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a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast

Author: Andreessen Horowitz

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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!
319 Episodes
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Given recent events around George Floyd and far beyond, this special episode of the a16z Podcast features Shaka Senghor, a leading advocate for criminal justice reform (and bestselling author), and Terry Brown, a former police officer in East Palo Alto (who has since run his own security firms) -- who, incidentally, both grew up in Detroit but ended up on different sides of the law -- in conversation with a16z co-founder Ben Horowitz.The conversation goes deep and on the ground (please note that the discussion also includes details of violence, in case you have young children listening). 
SaaS Go-to-Upmarket

SaaS Go-to-Upmarket

2020-05-2921:122

For a SaaS company, it's easier to move upmarket than down, and this gives SaaS startups the advantage against incumbents. In this episode,  David Ulevitch and our newest enterprise general partner Kristina Shen look at the SaaS go-to-upmarket with a focus on how to price for the move, including why so many founders underprice, how to think about free versus paid trials, and navigating the transition to larger accounts.  
Today’s episode is about a practical application of crypto — namely, the way it can “tokenize” fandom. More broadly, it’s about fan engagement, and the increasingly blurred lines between sports, culture and tech.  We talked to NBA player Spencer Dinwiddie, of the Brooklyn Nets. Spencer created a new platform on the crypto blockchain Ethereum that gives fans the opportunity to invest directly in his revenue-generating potential, through debt securities.  Joining this conversation are a16z managing partner and tech investor Jeff Jordan, who has long followed the evolving relationship between sports and tech. Also joining is Jesse Walden, a former a16z crypto partner and co-founder of Mediachain. He’s also a former music promoter and manager whose focus was on helping artists stay independent.   We discuss the evolution of models for fan engagement; how social media has changed the game; and where technologies like cryptonetworks and blockchains come in.
Our understanding of the human brain and its disorders has always been limited by our lack of access to living, human, developing brain tissue. For the first time, that's changing. In this episode, Sergiu Pasca, Professor of Behavioral Science at Stanford, talks with a16'z General Partner Vijay Pande and Hanne Tidnam about the wild new tech that's pioneering a whole new approach to understanding the brain: brain organoids.So what are brain organoids, what are the scientific breakthroughs that lead to their creation, and how can we use them best? The conversation starts with the existing models we have used to learn about the living brain, from genetic studies to autopsies to primates—and what this new model now brings us: the ability to study the human brain, both how it develops and what goes wrong in certain disorders, with human brain tissue "alive" in a dish. We talk about what these organoids can and can’t do; what they’re good for understanding and where that understanding becomes limited; why calling these “brains in a dish” or “mini-brains” isn’t the right terminology at all; and finally, how far can this new tool and model be taken now and in the future, leading us closer towards understanding psychology itself on a molecular level.Image: Brain organoids derived in the Pasca Lab at Stanford University.
Pandemics are predictable; what's not predictable is the intensity, or the precise timing of arrival. That's where early detection -- not just rapid warning (as with something like Google Flu Trends back in the day), or even delayed warnings (as with CDC flu trackers and such) -- comes in. Because unfortunately, many disease tracking efforts old and new are "like watching the weather forecast a week after you've experienced that weather", observes a16z general partner Jorge Conde.And this matters for saving lives; for load balancing and allocating resources (ventilators, PPE, supplies); getting back to work; and much more. Even a two-week advantage could have made a huge difference! Which is what sociologist and physician Nicholas Christakis (who directs the Human Nature Lab, part of the Yale Institute for Network Science, and also author of the book Blueprint) learned from the H1N1 pandemic. Specifically, the role of social network "sensors" -- where friends in one's network graph can be like canaries in the proverbial coal mine to help detect pandemics earlier.In fact, the lab recently released an app called Hunala (which uses information crowdsourced among networks) to determine one's likelihood of contracting flu/ influenza-like or other respiratory illnesses through a personalized daily assessment of risk. Kind of like Waze, but for illnesses not car accidents. So in this episode of the a16z Podcast, the two take that analogy far. They also discuss the role of other mobility data and population flows in China for where and when the pandemic spread; the nuances behind "superspreaders"; how bad is the coronavirus, really; and the near future of "bio-surveillance" -- not just from a personal risk perspective, but from a global public-health perspective... Can we get the holy grail here without sacrificing privacy and agency?
This podcast (first recorded in 2019, now being rerun) -- is a podcast about podcasting: But it's really all about audio. A lot's changed... and a lot hasn't. How do we define "podcasts"; how does the feeds ecosystem currently work; what content and entertainment experiments might change how people not just consume, but create, in the medium? Not to mention monetize, discover, etc... Nick Quah, writer and publisher of Hot Pod (also at Vulture) joins a16z general partner Connie Chan -- and editor in chief (and showrunner of the a16z Podcast) Sonal Chokshi -- to talk about all this and more in this hallway-style jam.  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.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 investor or prospective investor, 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 which should be read in their entirety.)Past performance is not indicative of future results. Any charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.
 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.  
In this episode of a16z bio Journal Club, general partner Vijay Pande, bio deal team partner Andy Tran, and bio editor Lauren Richardson discuss a novel CRISPR-Cas-based anti-viral strategy.The discussion covers the differences between this newly developed prophylactic strategy, traditional vaccines, and anti-viral drugs; how this strategy can be engineered to target a huge range of coronavirus and influenza strains; and the next steps needed to go from paper to practice:“Development of CRISPR as an Antiviral Strategy to Combat SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza” in Cell (April 2020), by Timothy Abbott, Girija Dhamdhere, Yanxia Liu, Xueqiu Lin, Laine Goudy, Leiping Zeng, Augustine Chemparathy, Stephen Chmura, Nicholas Heaton, Robert Debs, Tara Pande, Drew Endy, Marie La Russa, David Lewis, and Lei Qia16z 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.
What's Next in Gaming

