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Rank #14 in Technology category

Business
Technology
Entrepreneurship

a16z Podcast

Updated 2 months ago

Rank #14 in Technology category

Business
Technology
Entrepreneurship
Read more

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!

Read more

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!

iTunes Ratings

566 Ratings
Average Ratings
394
86
40
20
26

Loving the Journal Club

By cali_sci_gal - May 18 2020
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I’m really enjoying this series. The host is well informed and the guests (and their studies) are really interesting. Keep it up 🙌

Consistently excellent

By Jaron herad - Mar 10 2020
Read more
Guest selection is great, and I like the balance and interviewer / guest dynamics

iTunes Ratings

566 Ratings
Average Ratings
394
86
40
20
26

Loving the Journal Club

By cali_sci_gal - May 18 2020
Read more
I’m really enjoying this series. The host is well informed and the guests (and their studies) are really interesting. Keep it up 🙌

Consistently excellent

By Jaron herad - Mar 10 2020
Read more
Guest selection is great, and I like the balance and interviewer / guest dynamics
Cover image of a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast

Latest release on Aug 10, 2020

Read more

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!

Rank #1: Growth in Turbulent Times

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 In normal times, every company operates against some hypothetical growth model—a data-driven framework that describes how your product grows and how you acquire new users. These, of course, are not normal times. In the fallout from the pandemic, most founders and CEOs are in the process of completely revamping their growth models from the bottom up amid new and unpredictable consumer behavior. 

This episode explores how to think about growth in turbulent times, according to two growth experts: a16z general partner Andrew Chen, who previously led the growth team at Uber, and Brian Balfour, formerly the VP of Growth at HubSpot, now the founder and CEO of Reforge, a masterclass in growth strategies (in conversation with host Lauren Murrow).

The discussion spans four sections: first, how to reassess your existing growth model, particularly when, as Brian says, the data is "completely messed"; next, we drill down into strategy and tactics for surviving the current crisis and talk about how founders can pursue growth even in the midst of widespread uncertainty and cutbacks. Third, we look ahead to discuss scenario planning and how leaders can forge a path forward. Finally, we zoom out and assess the big picture: how various categories of company may be impacted long-term, how this crisis compares to 2008 (and what that means for early-stage founders), and the industries and business models that are now prime for growth. 

May 15 2020

36mins

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Rank #2: a16z Podcast: Principles and Algorithms for Work and Life

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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 relationships -- clearly expressed, shared with others, overlaid with data, back-tested, modified -- you can build a set of principles/algorithms/recipes for dealing with the realities of your life, observes Ray Dalio in this episode of the a16z Podcast (in conversation with a16z general partner Alex Rampell and Sonal Chokshi). Dalio's book Principles: Life and Work originated as an internal company document that was posted online years ago and has been shared widely since; he is the founder, chairman, and co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates -- one of the top five private companies in the U.S., which manages over $150 billion and has made more money for clients than any other hedge fund.

"Is this is a duck, how do I deal with ducks; or this is a species I haven't seen before, and how do I deal with that?" In other words, when you see a particular thing coming over and over again, you can know what you're seeing and how to act on it. But what about timing, which is a huge factor when it comes to making various bets and decisions in both work and life? And what if a phenomenon is entirely new and hasn't been seen before (is there such a thing), and also, how do we avoid an overly pattern-matching/ pattern-recognition trap? Having a framework can still help -- even if the phenomena don't have a clear set of rules like chess -- because we can understand why things might be different. Knowing that is important, argues Dalio.

The conversation covers everything from the differences between private and public investing, and between startups and big companies -- to how people, teams, organizations, and even nation-states can evolve through principles like "believability-weighted idea meritocracies" and more. But... can adults really change? What are the differences between the two you's, and between closed-minded and open-minded people, and how do they play out across the roles of a "teacher", "student", or "peer" in organizations of varying scale? It's not as obvious as you might think, and knowing how you know -- and what we don't know -- can help.

Apr 21 2018

49mins

Play

Rank #3: a16z Podcast: Software has eaten the world...and healthcare is next

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Back in 2011, a16z cofounder Marc Andreessen first made the bold claim that software would eat the world. In this episode (originally recorded as part of an event at a16z), Andreesseen and a16z general partner on the bio fund Jorge Conde (@JorgeCondeBio) take a look back at that thesis, and think about where we are now, nearly a decade later—how software has delivered on that promise… and most of all, where it is yet to come.

