike-sharing in town. But this wave looks a little different than previous waves — from docked rows of…
Self-Driving Cars — Where Are We, Really?
Jan 31 • 17 min
As cars become more like iPhones and less like just, well, cars — everything changes, from data to mapping to interfaces to security and more. How so? Where are we anyway, given all the hype around when self-driving cars will appear everywhere? And where…
Beyond CES: Connected Home Devices, Voice, and More
Jan 22 • 33 min
In this hallway conversation of the a16z Podcast, Benedict Evans and Steven Sinofsky discuss CES 2018 and share insight on what they took from this year’s show. How much can you discern each company’s “big picture” strategy out of the slew of new…
Mental Models for Understanding Crypto Tokens
Jan 22 • 34 min
This episode of the a16z Podcast goes deep on various trends in cryptocurrencies — from mental models for understanding tokens and what may give them long-term value; to the role of stablecoins in the ecosystem; to scaling, on-chain and off-chain…
Reinventing Food
Jan 16 • 19 min
It’s surprising that how (and what) we eat has actually changed very little over the ages, despite how much we’ve advanced as a species. Now, however — driven by globalization, environmental factors, and other considerations — the way we move, taste, and…
Revisiting the Gene
Jan 11 • 15 min
The complete sequencing of the human genome is one of the most powerful examples of technology and science in action: We’ve gone from needing $3 billion and over 13 years to read a single human genome to today, to where we can do that same amount of work…
Community and Culture, Online
Jan 7 • 20 min
We’re so used to thinking of “community” as our friends, families, and neighbors. But what a community is, and who it is made of, has changed thanks to the internet, and without our noticing it. What happens when online communities — really, new…
Fintech for the People
Dec 24, 2017 • 17 min
New fintech companies are democratizing access to financial services in different ways, whether it’s making food stamps more efficient, no longer waiting two weeks for a paycheck, or enabling anyone with a smartphone in developing countries to create…
Trends in Cryptocurrencies
Dec 23, 2017 • 22 min
The internet, believe it or not, was just the beginning. Yes, it spawned an incredible number of uses (some unexpected), from marketplaces and commerce to publishing and social networks… but that’s all been built with old models of funding and…
The $200 PC in the Enterprise
Dec 21, 2017 • 32 min
What capabilities do enterprise companies really want from their computers? Twenty years ago, those capabilities might’ve been bundled into a mainframe. Ten years ago, it might’ve been the PC. Today, as more and more businesses rely on devices that need…
Of Governors and Mayors, and Tech Policy
Dec 19, 2017 • 12 min
Many of the big tech policy issues of the day play out more so at the state and local level, not just federal level. The decisions that cities and states make every day — from autonomous vehicles to bike sharing — may therefore end up setting the stage…
Taking the Pulse on Bio
Dec 14, 2017 • 28 min
This conversation between the members of a16z’s bio team — including general partners Jorge Conde and Vijay Pande; Malinka Walaliyadde; and Jeffrey Low (the interviewer) — takes a quick pulse on where we are with when bio becomes more like engineering.…
Scaling Healthcare
Dec 14, 2017 • 18 min
No matter how grand a vision for a particular industry, disruption in practice is hard. This is especially true in industries like healthcare, which have long been resistant to software-driven change. But sometimes you can innovate within the bounds of…
Market Shifts
Dec 10, 2017 • 34 min
NASDAQ CEO Adena Friedman runs one of the world’s largest financial services companies, including the NASDAQ stock exchange that’s home to more than 3,500 listed companies. They were also the creator of the world’s first electronic stock market. Yet how…
On Data and Data Scientists in the Age of AI
Dec 5, 2017 • 9 min
Data, data, everywhere, nor any drop to drink. Or so would say Coleridge, if he were a big company CEO trying to use A.I. today — because even when you have a ton of data, there’s not always enough signal to get anything meaningful from AI. Why? Because,…
AI, from ‘Toy’ Problems to Practical Application
Dec 2, 2017 • 34 min
When you have “a really hot, frothy space” like AI, even the most basic questions — like what is it good for, how do you make sure your data is in shape, and so on — aren’t answered. This is just as true for the companies eager to adopt the technology and…
The Rise of the CCO
Nov 18, 2017 • 25 min
There’s a new C-level role in town: the CCO, or Chief Customer Officer. This episode (based on a previous event) is all about the rise of this new role, why it’s so important — and what the actual scope and function of the role should be. a16z’s Matt…
How Founders Hire a VP of Product
Nov 10, 2017 • 29 min
Hiring a VP of Product — especially as the founder of the company — can almost feel like handing over your baby to someone else to hold, observes a16z executive talent team partner Caroline Horn, who hosted an event on this topic earlier this year (which…
Putting AI in Medicine, in Practice
Nov 3, 2017 • 29 min
with Brandon Ballinger (@bballinger), Mintu Turakhia (@leftbundle), Vijay Pande (@vijaypande), and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) There’s been a lot of talk about technology — and AI, deep learning, and machine learning specifically — finally reaching the…
The Why Behind the Weird
Oct 31, 2017 • 27 min
Author and professor at George Mason University, Peter Leeson describes himself as not just an economist but as a “collector of curiosa.” In his latest book, WTF?! An Economic Tour of the Weird, Leeson looks at just that — the strangest beliefs,…
Revenge of the Algorithms (Over Data)… Go! No?