What's Next in Gaming

2020-05-0720:321

Video game technology has evolved into a global phenomenon that extends far beyond entertainment. In this episode, John Riccitiello, CEO of the game software development company Unity Technologies, is interviewed by a16z general partner Andrew Chen on the rise of esports and streaming, the potential of cloud gaming, and  far-reaching applications for game technology. This conversation originally took place at our most recent innovation conference, the a16z Summit.
Undruggable Drugs

Undruggable Drugs

2020-05-0628:402

In this episode of the a16z Podcast, we take a deep dive into the world of drug development—specifically "undruggable drugs": a category of protein, protein family or even piece of RNA that’s so difficult to target that many researchers don’t even want to touch it. Jay Bradner, President of the Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research, shares with a16z General Partners Jorge Conde and Vijay Pande, and a16z's Hanne Tidnam, all the new tools, technologies and breakthroughs which are causing the science of therapeutics to explode in some of these areas where it's been incredibly difficult (even impossible) in the past. From molecular glues to cell and gene therapies, Bradner shares the behind-the-scenes science stories of what it really takes to make a new drug that shatters the category of an "undruggable" target. 
This episode—which originally took place as a live event—is a conversation between Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner and a16z Cultural Leadership Fund partner Chris Lyons. Wagner is known for his power on the field and his business acumen off it. Last year, he negotiated his own three-year, $54 million contract extension to become the highest-paid middle linebacker in the NFL. In this candid conversation, Wagner and Lyons discuss how to identify standout companies and talent (for better or worse), the growing influence of cultural leaders in tech, and the potential of "shared genius."
The Chief Security Officer (CSO/CISO) used to manage on-premise servers, now the information they have to secure has migrated to the cloud. As the responsibility of CSOs has expanded, the role has moved from technical IT to the boardroom. How do the best CSOs prepare for and respond to a crisis, from redteaming to comms? What responsibility should cloud & SaaS vendors, not to mention the government, have in security and data breaches?  And how is the role going to evolve in the next five years? At our a16z Innovation Summit last year, we sat down with two security leaders whose career has evolved as the role has – Joe Sullivan, former CSO at Uber and Facebook, now at Cloudflare and Joel de la Garza, current security partner at a16z, formerly CISO at Box. 
a16z 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). This inaugural episode covers 2 different topics, in discussion with Lauren Richardson:0:26 #1 identifying new antibiotics through a novel machine-learning based approach -- a16z general partner Vijay Pande and bio deal partner Andy Tran discuss the business of pharma; the specific methods/  how it works; and other applications for deep learning in drug discovery and development based on this paper:"A Deep Learning Approach to Antibiotic Discovery" in Cell (February 2020), by Jonathan Stokes, Kevin Yang, Kyle Swanson, Wengong Jin, Andres Cubillos-Ruiz, Nina Donghia, Craig MacNair, Shawn French, Lindsey Carfrae, Zohar Bloom-Ackermann, Victoria Tran, Anush Chiappino-Pepe, Ahmed Badran, Ian Andrews, Emma Chory, George Church, Eric Brown, Tommi Jaakkola, Regina Barzilay, James Collins11:43 #2 characterizing the novel coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic -- a16z bio deal partner Judy Savitskaya shares what we can learn from the protein structures; the relationship to the 2002-2004 SARS epidemic; and more based on these two research articles: "Structure, Function, and Antigenicity of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Glycoprotein" in Cell (April 2020), by Alexandra Walls, Young-Jun Park, M. Tortorici, Abigail Wall, Andrew McGuire, David Veesler"Cryo-EM structure of the 2019-nCoV spike in the prefusion conformation" in Science (March 2020), by Daniel Wrapp, Nianshuang Wang, Kizzmekia Corbett, Jory Goldsmith, Ching-Lin Hsieh, Olubukola Abiona, Barney Graham, Jason McLellanYou can find these episodes at a16z.com/journalclub.
Announcing a16z Journal Club, a new show where we curate and discuss recent research papers with a16z experts and others. This new show continues the a16z Podcast mission of not just bringing you conversations about the future (as well as about building companies for this), but of also putting specific trends in context -- whether through news (as with our other show 16 Minutes), or, through journal articles (as with this new show -- which will soon have its own feed as well). The first episode, of bio journal club, focuses on why specific scientific advances matter from our perspective at the intersection of biology & technology. It is hosted by one of our a16z bio editors, Lauren Richardson, a former senior editor of open-access journal PLOS Biology with a background in cell and molecular biology and genetics (and with a Ph.D. from the University of Washington and a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley).You will hear it next in this feed, and can also find new episodes here as they come out every few weeks and at a16z.com/journalclub. ~sonal
Here is Ali's tweetstorm on the Narrow Waist of Blockchain Computing 
IT'S TIME TO BUILD