In the wide-ranging conversation, the two partners discuss everything from the translatable learnings of software’s transformation of the music and automotive industries, to how software will now eat healthcare (including what exactly changed in the fields of bio and computer science to make Marc eat his own words!).

The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly as well as unannounced investments in publicly traded digital assets) is available at https://a16z.com/investments/.

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.

Aug 15 2019

46mins

Play

Rank #4: Why We Should Be Optimistic About the Future

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Many skeptics thought the internet would never reach mass adoption, but today it’s shaping global culture, is integral to our lives -- and it's just the beginning. 

In this conversation from our 2019 innovation summit, Kevin Kelly (Founding Executive Editor, WIRED magazine) and Marc Andreessen sit down to discuss the evolution of technology, key trends, and why they're the most optimistic people in the room.

***

The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly as well as unannounced investments in publicly traded digital assets) is available at https://a16z.com/investments/.

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.

Jan 02 2020

44mins

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Rank #5: a16z Podcast: How Founders Hire a VP of Product

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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 this podcast is based on). Featuring Vijay Balasubramaniyan, founder/CEO of Pindrop; Shishir Mehrotra, founder and CEO of Coda; Gokul Rajaram, Production Engineering Lead at Square; and Alan Schaaf, founder/CEO of Imgur -- and moderated by general partner Martin Casado -- the discussion covers everything from what the VP of Product role really is to how to hire and integrate it into your company.

Because if you're going to be handing your "baby" over... how can you avoid common pitfalls? And know that you pick the right person for the job?

Nov 10 2017

29mins

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Rank #6: AI in B2B

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Consumer software may have adopted and incorporated AI ahead of enterprise software, where the data is more proprietary, and the market is a few thousand companies not hundreds of millions of smartphone users. But recently AI has found its way into B2B, and it is rapidly transforming how we work and the software we use, across all industries and organizational functions. 

In this episode, Das Rush interviews Oleg Rogynskyy, founder of People.ai, an AI platform for sales and marketers, and Peter Lauten from the a16z Enterprise investing team about what the rise AI in B2B means for enterprises, workers, and startups. They explain why AI provides a strong first mover advantage to enterprises that adopt it early; how it can automate lower level tasks, maximize our focus, and, ultimately, make our work more meaningful; and for startups, they provide a playbook for seizing the next AI opportunity.

Oct 24 2019

24mins

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Rank #7: a16z Podcast: Talent, Tech Trends, and Culture -- with Ben, Marc, and Tyler Cowen

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with Marc Andreessen (@pmarca), Ben Horowitz (@bhorowitz), and Tyler Cowen (@tylercowen)

This episode of the a16z Podcast features the rare combination of a16z co-founders Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz in conversation, together, with economist Tyler Cowen (chair of economics at George Mason University and chairman and general director of the Mercatus Center there, and host of his own podcast.) The conversation originally took place at our most recent annual innovation Summit -- which features a16z speakers and invited experts from various organizations discussing innovation at companies large and small, as well as tech trends spanning bio, consumer, crypto, fintech, and more.

This discussion covers Ben and Marc's marriage, er, partnership; the evolution of VC and "talent as a network"; and where are we right now on industries being affected by tech (such as retail) and tech trends (such as VR/AR and wearables) -- and where are we going next? Finally, is software eating culture... or is it the other way around?

Dec 29 2018

38mins

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Rank #8: a16z Podcast: Trends in Cryptocurrencies

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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 coordination. Now, as we enter a new phase of blockchain-enabled innovation -- decentralized, distributed, crowdfunded -- we’re finally bringing capitalism to open source: Smart people can come together in new ways, to build new things.

In this brief discussion from a16z Summit November 2017, founder and CEO at Protocol Labs Juan Benet and founder and CEO of Polychain Capital Olaf-Carlson Wee -- both of whom have appeared on the a16z Podcast for more in-depth conversations -- chat with general partner Chris Dixon to summarize the big picture on crypto, going beyond the buzz around ICOs to the golden age of protocols.