Oct 22, 2017 • 40 min
with Frank Chen, Steven Sinofsky, and Sonal Chokshi There are many reasons why we’re in an “A.I. spring” after multiple “A.I. winters” — but how then do we tease apart what’s real vs. what’s hype when it comes to the (legitimate!) excitement about…
Platforming the Future
Oct 13, 2017 • 34 min
with Tim O’Reilly and Benedict Evans In this hallway-style podcast conversation, O’Reilly Media founder Tim O’Reilly and a16z partner Benedict Evans discuss how we make sense of the most recent wave of new technologies —- technologies that are perhaps…
A New Lab Rises
Oct 12, 2017 • 28 min
with Ion Stoica, Peter Levine, and Sonal Chokshi We’ve already talked quite a bit about the Algorithms, Machines, and People lab at U.C. Berkeley (AMPLab) — all about making sense of big data — so what happens when the entire world moves towards…
Mindsets for Engineering Biology
Oct 6, 2017 • 28 min
Head of the largest bioengineering lab in the world, former chairman of the FDA and one of the few recipients of the National Medals of Science and of Technology and Innovation, Bob Langer’s work has spanned multiple fields and settings and has been…
Why Crypto Tokens Matter
Sep 28, 2017 • 34 min
with Chris Dixon and Fred Ehrsam We’ve already talked about why bitcoin matters. But as the set of cryptocurrencies — and networks and “tokens” enabled by the underlying blockchain — grow (Ethereum being one of the fastest-growing ones), where do we go…
The Case Study of Lyft and Local Governments
Sep 26, 2017 • 20 min
with David Mack, Joseph Okpaku, and Matt Spence How should startups engage with policymakers, build their own government relations (GR) function (whether in house or with consultants), and just begin to figure out their GR playbook? Let alone explain…
Exploding the Map
Sep 16, 2017 • 38 min
with Wei Luo, David Rumsey (@davidrumseymaps), and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) In this episode, Wei Luo, founding COO of DeepMap — who build HD maps for autonomous vehicles — and David Rumsey, founder of the David Rumsey Map Collection (one of the…
Getting Applications Into People’s Hands
Sep 14, 2017 • 21 min
with Juan Benet and Chris Dixon The story of how innovation happens is a long one — from government funding early basic research, to the heyday of corporate R&D like Bell Labs, to startups as experiments before product-market fit. Through all that, we’ve…
The Asshole Survival Guide
Sep 13, 2017 • 34 min
with Michael Dearing (@mcgd), Bob Sutton (@work_matters), and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread) Bob Sutton’s book The No Asshole Rule was all about how to foster company cultures that don’t tolerate asshole behavior. But sometimes, dealing with an asshole is…
Adjusting to Trade… and Innovation
Sep 10, 2017 • 38 min
with Russ Roberts, Noah Smith, and Sonal Chokshi Beyond the overly simplistic framing of trade as “good” or “bad” — by politicians, by Econ 101 — why is the topic of trade (or rather, economies and people adjusting to trade) so damn hard? A big part of it…
The Macro and Micro of Parenting
Sep 5, 2017 • 29 min
We tend to talk about tech and parenting through devices and artifacts — screen time, to code or not to code — but actually, there’s a bigger, macro picture at play there: game theory, economic incentives, culture, and more. So in this back-to-school…
Competing Against Luck
Sep 2, 2017 • 37 min
with Clayton Christensen, Marc Andreessen, and Steven Levy In business, mistakes of omission may be just as bad as (if not worse than) mistakes of commission — simply because of the loss in potential upside: new companies, new products, new opportunities…
Engineering Intent
Aug 30, 2017 • 28 min
“Young hungry and scrappy” is how Hamilton described his country, and it’s how many — including the guests on this episode — describe startups… or more precisely, the mindset that engineers in startups need to balance both creativity and efficiency. But…
A Society Under Construction - Modernizing Infrastructure
Aug 26, 2017 • 22 min
What is “infrastructure” actually? In the 19th and 20th century, that usually meant the transportation systems supporting roadways, airports, trains… but we don’t even really know yet what it might potentially mean in the age of rapidly changing…
Cash, Growth, and CEO ❤️ CFO
Aug 24, 2017 • 19 min
with Ben Horowitz, Scott Kupor, and Caroline Moon “The only unforgivable sin in business is to run out of cash” [so said Harold Geneen], yet startup CEOs “always act on leading indicators of good news, and lagging indicators of bad news” [according to…
The Taxonomy of Collective Knowledge
Aug 15, 2017 • 26 min
What do disease diagnostics, language learning, and image recognition have in common? All depend on the organization of collective intelligence: data ontologies. In this episode of the a16z Podcast, guests Luis von Ahn, founder of reCaptcha and Duolingo,…
Centers of Power, War, and History
Aug 11, 2017 • 28 min
with Graham Allison and Matthew Colford “When a rising power threatens to displace a ruling power, shit happens.” It’s true of people, it’s true of companies, and it’s even more true of countries. It’s also the fundamental insight captured by ancient…
The Strategies and Tactics of Big
Aug 7, 2017 • 29 min
What happens when companies grow exponentially in a short amount of time — to their organization, their product planning, their behavior towards change itself? In this “hallway conversation”, a16z partners Steven Sinofsky and Benedict Evans discuss the…
Independents on the Board
Aug 3, 2017 • 22 min
with Anne Mitchell, Lars Dalgaard, and Scott Kupor “Orthogonal thinking” but “shared core values” — that’s what makes an ideal board… especially when it comes to “independents”, i.e., board members who aren’t also investors. But how do you get the most…
From Mind at Play to Making the Information Age
Aug 3, 2017 • 29 min
with Jimmy Soni, Rob Goodman, and Steven Sinofsky Modern technology owes much to the introduction of the binary digit or “bit”, first proposed by Claude Shannon in “A Mathematical Theory of Communication”, a paper published in 1948. The bit would go on to…
The Curious Case of the OpenTable IPO
Jul 24, 2017 • 30 min
There are the things that you carefully plan when it comes to an IPO — the who (the bankers, the desired institutional investors); the what (the pricing, the allocations); and the when (are we ready? is this a good public business?). But then there are…
Making a (Really) Wild Geo-Engineering Idea Real
Jul 18, 2017 • 30 min
Here’s what we know: There’s a pair (father and son) of Russian scientists trying to resurrect (or rather, “rewild”) an Ice Age (aka Pleistocene era) biome (grassland) complete with (gene edited, lab-grown) woolly mammoths (derived from elephants). In…
Addiction vs Popularity in the Age of Virality
Jul 14, 2017 • 26 min
In the age of virality, what does it actually mean to be popular? When does popularity — or good product design, for that matter — cross over from desire and engagement… to addiction? Journalist and editor Derek Thompson, author of Hit Makers: The Science…
The Golden Era of Productivity, Retail, and Supply Chains
Jul 11, 2017 • 33 min
This episode of the a16z Podcast takes us on a quick tour through the themes of economics/historian/journalist Marc Levinson’s books — from An Extraordinary Time, on the end of the postwar boom and the return of the ordinary economy; to The Great A&P, on…
The Cloud Atlas to Real Quantum Computing
Jun 30, 2017 • 25 min
A funny thing happened on the way to quantum computing: Unlike other major shifts in classic computing before it, it begins — not ends — with The Cloud. That’s because quantum computers today are more like “physics experiments in a can” that most…
Companies, Networks, Crowds
Jun 29, 2017 • 35 min
Is a network — whether a crowd or blockchain-based entity — going to replace the firm anytime soon? Not yet, argue Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson in the new book Machine, Platform, Crowd. But that title is a bit misleading, because the real questions…
Lobbying Tech
Jun 24, 2017 • 22 min
What is lobbying, really? Is it “white”, “heavy-set” men “playing golf” and making arrangements in “smoke-filled back rooms”? It’s not like that anymore, according to two lobbyists who join this episode of the a16z Podcast to pull back the curtain on this…
Cybersecurity in the Boardroom vs. the Situation Room
Jun 18, 2017 • 23 min
“We’re always fighting the last war” — that’s a phrase historians like to use because policymakers and others tend to be so focused on the threats they already know, and our mindsets and organizational structures are oriented to respond that way as well.…
Changing the Conversation about Cybersecurity
Jun 16, 2017 • 19 min
When individuals gain the abilities that only nation states once had, how do we put cyber threats in perspective for policymakers — without unduly “inflating” the threats? As it is, security is an intense and important topic, so our job is to be scared —…
Taking the ‘Cyber’ Out of Cybersecurity
Jun 16, 2017 • 8 min
Nearly every cybersecurity discussion/presentation follows this formula: We don’t know what we’re doing; the bad guys are getting smarter; our defenses are getting worse; everything’s more connected than ever; we’re heading towards a digital . But even…
Taking the Measure of Tech in Policy — with Kamala Harris
Jun 9, 2017 • 27 min
“Slow down, cowboys” — that’s what Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) said when prosecutors in her office wanted to bring a case against companies that let apps download someone’s entire address book, because surely that’s a complete violation of…
Modernizing Government Services, From Food Stamps to Foster Care
Jun 7, 2017 • 19 min
When people think of modernizing government, they tend to think of new IT, of improved procurement, of new infrastructure … rather than social services like foster care or food stamps. But how can we actually help improve daily lives — less in the…
The Law (and Tech) of Warfare
Jun 5, 2017 • 32 min
Rules, guidelines, regulations, and “laws” are all sometimes used interchangeably — but what’s legal and what isn’t is far more complex when it comes to policy, especially when politics (and technology) enters the picture. Take encryption for instance:…
The Living Museum
May 29, 2017 • 32 min
Every industry (for-profit, non-profit, government, private-sector) has been touched by tech, with most trying to lead the charge in order to stay ahead. But museums and memorials, by definition, lag rather than lead there. How is that changing as…
Giving and Getting Feedback — for Bosses and Employees
May 26, 2017 • 24 min
There’s feedback and there’s guidance; there’s praise and there’s criticism. All of it is important to do better work, but to develop a better and more productive workplace and relationships — especially given how much time we spend at work! — the way we…
What Technology Wants, Needs, Does
May 22, 2017 • 35 min
Turnabout is fair play: That’s true in politics, and it’s true at Andreessen Horowitz given our internal (and very opinionated!) culture of debate — where we often agree to disagree, or more often, disagree to agree. So in this special “turnabout” episode…
Tech Policy and the Courts
May 21, 2017 • 21 min
Discussions and headlines around tech policy tend to be dominated by what the President and the White House (aka the executive branch of the government) and what the Senate and House of Representatives (aka the legislative branch) are saying and doing.…
The Blockchain, in Congress
May 20, 2017 • 20 min
There’s an interesting paradox when it comes to the U.S. government and tech: Either they’re an inventor, early adopter, and buyer of emerging new tech … or they’re a very late adopter (as in the case of government officials using Blackberries vs.…
For Your Ears Only
May 18, 2017 • 32 min
When it comes to spycraft — or rather, “tradecraft,” as they say in the biz — what do the movies get right, and what do they get wrong? In this episode of the a16z Podcast, Michael Morell — former Deputy Director and twice-Acting Director of the CIA —…
From Jobs to Flying Cars
May 15, 2017 • 33 min
In this lively conversation — from our recent annual tech and policy summit in Washington, D.C. — Axios’ Dan Primack interviews a16z co-founder Marc Andreessen about the two major narratives dominating discussions about the tech industry right now: the…
Quantum Computing, Now and Next
May 14, 2017 • 26 min
Moore’s Law — putting more and more transistors on a chip — accelerated the computing industry by so many orders of magnitude, it has (and continues to) achieve seemingly impossible feats. However, we’re now resorting to brute-force hacks to keep pushing…
Boards, from Both Sides of the Table
May 11, 2017 • 20 min
A board veteran who has sat on both sides of the table, CEO of PagerDuty Jennifer Tejada shares what you gain from board membership (vs. being only an operator). How does being a board member change you as a CEO, and vice versa? Recorded as part of our…
On Wearables, Quantified Self, and Biohacking
May 9, 2017 • 31 min
It’s the end of the beginning — not the beginning of the end — for wearables, argue the guests in this episode of the a16z Podcast. Especially as we move from the first, to the next, generation of wearable devices: not just activity trackers and watches…
The Rise of the Digital ‘Pill’
Apr 29, 2017 • 26 min
The first thing that comes to mind when treating health problems is the need to take a pill (or other pharmaceutical) of some kind. But could a digital therapeutic — a software-based intervention — not only complement, but possibly even replace pills? In…
QR. AR. VR.