–––

The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments and certain publicly traded cryptocurrencies/ digital assets for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly) is available at https://a16z.com/investments/.

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.

Dec 19 2017

22mins

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Rank #9: a16z Podcast: Mental Models for Understanding Crypto Tokens

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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 protocols, forks, and more.

The discussion features general partner Chris Dixon in conversation with Nick Tomaino, the founder of early-stage crypto venture fund 1confirmation, editor of The Control, and former business development at Coinbase. (He is also an investor in Basecoin, Cosmos, Ethereum, and MakerDAO.) You can also check out past episodes in this series, covering everything from investing in cryptocurrencies and protocols to accelerating research and practical applications to why crypto tokens matter -- as well as a video covering the building blocks of all things crypto -- at a16z.com/crypto.

The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments and certain publicly traded cryptocurrencies/ digital assets for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly) is available at https://a16z.com/investments/.

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.

Jan 22 2018

34mins

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Rank #10: The Passion Economy: Redefining Work

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This episode of the a16z Podcast covers the the rise of online platforms that enable people to make a living off their unique interests and skills. It's a trend that's become increasingly relevant as the demand for virtual work grows. 

The discussion -- with Patreon cofounder and CTO Sam Yam and a16z consumer tech partner Li Jin in conversation with Lauren Murrow -- covers the new forms of work made possible by these online platforms, why creators today are effectively making more money off fewer fans, and what all of this means for the future of entrepreneurship.

See more on the Passion Economy, metrics for it, 100 True Fans, and more at a16z.com/creatoreconomies.

Apr 18 2020

26mins

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Rank #11: a16z Podcast: Creating a Category, from Pricing to Positioning

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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 people do every day... it's about setting the price. And with that, comes creating the concept in people's heads, defining the value, and setting the rules of the game. But when you're going for a big change, you have to play by the current rules of the game, too.

And to make things even more complicated, theories about how "IT is dead" -- or the conviction that companies and departments beyond IT will become empowered through software -- are still very much in transition. Somehow we don't talk about that enough. That means startups need to do everything in two phases: for the now, and for the later and towards two constituencies: both direct lines of businesses and IT. So what does that mean for startups trying to navigate a complex enterprise, including internal debates around build vs. buy? How do you move beyond a few internal champions only? And just how long can a company cash out on founder charisma? In fact, all of these things can give entrepreneurs very confusing, mixed signals about whether or not they have product-market fit yet. So what patterns reveal that it's working?

In this episode of the a16z Podcast, general partner Martin Casado -- who helped create the category of "software-defined networking" in the enterprise through Nicira and then VMware (and has also written about the mixed messages involved in going to market when no market exists) -- and Michel Feaster, CEO and co-founder of Usermind, and who previously (as VP of products at Apptio) also defined the category and discipline of "technology business management" -- share their insights, in conversation with Sonal Chokshi. It's a long game, but if you can tease apart the signals, and nail some key moves early... you can win.

Feb 24 2018

31mins

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Rank #12: Navigating the Numbers

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For any business, there are three core financial statements – the income or P&L statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow statement. While these statements can show investors and the board how the business is doing, they can do more than just keep score on your business – they are one of the best tools you have to run it.

In this podcast, a16z General Partner and managing partner Jeff Jordan, who previously ran several businesses and took a company public right after the 2008 financial crisis; David George, who runs the a16z late-stage venture operation; and former CFO Caroline Moon, who leads the a16z financial operations team, break down what the numbers do (and don’t) tell you, both in financial statements and KPIs. They cover the most common mistakes people make when it comes to understanding their numbers; how investors look at a company's P&L what metrics they use to determine if a business is healthy; and how founders can use the numbers to navigate in times of crisis.

Apr 04 2020

27mins

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Rank #13: a16z Podcast: All Things Compensation

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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 startup’s affordability considerations?

This wide-ranging episode of the a16z Podcast (based on an event held for entrepreneurs at Andreessen Horowitz earlier this year) covers all things compensation — from philosophical questions such as how to get to alignment around your company’s compensation philosophy to details such as the tradeoffs between RSUs vs. stock options. The discussion includes Steve Cadigan, talent advisor and cofounder at ISDI Digital University; Thanh Nguyen, Executive Director at Connery Consulting; Greg Loehmann, principal at Compensia; and a16z partner Shannon Schiltz, who heads up a16z’s human resources, tech talent, and people practices operation.