Apr 25, 2017 • 28 min
In this hallway-style episode of the podcast, a16z partners Connie Chan and Kyle Russell discuss recent announcements at Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8, in the context of trends such as: messaging and QR codes; brain computer interfaces;…
The Science Of Extending Life
Apr 17, 2017 • 28 min
Is it real or science fiction to dream of being able to treat… getting old? In this episode, we discuss with Dr. Thomas Rando from Stanford (who directs the Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging), Kristen Fortney, CEO of BioAge, and a16z’s general partner…
Crisis Communications
Apr 13, 2017 • 33 min
A crisis is an opportunity to change one’s culture, to model scenarios and set up a crisis plan/process, to become a better company. But it’s also a bit like therapy, from the act of asking probing questions to get at the facts … to dealing with emotions…
Monetizing Open Source (Or, All Enterprise Software)
Apr 11, 2017 • 29 min
Here’s what we know about open source: Developers are the new buyers. Community matters. And there will never be another Red Hat (i.e., a successful “open core” business model … nor do we necessarily think there should be). Yet open source is real, and…
The Changing Culture of Open Source
Apr 9, 2017 • 39 min
The culture of open source has changed across generations, from previous ones that had to fight for the brave new way — to the current “GitHub generation” that not only accepts open source, but expects it as the default. Which makes sense given that open…
Cryptocurrencies, App Coins, and Investing in Protocols
Apr 3, 2017 • 32 min
Most of us have probably heard of bitcoin and ethereum — but did you know there were 15 new cryptocurrencies launched this past month alone? How then do we know which protocols to invest in — not just as a developer or user, but as an investor? Because,…
Eyes in the Sky
Mar 24, 2017 • 19 min
In this episode of the a16z Podcast recorded at our inaugural Summit, Jonathan Downey, CEO of Airware, Grant Jordan, CEO of Skysafe, and Kyle Russell, partner at a16z, discuss our future with “eyes in the sky.” How do you balance experimentation and…
From Hidden Figure to Sonic BOOM
Mar 22, 2017 • 38 min
An aerospace engineer who worked for NASA for over 40 years, Dr. Christine Darden is one of the mathematicians that the book and movie Hidden Figures was based on. Darden eventually would lead the sonic boom team, going on to become the first…
The Storage Renaissance
Mar 21, 2017 • 22 min
As we enter a new era of distributed computing — and of big data, in the form of machine and deep learning — storage becomes (even more) important. It might not be sexy, but storage is what makes the internet and cloud computing go round and round:…
The Product Edge in Machine Learning Startups
Mar 17, 2017 • 21 min
A lot of machine learning startups initially feel a bit of “impostor syndrome” around competing with big companies, because (the argument goes), those companies have all the data; surely we can’t beat that! Yet there are many ways startups can, and do,…
Build Your Personal Brand
Mar 13, 2017 • 31 min
Your brand, says head of a16z marketing and Outcast Agency co-founder Margit Wennmachers, is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. And it’s going to happen, whether you choose to have an active part in it or not. But what does this mean…
The Business of Healthcare
Mar 10, 2017 • 17 min
Starbucks supposedly spends more on healthcare than it does on coffee beans. And 20 years ago, says Rajeev Singh, CEO of Accolade, healthcare was 10% of GDP; today it’s 19% — that’s nearly one-fifths of our gross domestic product. So what tools do we have…
The Genetics Of Drug Delivery
Mar 6, 2017 • 14 min
In this episode of the a16z Podcast introduced by Vijay Pande (based on a presentation at our summit event), Russ Altman, Stanford professor of bioengineering — and former chairman of their Bioengineering Department — takes us on a short but deep tour of…
Technology, Mobility, and the American Dream
Mar 1, 2017 • 37 min
The irony of our systems working so well — technological, corporate, and yes, even political — is that we’ve become too comfortable: matching to others just like us, producing less, taking fewer risks. But isn’t the very point of technology to make our…
The Future of… You
Feb 27, 2017 • 19 min
Humans have always wanted to enhance themselves — from getting nutrition just-right to optimizing their performance, whether in sports or health or work. And food is a big part of all that. But our current systems of food production (and consumption) are…
Tech and Entertainment in the ‘Era of Mass Customization’
Feb 26, 2017 • 45 min
Imagine, for a moment, an alternative universe: One where Netflix got disrupted by some other streaming-content company that made its DVD rental business irrelevant. But that’s just a counterfactual. What happened instead is that Netflix cannibalized (or…
Brains, Bodies, Minds … and Techno-Religions
Feb 24, 2017 • 44 min
Evolution and technology have allowed our human species to manipulate the physical environment around us — reshaping fields into cities, redirecting rivers to irrigate farms, domesticating wild animals into captive food sources, conquering disease. But…
When Will Genomics Live Up to the Hype?
Feb 22, 2017 • 25 min
It’s been nearly 15 years since the Human Genome Project was completed. But “are we there yet” in the golden age of genomics? What did we think we’d have by now, what do we actually have, and what do we really still need to make genomics live up to its…
Startups, Pivots, Culture, and Timing (Oh Shit!)
Feb 19, 2017 • 32 min
The hardest thing about pivots (major shifts in company/product direction) isn’t just the actual pivot. It’s the courage to make the decision… and being honest with yourself as a CEO. Especially since, no matter how great the team or board or even…
Securing Infrastructure and Enterprise Services
Feb 14, 2017 • 19 min
The modern enterprise holds all sorts of applications, devices, and workflow needs. How should we be thinking about securing infrastructure — and identity — in this context, for entities like major news media outlets or financial institutions such as News…
Cars and Cities, the Autonomy Edition
Feb 8, 2017 • 35 min
Thanks to freeways, cities became something to get through instead of something to get to. Now, as the next transportation revolution — from rivers to trains to cars to autonomous cars — promises to change the face of our cities, what happens to car…
What Startups Should Know about Analyst Relations
Feb 1, 2017 • 31 min
In the age of the internet — where information is freely available online, and connections between sellers and buyers of software products are visible on LinkedIn — do analysts really matter? Do they play a role in decision-making for purchases from…
Building Worlds with VR, Art, and Narrative
Jan 27, 2017 • 38 min
Once upon a time, Robert Stromberg got a phone call from “Jim” Cameron (aka James Francis Cameron of Terminator and Titanic fame) about a little project called Avatar. Before he knew it, he was responsible for designing the organic world of Pandora, from…
The Why, How, and When of PR
Jan 26, 2017 • 42 min
“Punch above your weight” — If there’s one thing public relations (PR) should help startups and founders do, it’s that. Unfortunately, some companies are actually punching below their weight when there’s a strong company, founder, product … yet nobody…
VR, AR, and Beyond: The New Medium of Human Experience
Jan 23, 2017 • 25 min
The building blocks for VR and AR are finally here — but the content is just beginning. So everything you’ll actually experience and consume in these new mediums over the next few years is being built right now. Formats aren’t yet defined or locked down,…
Of Policy, Capital, and the Startup Ecosystem
Jan 21, 2017 • 23 min
How to think about business policy and top-of-mind issues for the tech industry, given a new president? From what agencies matter for startups and VC to what the first 100 days (and next two years!) look like, a16z managing partner Scott Kupor and…
Of Presidents, Policies, and Tech
Jan 21, 2017 • 40 min
How to think about tech policy and top-of-mind issues for the tech industry, given a new president? From what agencies matter for different tech domains — e.g., autonomous cars, drones, fintech, healthcare — to recent staffing moves, the a16z Policy and…
Culture and/of Design
Jan 18, 2017 • 29 min
“Mobile-first” (and now too AI-first) has been a mantra of sorts in design, but what does that mean at a company, product management, and competitive level? Especially when someone in company X will always say “we should do what Y did” — even if they have…
Real Estate — Ownership, Asset, Economy
Jan 13, 2017 • 29 min
The largest asset class in the United States is owner-occupied real estate, yet options for homeowners accessing this are very binary right now: either own 100% of your home (with a mortgage), or own nothing. And when people do “own”, that ownership is…
Machine Intelligence, from University to Industry
Jan 11, 2017 • 27 min
From the significance of Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo wins to recent advances in “expert-level artificial intelligence” in playing an imperfect/ asymmetric information game like poker, toys and games have played and continue to play a critical role in…
New Year, New Horizons — Pluto!