Jun 21 2018

39mins

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Rank #14: a16z Podcast: Network Effects, Origin Stories, and the Evolution of Tech

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“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 “increasing returns” (vs. diminishing returns) in the new world of business… a.k.a. network effects. A longtime observer of Silicon Valley and the tech industry, he’s seen how a few early entrepreneurs first got it, fewer investors embrace it, entire companies be built around it, and still yet others miss it… even today.

If an inferior product/technology/way of doing things can sometimes “lock in” the market, does that make network effects more about luck, or strategy? It’s not really locked in though, since over and over again the next big thing comes along. So what does that mean for companies and industries that want to make the new technology shift? And where does competitive advantage even come from when everyone has access to the same building blocks (open source, APIs, etc.) of innovation? Because Arthur — former Stanford professor, visiting researcher at PARC, and external professor at Santa Fe Institute who is also known as one of the fathers of complexity theory in economics — has written about the nature of technology and how it evolves, observing that new technology doesn’t come out of nowhere, but instead, is the result of “combinatorial” innovation. Does this then mean there’s no such thing as a dramatic breakthrough?!

In this hour-long episode of the a16z Podcast, we (Sonal Chokshi with Marc Andreessen) explore many of these questions with Arthur. His answers take us from “the halls of production” to the “casino of technology”; from the “prehistory” to the history of tech; from the invisible underground autonomy economy to the “internet of conversations”; from externally available information to externalized intelligence; and finally, from Silicon Valley to Singapore to China to India and back to Silicon Valley again. Who’s going to win; what are the chances of winning? We don’t know, because it’s a very different game… Do you still want to play?

May 17 2018

1hr 5mins

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Rank #15: a16z Podcast: What’s Next for Marketplace Startups (Hint: Services)

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The past and future of marketplace startups -- where are we? Ever since eBay popularized an internet meeting place for buyers and sellers of, well, just about everything, we’ve been waiting for 100 other at-scale marketplaces for everything else, including services.

So in this hallway-style episode of the a16z Podcast (originally recorded as a video) Li Jin -- co-author with Andrew Chen of this post -- chats with a16z Deal & Research team operating partner about why there aren’t 100 thriving marketplaces for services yet... And what’s changing to make this next wave of marketplace startups super exciting.

The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments and certain publicly traded cryptocurrencies/ digital assets for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly) is available at https://a16z.com/investments/.

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.

Jan 09 2019

41mins

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Rank #16: a16z Podcast: Beyond Zero-Sum Thinking in the Game of Tech... and Life

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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.

Jul 06 2018

42mins

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Turning Open Source Developers Into Superfans

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In this episode, we continue our community series with a recent discussion that applies to many kinds of community building. Today’s topic: How do you create a platform that people not only use, but tell their friends about? One that goes beyond just being useful and actually connects deeply with the user? In this discussion, which was recorded at our Crypto Startup School in April 2020, a16z General Partner Chris Dixon talked about building communities — specifically, communities of open-source developers — with GitHub cofounder Tom Preston-Werner. They discussed how to engage early users, how to turn them into your biggest advocates, how to create superfans, and more. Today, GitHub is the leading community for open-source developers and others. They also discuss in-person communities vs. distributed communities, a topic that is very top of mind today.

Aug 10 2020

45mins

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Journal Club: Slaying the Sleeper Cells of Aging with CAR T

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CAR T therapy is a groundbreaking medicine that uses engineered T cells to attack cancer. But CAR T cells (that is, chimeric antigen receptor T cells) can be programmed to recognize a huge range of target proteins and cell types. So what other types of cells should we train CAR Ts to recognize and destroy to improve human health?

On this episode of the a16z Journal Club, a16z General Partner Jorge Conde, bio deal team partner Andy Tran, and Lauren Richardson discuss new research published in Nature in which the authors engineer CAR T cells to recognize and kill senescent cells. Cellular senescence is a process where cells stop dividing (sort of go to sleep), and in many cases this can be protective, like its role in tumor suppression, but if too many cells become senescent of if they are not removed, they can trigger inflammation and cause disease, like in atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. Critically, senescent cells build up as we age and contribute to a whole host of age-related conditions. In this episode we cover how the authors created these senescence killing (aka senolytic) CAR T cells, the diseases that could be treated with senolytic CAR Ts, the hurdles to getting them into the clinic, and how they could potentially be used to treat aging and possibly improve longevity.