Jan 1, 2017 • 49 min
What (on earth) does it take to get a signal to Pluto? Stanford senior scientist and astronomer Ivan Linscott, part of the team that ran the radio science experiment on the New Horizons probe, shares in conversation with a16z’s Frank Chen all the nitty…
The Movement of Money
Dec 31, 2016 • 26 min
As companies expand out from the internet into the rest of the economy — the proverbial bits to atoms — “the business models are becoming more complicated, more interesting, more payment based”, observes Patrick Collison, CEO and co-founder of payments…
The Realities of Aging / When Healthcare Is Local
Dec 27, 2016 • 31 min
As people live longer, aging is more top of mind than ever. This is especially true for the “sandwich generation” wedged between caring for aging parents as well as young children at the same time. The fact is, the 65+ year old population (but don’t you…
Mobility and the Global Refugee Crisis
Dec 15, 2016 • 34 min
“We throw around words like ‘crisis’ very easily, but this is a global crisis, and it is of historic proportions,” says current U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken about the refugee crisis (for which he and his department mobilized a response that…
Produce or Perish! (What We Eat)
Dec 14, 2016 • 35 min
Nature is the ultimate complex system, of course — but with today’s technology, it’s now provided us with an “incredible toolkit” of different molecules that material scientists can treat like Legos to make some really interesting products. One of those…
The Internet Is Your Movement
Dec 11, 2016 • 22 min
Clearly disruption plays out not just in business but also in politics. Whether it was the Scottish national party, recent election campaigns, or local school boards, people grew and organized communities online all last year through NationBuilder — which…
Health Data — A Feedback Loop for Humanity
Dec 5, 2016 • 29 min
“We live in a world where we use millions of variables to predict which ad you’re going to click on. Whether or not you deserve to get a loan. What movie you might watch next. But when it comes to our bodies and even serious diseases, we want to reduce…
Knowledge Builds Technology and Technology Builds Knowledge — with Joel Mokyr
Nov 29, 2016 • 36 min
The Industrial Revolution (and period between 1500-1700) was an unprecedented age of technology and economic progress — not unlike today’s, in fact — where we took “quantum leaps” forward in tech by taming electricity, making cheaper steel and refining…
Drones for Delivery in Healthcare
Nov 25, 2016 • 21 min
“If we have instant delivery for our burgers,” says Zipline CEO and co-founder Keller Rinaudo, “we should have it for our medicine.” So while some people debate whether drone delivery for burritos, beers, and books is a marketing gimmick, one of the most…
Old Food, New Tech — ‘Clean Meat’
Nov 23, 2016 • 25 min
You’ve heard the numbers or some statistic like this: By the year 2050, we’ll need to feed 9.7 billion humans on the planet. Our current production and meat-making methods — growing crops to feed to animals to turn them into food — can’t keep up … not to…
The Business of Creativity — Pixar CFO, IPO, and Beyond!
Nov 11, 2016 • 29 min
You’ve heard a version of this story before: Steve Jobs calls some executive out of the blue to come work for him. Only this time the story turns out great … and the company wasn’t Apple. This episode of the a16z Podcast shares some of the journey that…
What’s Next for Technology and National Security?
Nov 9, 2016 • 34 min
We live in very interesting times, to say the least — whether it’s a shift in how technology is built and adopted today compared to the past; a changing international landscape with leapfrogging players; or an increased cyberattack surface as computing…
Messages and Movements in Politics AND Business
Nov 3, 2016 • 26 min
In business, as in politics, “the movement is the message” — whether that “movement” is a product that’s taking off grassroots-style in an enterprise, or is a political candidate. In fact, you can think of political campaigns in general as a lot like…
So Where Are We on the ‘S-curve’ for PC Devices?
Oct 29, 2016 • 33 min
There have been a number of new device announcements this past month — from Google’s new Pixel phone (the first time they made their own phone on the hardware side as well) to more recently, Apple’s announcements around a new Macbook Pro and innovations…
On the Genomics of Disease, From Science to Business
Oct 19, 2016 • 30 min
Once we sequenced the human genome, we’d know the cause of — and therefore be able to help cure — all diseases… Or so we thought. Turns out, 20,000 genes (and counting) didn’t really explain why disease occurred. Sure, some could be explained by mutations…
Stickers! Filters! Memes! Livestreams!
Oct 12, 2016 • 47 min
From glittery reaction gifs modded by grandparents to rage faces on Reddit, stickers (gifs and other layered images) and emotive “biaoqing” have taken over messaging culture in China and beyond. Stickers are tied to filter culture, too — whether…
Truce for Mobile, Battle for VR
Oct 11, 2016 • 35 min
The most recent Oculus Connect event (the third and largest yet) has been lauded as bringing us closer than ever to the future promised for virtual reality or VR. There have been many hardware moves by many players, both recently and over the past year.…
Mastering the Game (with David Oyelowo)
Oct 1, 2016 • 21 min
This special episode of the a16z Podcast is based on a Q&A from an early screening we hosted of Disney’s Queen of Katwe, now in theaters. The movie — directed by Mira Nair and based on a book by Tim Crothers — depicts the true story of Ugandan chess…
From Data Warehouses to Data Lakes
Sep 30, 2016 • 28 min
From the silver age of on-prem software companies like SAP and Siebel Systems to the golden age of enterprise software-as-a-service, we’re now seeing an explosion of data. All types, all sizes, and all over the place. And much of it is a sort of…
Welcome to the New Era of Commerce
Sep 18, 2016 • 27 min
Just as “social networking” is a bland term that doesn’t really capture the layers of what happens underneath (and on top of) social networking platforms, “crowdfunding” is a broader phenomenon than what the term and tools implies. Or so argue the guests…
Apple and the Case of Invisible But Audible Innovation
Sep 13, 2016 • 33 min
“Apple isn’t just a tech company; it’s a tastemaker.” Remember the iconic ads of dancing silhouettes in black, with only the headphone wires visible in white? They were a critical part of the larger buy-Apple innovation narrative. So what happens now when…
Sleep!
Sep 7, 2016 • 28 min
Sleep, productivity, and creatively are intimately linked, for better and for worse. And “we are living under a collective delusion that burnout is the way to succeed,” observes Arianna Huffington, author of The Sleep Revolution. Not only does this affect…
All About Microservices
Sep 1, 2016 • 26 min
“Incremental change may be good theory, but in practice you have to have a big enough stick to hit everybody with to make everything move at once”. So shares Adrian Cockcroft, who helped lead Netflix’s migration from datacenter to the cloud — and from…
It’s Complicated
Aug 30, 2016 • 18 min
For better or worse, most of the computing systems that run much of our lives (whether invisibly or visibly) have become increasingly complex — they’re not fully engineered; they’re almost grown. And with that we enter a brave new world of “biological”…
Ethereum, App Coins, and Beyond
Aug 28, 2016 • 50 min
Bitcoin quickly made its way from a whitepaper to a production network, which is pretty amazing when you think about it. But its scripting/ programming language was initially, intentionally, limited for a few reasons, which meant that building new apps on…
Pricing Free
Aug 19, 2016 • 32 min
Now that we know to price and plan early, price high — especially for category-creating or “pre-chasm” businesses — how do we handle freemium models? While free to premium is a great way to get bottoms-up, often viral traction in an enterprise, the…
Pricing, Pricing, Pricing
Aug 13, 2016 • 36 min
“Raise prices.” Regular listeners of our podcast have heard this advice more than once. But why is this so key and yet so hard for many technical founders? And how should startups go about raising prices — or more specifically, creating value — for their…
The Meaning of Emoji
Aug 2, 2016 • 38 min
This podcast is all about emoji. But it’s really about how innovation really comes about — through the tension between standards vs. proprietary moves; the politics of time and place; and the economics of creativity, from making to funding … Beginning…
Not all Network Effects Are Created Equal
Aug 2, 2016 • 21 min
From hardware and hardwires to smartphones and social, technology wants to connect. It’s almost a native property of technology and especially software businesses, which is why network effects matter. “It was endemic to these technologies that they wanted…
We Gotta Talk Pokémon Go
Jul 23, 2016 • 35 min
Seemingly overnight, a single game — Pokémon Go — has taken people by storm. But it’s a game that was technically years in the making, building on a legacy of creative intellectual property and technologies such as mobile, geomapping/ geolocation,…
Getting Network Effects
Jul 16, 2016 • 48 min
One of the biggest misconceptions around network effects (which are one of the key dynamics behind many successful and highly defensible software companies) is confusing growth with engagement. So how does one tell the difference between viral growth and…
On Government as Software Builder, Not Just Buyer
Jul 14, 2016 • 23 min
We already know that the government is one of the largest IT buyers, but in many ways it is also an IT builder. Especially for areas where the government is doing something that no one else is doing, like running Medicare and Social Security — i.e.,…
Software Programs the World
Jul 10, 2016 • 40 min
“All of a sudden you can program the world” — it’s the continuation of the software eating the world thesis we put out over five years ago, and of the trajectory of past and current technology shifts. So what are those shifts? What tech trends and…
Beyond One Size Fits All for Startup Employee Options
Jul 1, 2016 • 32 min
Do we need a new pay system for the way startup employees are compensated? While many people agree that the current 90-day exercise practice — an outdated relic of when companies used to go public/get liquidity in a much shorter timeframe — is far from…
When Humanity Meets A.I.
Jun 29, 2016 • 37 min
with Fei-Fei Li, Frank Chen, and Sonal Chokshi artificial intelligence automation & robotics coding literacy education machine & deep learning announcements autonomous cars computer vision in-residence Who has the advantage in artificial intelligence —…
Fintech Revolution or Evolution?
Jun 23, 2016 • 45 min
How far along are we towards the vision of a “cashless, cardless, walletless, frictionless future” for fintech? We’re not quite there yet, argued BuzzFeed News technology reporter Charlie Warzel in a recent feature story — for which he got a microchip…
An Economics Take on the Sharing Economy
Jun 17, 2016 • 28 min
Love the term or hate it, the concept and reality of the “sharing economy” (or “gig economy” and so on) is here to stay. And in fact, argues NYU Stern professor and researcher Arun Sundararajan, it may even reduce the income distribution gap between the…
Apple and the Widgetification of Everything
Jun 14, 2016 • 25 min
The world’s most valuable company, Apple, made a number of seemingly incremental announcements at its most recent annual developer’s conference (WWDC) — that Apple Pay is coming to the web; that Siri is being opened up to app developers; that iMessage…
Move Fast But Don’t Break Things (When It Comes to Computational Biology)
Jun 14, 2016 • 29 min
The mindset of “move fast and break things”, while great for code, isn’t exactly great for the human body. So adding computation to biology — especially in the slow-moving pharmaceutical industry, where drug approval can take years — brings with it both…
Not If, But How — When Technology is Inevitable (with Kevin Kelly)
Jun 7, 2016 • 41 min
Technology has always been a force in how we live, work, and play; only now it’s accelerating and compounding in unexpected ways. But just because we don’t know exactly what form that tech will take (sharing homes on Airbnb or cars with Lyft and Uber for…
Politics Over Pragmatism — On China, Trump, and Smart Guns?
Jun 4, 2016 • 43 min
“Anybody who is interested in China, who’s developing things in China, who’s doing business with China needs to be thinking about the instinct towards politics over pragmatism”, argues New Yorker staff writer (and former Beijing resident) Evan Osnos. “It…
Startups and Pendulum Swings Through Ideas, Time, Fame, and Money
May 30, 2016 • 53 min
Everything old is new again when it comes to startup ideas and how technology innovation happens. But practically, how does that apply to starting and/or working at startups — especially since the default state of every company is “dying in obscurity”? In…
Trade, Commerce, Manufacturing, Immigration, & Cuba — with Penny Pritzker
May 28, 2016 • 30 min
“We really want Apple here… Would you please call Tim Cook?” That’s just one of the things Penny Pritzker, the 38th Secretary of Commerce has heard as she and the U.S. Department of Commerce engage in “commercial diplomacy” around the world. Their job is…
Managing Uncertainty — Layoffs and Talent
May 26, 2016 • 29 min
In many ways, managing startups is about managing uncertainty: in product, market, and… people. So what happens when changes in the business require changes — and sometimes reductions — in the workforce? In this episode of the podcast, a16z partners…
Automation, Jobs, & the Future of Work (and Income)
May 24, 2016 • 26 min
There’s no question automation is taking over more and more aspects of work and some jobs altogether. But we’re now entering a “third era” of automation, one which went from taking over dangerous work to dull work and now decision-making work, too. So…
Airspace as the Next Internet-Like Platform
May 20, 2016 • 40 min