Senolytic CAR T cells reverse senescence-associated pathologies in Nature (June 2020) by Corina Amor, Judith Feucht, Josef Leibold, Yu-Jui Ho, Changyu Zhu, Direna Alonso-Curbelo, Jorge Mansilla-Soto, Jacob A. Boyer, Xiang Li, Theodoros Giavridis, Amanda Kulick, Shauna Houlihan, Ellinor Peerschke, Scott L. Friedman, Vladimir Ponomarev, Alessandra Piersigilli, Michel Sadelain & Scott W. Lowe

a16z bio Journal Club (part of the a16z Podcast), curates and covers recent advances from the scientific literature -- what papers we’re reading, and why they matter from our perspective at the intersection of biology & technology. You can find all these episodes at a16z.com/journalclub.

Aug 09 2020

17mins

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Working, Making, Creating in Public... and Private

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We're living in an unprecedented era of online collaboration, coordination, and creation. All kinds of people are coming together -- whether in an open source project or company, an R&D initiative, a department in a company, a club or special interest group, even a group of friends and family -- around some shared interest or activity. But the word "members" is faceless, and doesn't help us really understand, support (and better design for) these communities.

So in this special book launch episode of the a16z Podcast, Nadia Eghbal -- author of the new book Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software published by Stripe Press -- shares with a16z editor in chief Sonal Chokshi the latest research and insights from years of studying the health of open source communities (for Ford Foundation), working in developer experience (at GitHub), researching the economics and production of software (at Protocol Labs), and now focusing on writer experience at Substack.

Eghbal offers a new taxonomy of communities -- including newer phenomena such as "stadiums" of open source developers, other creators, and really, influencers -- who are performing their work in massive spaces where the work is public (and not necessarily participatory). So what lessons of open source communities do and don't apply to the passion economy and creator communities? How does the evolution of online communities -- really, social networks -- shift the focus to reputation and status as a service? And what if working in public is also about sharing in private, given the "dark forest theory of the internet", the growing desire for more "high-shared context" groups and spaces (including even podcasts and newsletters)? All this and more in this episode.

Aug 02 2020

47mins

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GPT-3: What's Hype, What's Real on the Latest in AI

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In this episode -- cross posted from our 16 Minutes show feed -- we cover all the buzz around GPT-3, the pre-trained machine learning model from OpenAI that’s optimized to do a variety of natural-language processing tasks. 

It’s a commercial product, built on research; so what does this mean for both startups AND incumbents… and the future of “AI as a service”? And given that we’re seeing all kinds of (cherrypicked!) examples of output from OpenAI’s beta API being shared — how do we know how good it really is or isn’t? How do we know the difference between “looks like” a toy and “is” a toy when it comes to new innovations? 

And where are we, really, in terms of natural language processing and progress towards artificial general intelligence? Is it intelligent, does that matter, and how do we know (if not with a Turing Test)? Finally, what are the broader questions, considerations, and implications for jobs and more? Frank Chen explains what “it” actually is and isn’t and more in conversation with host Sonal Chokshi. The two help tease apart what’s hype/ what’s real here… as is the theme of 16 Minutes.

Jul 30 2020

33mins

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Taking the Pulse on Medical Device Security

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Many don’t realize we even need to think about the possibility of security hacks when it comes to things like pacemakers, insulin pumps, and more. But when bits and bytes meet flesh and blood, security becomes literally a life or death concern. So what are the issues and risks we need to be aware of in exposing security vulnerabilities in connected biomedical devices?

This conversation—with Beau Woods, Cyber Safety Innovation Fellow with the Atlantic Council, part of the I Am The Cavalry grassroots security initiative, Founder/CEO of Stratigos Security; Andy Coravos, co-founder and CEO of Elektra Labs, advisor to the Biohacking Village at DEF CON (both of whom were formerly EIRs at the FDA); and a16z's Hanne Tidnam covers how we should begin to think about addressing these security issues in the biomedical device space. What are the frameworks that should guide our conversations, and how and when (and which!) stakeholders should be incentivized to address these challenges? How did the FDA begin to think about security as part of the safety of all medical devices, including software as a medical device, and how we should think about understanding, monitoring, and updating the security of these devices—from philosophical statements to on-the-ground practical fixes and updates?

Jul 22 2020

23mins

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Journal Club: A New Path to Antibiotic Resistance

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Ever since the discovery of antibiotics, microbiologists have worried about and studied how bacteria acquire resistance to these drugs. Adding to the complexity of this problem is the fact that it is not always clear whether the conditions that drive the evolution of resistance in the lab occur in patients suffering from bacterial infections.

This is where the work of Nathalie Balaban -- Professor at the Hebrew University, and our guest on this episode -- comes in. The article we discuss is based on a foundation of research done in her laboratory, but this study makes the important step into the clinic by using samples from a patient with a life-threatening bacterial (MRSA) infection. By analyzing these patient samples, Dr. Balaban and her team were able to understand the conditions that lead to multi-drug resistance in a hospital setting. The work reveals how the ability of bacteria to enter a state of dormancy, also known as tolerance, can act as a stepping stone to resistance and can interfere with the efficacy of drug combinations. Our conversation covers what tolerance is, the conditions that promote tolerance, how it can lead to resistance and impact drug combination therapies, and lastly, integrating this new understanding into clinical microbiology protocols.

"Effect of tolerance on the evolution of antibiotic resistance under drug combinations" in Science (January 2020) by Jiafeng Liu, Orit Gefen, Irine Ronin, Maskit Bar-Meir, Nathalie Q. Balaban.

a16z bio Journal Club (part of the a16z Podcast), curates and covers recent advances from the scientific literature -- what papers we’re reading, and why they matter from our perspective at the intersection of biology & technology (for bio journal club). You can find all these episodes at a16z.com/journalclub.

Jul 19 2020

17mins

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Cybercrime, Incorporated

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A dive into the sociological, operational, and tactical realities of this murky underworld, Lusthaus and de la Garza discuss who the players are, what they are motivated by, and specialize in—as well as how basic ideas like trust and anonymity function in a world where no one wants to get caught. How do criminal nicknames function as brand? Which countries tend to specialize in what kinds of crime, and why? And most of all, what changes when you begin to think of the business of cybercrime as an industry?

Jul 18 2020

36mins

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How Transparent Pricing Drives Healthcare Change

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Dr. Marty Makary—surgical oncologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and health policy and innovation expert—has long been a passionate advocate for transparent pricing in the healthcare system. We don’t talk enough (or really at all) about price in healthcare, says Makary (instead, we talk about cost). But shedding a light on prices in healthcare—from not just what those prices are but how prices are set and the value we all receive as consumers of the system overall—can help us measure quality in medicine, and be a driver for real behavioral change in the healthcare system, correcting many of the unintended consequences of a fee-for-service system like surprise billing or unnecessary medical procedures.

In this conversation with a16z General Partner Julie Yoo, Makary and Yoo discuss what price transparency in the healthcare system could really do; how we can "steer" towards the good physicians who are not just highly skilled, but make the right judgment calls based on need and holistic health, not cost; how we might distinguish between high value and low value through medical appropriateness; and how we might gain clinical wisdom from other kinds of scientific discovery beyond randomized controls, especially during the wartime protocol of COVID-19.

Jul 15 2020

29mins

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Preserving Digital History: How to Close the Web's 'Memory Hole'

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More than 98% of the information on the web is lost within 20 years, and huge gaps exist in our digital and cultural history. Zoran Basich and Alex Pruden of a16z talk to Brewster Kahle and Sam Williams, who are using different approaches to attack this problem. Brewster cofounded the Internet Archive, which is well known for creating the Wayback Machine that crawls a billion URLs every day. Sam cofounded Arweave, a company that uses decentralized crypto networks to store information forever. For both of them, this issue has implications that go far beyond just data storage. It touches on issues of censorship, government manipulation of information, and how historical context is necessary for well-functioning societies. They discuss how decentralized models offer the promise of building a next-generation web that works better for users.