One of the most important lessons of the internet age is what happens when we give people — including companies, developers, engineers, hobbyists, and yes, even a few bad (or dumb) actors — a new platform, along with the freedom to innovate on top of it.…
Innovation vs. Invention at Google I/O
May 20, 2016 • 26 min
Innovation or invention? Platform or app? Vertical or horizontal? Strategy or tactic? Does the smartphone eat VR? And (not to get all existential about it or anything but), what is an app, really? a16z partners Benedict Evans, Connie Chan, Kyle Russell,…
The Cloud and The Public Sector
May 17, 2016 • 29 min
It almost seems like gospel — or at least a given — today for startups to embrace the cloud. Services like AWS have powered an entire generation of startups that can now spin up new applications, new businesses, and new experiments with very little…
The Art of the Regulatory Hack
May 16, 2016 • 34 min
If the next 20 years of startup-led tech innovation are going to be about addressing massive problems — like health, energy, transportation, cities, education, and more — it will mean more directly confronting (instead of stealthily bypassing) regulatory…
On Productivity, Immigration, Trump, and Media
May 13, 2016 • 40 min
Sometimes, our career paths are accidental not intentional… but then it all fits together and makes perfect sense in hindsight. This was especially true for Ezra Klein, who went from writing for his college’s alternative paper The Fish Wrap Weekly in the…
On Corporate Venturing & Setting Up ‘Innovation Outposts’
May 11, 2016 • 31 min
Every big technological shift (per Carlota Perez) brings with a structural shift too — an “institutional adjustment” in how companies innovated and build new products, according to Steve Blank and Evangelos Simoudis. Large organizations used to (and…
Banking on the Blockchain
May 10, 2016 • 39 min
Whether you think of it as a distributed ledger, decentralized database, computing infrastructure, open source/ software development platform, cryptocurrency, transaction platform, or financial services marketplace, the bitcoin blockchain is driven by two…
E-commerce, Payments, & More in India’s Evolving Retail Landscape
May 5, 2016 • 37 min
So many modern e-commerce sites and marketplaces are really digital forms of their physical counterparts, which makes it easier to figure out how to present and sell products online. But in India, where many small towns do not have “organized” retail —…
Finally a Tablet that Replaces Your Laptop
Apr 28, 2016 • 27 min
When the iPad first came out in 2010 there was chatter that went in two directions: 1. It’s just a big iPhone 2. I’ll never carry a laptop again Both were wrong. The big iPhone comment was quickly dispelled as people (and their kids) fell under the…
Connectivity and the Internet as Supply Chain
Apr 22, 2016 • 31 min
Our first instinct as technologists or users of technology is to think of ‘connectivity’ as digital connectivity — the internet, our smartphone. But the internet is just the latest in a long line of connectivity that spans centuries, not just decades:…
Bots and Beyond
Apr 19, 2016 • 47 min
So… about those bots. Bots bots bots. Bots! In this episode of the botcast, a16z partners Benedict Evans and Connie Chan — along with Chris Messina, longtime advocate of the open web and more — pull apart various threads related to the topic of bots,…
Selling to Developers & Open Source Business Models
Apr 14, 2016 • 25 min
Developers are more than just influencers inside the enterprise — they’re now buyers, too. That’s a huge shift from before, when only IT and other departments had that kind of purchasing power. (It’s not just a Silicon Valley thing, either, as every…
The Why, How, and When of Sales
Apr 8, 2016 • 39 min
The hallmark of many great technical founder/CEOs is that they envision a better way of doing things, and that’s why they’re building a company that delivers on that better way, often disrupting the way things have always been done before. But this very…
Teams, Trust, and Object Lessons
Apr 2, 2016 • 27 min
Some of the best management books are actually military books, argues Ben Horowitz. There’s just a certain mental toughness and focus that that experience gives you, adds Dick Costolo based on his observations. So how then do you build trust on a team in…
Scaling Companies and Culture
Mar 25, 2016 • 26 min
In this episode of the a16z Podcast sharing more founder stories, Ben Horowitz interviews a16z partner Lars Dalgaard about SuccessFactors, one of the earlier software-as-a-service companies. (It was founded on 2001, IPO’d in 2008, and was acquired by SAP…
Investing in (Business and Career) Change
Mar 25, 2016 • 28 min
Most investors try to invest in things that don’t change and last forever — Warren Buffett for example loves Heinz ketchup! But VC is about investing in things that do change… a lot. How does this basic mindset challenge much of what people learn in…
Your Worst Deeds Don’t Define You — Life and Redemption in Prison
Mar 18, 2016 • 55 min
Men and women who have spent decades in prison are being released into an iPhone-enabled world that they hardly recognize. Shaka Senghor is one of those people, imprisoned at age 19 for second-degree murder and released almost two decades later in 2010.…
Truth and Humanity in Leadership
Mar 15, 2016 • 15 min
How do you get into tech when you don’t have a tech background? And what special expertise can leaders from other fields — like the military — bring to tech startups? This Q&A — with Lars Dalgaard interviewed by Bethany Coates (assistant dean at Stanford…
I Reject the Term Viral Video
Mar 15, 2016 • 30 min
YouTube star Casey Neistat rejects the term “viral video,” which is strange because he’s had more than his share of internet monsters. To say I want to make a viral movie, is like a musician saying I want to make a hit song — it’s just not a good place to…
The Dream of AI Is Alive in Go
Mar 12, 2016 • 29 min
Why are people so fired up about a computer winning yet another game? Whether it’s checkers, chess, Jeopardy, or the ancient Chinese game of Go, we get excited about the potential for more when we see computers beat humans. But then nothing “big” — in…
Data Network Effects
Mar 7, 2016 • 31 min
If network effects are one of the most important concepts for software-based businesses, then that may be especially true of data network effects — a network effect that results from data. Particularly given the prevalence of machine learning and deep…
Disruption in Business… and Life
Mar 4, 2016 • 33 min
It’s not incompetence, but competence, that causes companies to be disrupted. That applies to big companies and small, as well as people too. Or so argue Clayton Christensen and Marc Andreessen in this podcast, based on a conversation at Startup Grind…
Mobile Falls Hard for Virtual Reality
Mar 1, 2016 • 24 min
The mobile world has fallen hard for VR, says Benedict Evans. But will virtual reality mean real profit for hardware makers? Evans offers his observations on VR and more gleaned from the largest gathering of the mobile industry, Mobile World Congress. The…
Mapping the Future of Virtual Reality
Feb 26, 2016 • 38 min
Virtual reality is coming fast, and everyone seems to assume that it will be gamers who get to have all the fun first. But there are other applications for VR that could also bring it into the mainstream. “It could very well be business users,” says 16z’s…
Infrastructure… Is Everything
Feb 25, 2016 • 37 min
Infrastructure. It powers everything from cities to computing, yet is sometimes considered “boring” because it is so invisible to so many of us. But as software continues to eat the world, infrastructure has come to the forefront. And some of the most…