Jul 13 2020

47mins

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Alex Honnold on Human Performance (part 2) – Climbing and Entrepreneurship

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In part 1 of our series on human performance, we looked at the limits of human potential in climbing and other sports – and how we push those limits through technology and training.

In this episode, recorded at our a16z innovation summit last year, Alex talks with a16z general partner and fellow avid climber Peter Levine about the risk, fear, and preparation for his free solo of El Capitan on Yosemite. While climbing is the topic, the conversation holds many lessons for entrepreneurs, and anyone else who is attempting something that’s never been done before – from how to evaluate risk versus reward, moving into the public spotlight from stealth, removing constraints to innovate on established routes, and knowing where you can fall and where you can’t. The conversation finishes with Alex’s life philosophy of living simply and giving back, including how he donates a third of all his income to the Honnold Foundation to support solar projects in underserved communities.

Jul 11 2020

18mins

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Alex Honnold on Human Performance (part 1) – Where's the Limit?

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Is there a limit to what humans can do? And if so, how do you know when you've reached it? Welcome to part one of a two-part series on human performance with professional rock climber Alex Honnold. 

Alex redefined the limits of what is possible by free soloing – that is climbing with no ropes or safety gear – a 2000-foot granite rock face in Yosemite, known as El Capitan. That feat  was documented in the award-winning film Free Solo. In this podcast, Alex, a16z general partner Peter Levine (who at age 59 is still an avid ice climber), and Das Rush discuss how technology and training have pushed the limits of what's possible and how to manage the mental preparation of any big endeavor, whether its building a company, reaching a new peak, or maintaining peak performance while aging.

In Part 2, recorded last year as part of our a16z innovation summit, we share a fireside chat with Peter and Alex  about the risk, preparation, and fear around Alex's free solo.  

Photo credit: Shawn Corrigan

Jul 11 2020

23mins

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Why We Shouldn’t Fear AI in Healthcare

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"Why We Shouldn’t Fear the ‘Black Box’ of AI (in Healthcare and Everywhere)" by Vijay Pande. First published in the New York Times, January 2018. 

You can also find and share this article at a16z.com/aidoctor

Jul 07 2020

6mins

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When One App Rules Them All: The Case of WeChat and Mobile in China

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"When One App Rules Them All: The Case of WeChat and Mobile in China" by Connie Chan. First published August 2015. 

You can also find and share this essay at a16z.com/mobilefirstchina

Jul 07 2020

20mins

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Every Company Is a Fintech Company

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"Why Every Company Will Be a Fintech Company -- The Next Era of Financial Services and the 'AWS Phase' for Fintech" by Angela Strange.

You can also find and share this essay at a16z.com/fintecheverywhere

Jul 07 2020

15mins

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Read-Alouds, Continued

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Today we're continuing a series we started a while ago of read-alouds (for more context on the why and why now check out episode #500 on how we podcast!).

The first was episode #544 in April, It's Time to Build, read out loud by Marc Andreessen; what follows are  three more pieces read out loud by their authors:

  • "Why Every Company Will Become a Fintech Company: The Next Era of Financial Services and the 'AWS Phase' for Fintech" by Angela Strange
  • "When One App Rules Them All: The Case of WeChat and Mobile in China" by Connie Chan, first published August 2015
  • "Why We Shouldn’t Fear the ‘Black Box’ of AI (in Healthcare and Everywhere)" by Vijay Pande, first published in the New York Times January 2018

Jul 07 2020

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Journal Club: Revisiting Eroom's Law

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Eroom’s Law is Moore’s Law spelled backwards. It’s a term that was coined in a Nature Reviews Drug Discovery article by researchers at Sanford Bernstein and describes the exponential decrease in biopharma research and development efficiency between the 1950s and 2010. Whereas Moore’s describes technologies becoming exponentially faster and cheaper over time, Eroom’s Law describes the trend of drug development becoming exponentially more expensive over time.

The article describing Eroom’s Law was published in 2012, and analyzed data up till 2010. That is perhaps ironic as 2010 appears to be an inflection point in the trend. In Breaking Eroom’s Law, the authors analyze the data since 2010 and show that costs appear to have stabilized over the last ten years. But what has contributed to this critical and exciting trend shift? In our conversation, Jorge and Vijay discuss the three causes cited by the authors of the Breaking Eroom’s Law article, their views on what technologies and policies will continue to push costs down, and their opinion on whether Eroom’s Law is broken for good.

Jul 05 2020

9mins

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Preventing Pandemics with Genomic Epidemiology

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The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the visibility of scientists and the scientific process to the broader public; suddenly, scientists working on virology and infectious disease dynamics have seen their public profiles rapidly expand. One such scientist is the special guest in this episode, Trevor Bedford, Associate Professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

An expert in genomic epidemiology, he and his collaborators built Nextstrain, which shares real-time, interactive data visualizations to track the spread of viruses through populations.

a16z bio deal team partner Judy Savitskaya and Lauren Richardson chat with Trevor about how genomic epidemiology can inform public health decisions; viral mutation and spillover from animals into humans; what can be done now to prevent the next big pandemic; and the shift in scientific communication to pre-prints and open science.

Jun 30 2020

34mins

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Journal Club: Therapeutic Video Game on Trial

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In this episode of the a16z bio journal club, we cover one of the key clinical trials that supported the recent FDA approval of the first prescription video game. The game was developed by Akili Interactive, is called EndeavorRx, and is now a clinically-validated therapy for improving attention in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 

But how does a game improve attention? How does a clinical trial evaluate the efficacy of a game? And what are the pros and cons of a video game as compared to traditional pharmacological therapies for ADHD? Bio deal team partner Justin Larkin and Lauren Richardson delve into these questions and more in their discussion of this clinical trial:

A novel digital intervention for actively reducing severity of paediatric ADHD (STARS-ADHD): a randomised controlled trial” in Lancet Digital Health (April 2020) by Scott H Kollins, Denton J DeLoss, Elena Cañadas, Jacqueline Lutz, Robert L Findling, Richard S E Keefe, Jeffery N Epstein, Andrew J Cutler, and Stephen V Faraone.

a16z bio Journal Club (part of the a16z Podcast), curates and covers recent advances from the scientific literature -- what papers we’re reading, and why they matter from our perspective at the intersection of biology & technology (for bio journal club). You can find all these episodes at a16z.com/journalclub.

Jun 28 2020

17mins

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Gross Margins, Early to Late: What They Do (and Don't) Tell You

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Gross margins are essentially a company's revenue from products and services minus the costs to deliver those products and services to customers, and it's one of the most important financial metrics a startup can track.

And yet, figuring out what goes into the "cost" for delivering products and services is not as simple as it may sound, particularly for high-growth software businesses that might use emerging business models or be leveraging new technology. Why do gross margins matter? When do they matter during a company's growth? And how do you use them to plan for the future?

In this episode, a16z general partners Martin Casado, who invests in early stage enterprise startups and  David George, who leads our growth fund, and Sarah Wang  on the growth investing team share their perspectives on how to think about gross margins in both earlier and later stages at a startup. The conversation ranges from the nuances of and strategy for calculating margins with things like cloud costs, freemium users, or implementation costs to the impact margins can have on valuations. 

Jun 27 2020

36mins

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Building Products for Power Users

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As more digital natives have entered the workplace, they have brought with them the expectation that their software should both be a joy to use and allow them to be power users. That is, users who configure and control it to better serves their needs. And often, these digital natives aren't just aspiring power users, they are also prosumers, who can and will pay for a premium experience. But first generation SaaS products have often struggled to deliver the experience these users crave.

For today's founders and builders, how do you get the user experience right when a product has to delight your power users, while being something a less savvy user can pick up and learn?

In this episode, a16z general partner David Ulevitch and Superhuman founder Rahul Vohra discuss how to build products that can turn any user into a power user. The conversation touches on themes from David's recent talk on products that adopt developer tools, like the command palette and keyboard shortcuts, to improve usability, and Rahul's talk on how to apply game design principles to product design. They cover how to onboard users to drive virality, when to expand to a second product, and how to use pricing to position a premium product.

Jun 24 2020

23mins

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iTunes Ratings

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Loving the Journal Club

By cali_sci_gal - May 18 2020
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I’m really enjoying this series. The host is well informed and the guests (and their studies) are really interesting. Keep it up 🙌

Consistently excellent

By Jaron herad - Mar 10 2020
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Guest selection is great, and I like the balance and interviewer / guest dynamics