Open vs. Closed, Alpha Cities, and the Industries of the Future
Feb 19, 2016 • 32 min
The principal political binary of the past century was the political ‘left versus right’. But in the 21st century the binary has shifted — the battleground now is ‘open versus closed’. Those states and societies that embrace economic, political, and…
‘In the Eye of a Tornado’: Views on Innovation from China
Feb 18, 2016 • 31 min
No matter how one views Xiaomi — and there are many ways to view it, for better or worse — one thing is clear: It, and other such companies (like WeChat and Alibaba), indicate a broader trend around innovation coming from China. Companies and countries…
Breaking the Barriers of Human Potential
Feb 6, 2016 • 41 min
During his “Stratos” jump Felix Baumgartner fell faster than the speed of sound, reaching an estimated speed of 833.9 mph plummeting from the edge of space. Baumgartner’s return trip to earth lasted just over nine minutes, but there was seven years of…
Hall of Fame Football Meets Venture Capital
Feb 5, 2016 • 25 min
The NFL has descended upon Silicon Valley for Superbowl 50, and a16z was fortunate to have 30 of the world’s best football players post-up at the firm to talk about the intersection between the world of professional sports and venture capital. Joe Montana…
Building Affirm, and Why Max Levchin Has Watched Seven Samurai 100-Plus Times
Feb 4, 2016 • 35 min
Max Levchin helped build PayPal. Then he went onto tackle gaming at Slide. Now he’s back in the world of payments and finance with his latest startup Affirm. a16z’s Angela Strange talks with Levchin about Affirm’s opportunity in the world of finance, and…
The Future of Money and Monetization
Feb 3, 2016 • 21 min
Technology companies are running hard at almost every part of the traditional banking business — from raising funds to moving money from one person to another. And as you would expect, that has meant change, both in terms of the banking services that are…
How to Be Original and Make Big Ideas Happen
Feb 2, 2016 • 39 min
From Aaron Sorkin to Steve Jobs to Meredith Perry and Elon Musk, “original” thinkers — such as entrepreneurs — do a lot of different things to move the world to their visions. And many of those things (and traits) are counterintuitive, such as … Embracing…
Reinventing Insurance
Jan 30, 2016 • 24 min
Your homeowner’s insurance didn’t anticipate Airbnb. Your car insurance certainly didn’t see Lyft and Uber coming. And when your car drives itself, it’s anyone’s guess how the insurance industry will wrap its collective head around that one. a16z’s Frank…
When Banking Works Like My Smartphone
Jan 29, 2016 • 27 min
There are fewer and fewer parts of our lives that don’t feel like an extension of our smartphones. Any song you might want to hear. Any place you might want to go. And a ride to get there. All served up simply, quickly, at the right price, and with an…
Things Come Together — Truths about Tech in Africa
Jan 25, 2016 • 46 min
We often hear stats like “more people have mobile phones than toilets” about places like Africa, but what does that actually mean for people? “It is b.s.,” (no pun intended), argues one of the guests on this episode. Then there are statistical predictions…
The Fundamentals of Security and the Story of Tanium’s Growth
Jan 20, 2016 • 37 min
The thing about enterprise security, from the outside at least, is it reads like a Hollywood thriller. Nation states are after your company’s most valuable assets and they must be stopped at all costs. And yes, some nation state-sponsored hacks have…
Software is What Distinguishes the Hardware Winners
Jan 15, 2016 • 30 min
Smartphone components have become a kind of Lego kit for all kinds of consumer technology. Cameras, sensors, and batteries all get mixed and matched in different permutations to create different gadgets. It might be something that enables your connected…
Nobody Discusses Work Software Outside of Work — and Then There’s Slack
Jan 13, 2016 • 29 min
For as long as there has been software we have had this collective hope — maybe more of a desire — that software will make all kinds of work easier, more productive, and more creative. Spreadsheets, computer-aided design tools, digital publishing…
Harnessing the DevOps Movement — Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls
Jan 8, 2016 • 11 min
In this, world of massive cloud-based applications and services, rolling out software has moved from an episodic event to an almost continuous release cycle. In that environment, software products aren’t as “done” as they used to be — they can’t be — so…
Making the Most of the Data That Matters
Jan 7, 2016 • 31 min
Every organization these days is clear about the need to get its data act together. But that doesn’t mean the path toward data bliss is clear. Data has gravity. It resides in different places at different organizations — on premise, in the cloud, and…
What Software Developers (and Therefore Every Company) Need
Jan 6, 2016 • 42 min
The old constraint when it came to technology was hardware — how many CPUs can I get my hands on. Today, spinning up compute can be done from any smartphone with an AWS account or something similar. The current constraint is software. And since software…
The Future of Software Development
Jan 5, 2016 • 32 min
As software becomes core to every industry, there is a need for more and more software development across practically every department in a company. But as anyone who has tried to get quality software developed knows, that has given rise to a supply and…
Mellody Hobson and Ben Horowitz Talk Investing, Career, and Star Wars!
Jan 4, 2016 • 60 min
Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, sits down with Ben Horowitz during a16z’s 2015 Tech Summit for a wide ranging conversation on investing, the state of markets, and how Hobson began her career in finance. Oh, and Star Wars! Hobson has a…
Andre Iguodala Knows Tech — And Why the Warriors Won’t Be Stopped
Dec 23, 2015 • 26 min
You know how talented Andre Iguodala is as a basketball player. You may not know that he signed with the Warriors in part to be near Silicon Valley and the tech scene. Iguodala knows tech, and in a conversation with a16z’s Jeff Jordan at the 2015 Tech…
Writing a New Language of Storytelling with Virtual Reality
Dec 21, 2015 • 27 min
Chris Milk calls virtual reality the “ultimate empathy machine.” The filmmaker and founder of VR shop Vrse talks with a16z’s Chris Dixon about how virtual reality can connect with people in ways no other medium can. Milk describes the ways virtual reality…
The Year Mobile Began to Truly Dominate Tech
Dec 18, 2015 • 22 min
Benedict Evans highlights the past year in mobile. From Apple’s ongoing rule of the high-end, to Android’s spread farther down the price curve. Without a clear and massive shift on the horizon in mobile tech, Evans outlines the trends in mobile that will…
The Present State and Future Possibility of Virtual Reality
Dec 17, 2015 • 47 min
Our virtual reality-enabled future is arriving, but it’s hard to know — as it is with every new technology platform — how quickly we’ll all make the transition to VR and what it will ultimately look like. For example, beyond gaming and entertainment what…
The Tiger and the Dragon — On Tech and Startups in India and China
Dec 12, 2015 • 45 min
India and China. The two most populous countries on the planet are also two of the most tantalizing markets for companies of all size, from startups to conglomerates. But those markets are also intensely, densely competitive: There’s a lot of capital, a…