IT'S TIME TO BUILD

2020-04-2112:227

“It's Time to Build” by Marc Andreessen. You can also find and share this essay at a16z.com/build. 
We wanted to let you know about a special new series of posts occasionally read out loud from us  (you can learn more about the why and why now in episode #500 on how we podcast); we may release these in a separate feed in future, for now, the first episode is next in this feed. Thank you for listening!You can also check out our other shows and series:16 MinutesHustlin' Tech
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.
with @JorgeCondeBio, @julesyoo, and @omnivorousreadIn some ways, the coronavirus feels like it came out of nowhere—a kind of Black Swan event. But at the same time, it's been exposing a lot of the fundamental flaws in our healthcare system that now feel like a perfect storm coming together... and have hurt our ability to address the problem that we should really have seen coming.In this episode, a16z General Partners Jorge Conde and Julie Yoo talk with Hanne Tidnam about some of those big forces and dynamics in the healthcare system, at the intersection of business, policy, and public health: how in healthcare like perhaps nowhere else, broken policy can lead to broken business models that, in the wrong circumstances, can then lead major failures in public health like the one we’re seeing today; where we’ve seen this before, in the markets of vaccines, antibiotics, and diagnostics; and what should be different next time, so that when a new pandemic hits we aren’t facing another perfect storm.
From agile project management to asynchronous collaboration, development teams have pioneered many of the tools and best practices for remote work possible. However, new shelter-in-place orders have more organizations moving to remote development — and remote work — often quickly and without a lot of time to plan.Will remote work be our new reality, even after the pandemic passes? And if so, what are the current technologIes and practices that support organizational communication and alignment for distributed teams, development and otherwise? In this hallway-style podcast, Jason Warner, the CTO of GitHub, and a16z General Partner David Ulevitch cover how working from home is evolving our software as well as how we use it — from communication tools and best practices to interviewing and hiring when you can’t see someone face to face.   
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Comments (16)

Kevin Schreder

With everything going on in the markets today, I would be interested in understanding how a cryptocurrency, driven by a private entity or open source, could influence the public markets, interest rates, and the dispersion of money. Depending on the economic ups and downs, wouldn't there need to be a governing entity, such as the federal reserve?

Apr 25th
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Al Yaz

a very powerful and thought provoking episode. thank you. Buy American.

Feb 19th
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Sara Jackson

This was a great episode! A lot of fun history to learn about.

Oct 20th
Reply (1)

AJF Nonprofit Podcast

That's why we in America need Yang2020.com.

Jun 16th
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Connie Kwan

very informative. one of the best episodes!

May 30th
Reply

CJ

They really need to check out Castbox, we are working on a lot of the features they talked about, and some of the features are even available in other regions already. There will be lots of new monetization opportunities on Castbox for creators, keep an eye out in the near future!

Apr 7th
Reply

Cliffy B.

Even tho i had to slow down all the SPEED TAlKING this was enjoyable. Peeps be waaayyy Vata

Apr 4th
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Luke H

A lot.of this does not reflect UK market

Mar 23rd
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Pieter Haegeman

Let your guests speak and your audience make connections for themselves. The interviewers incessant hmms and rights are just distracting from the quality of your guests. Please think about the difference between showing your guests youre listening in the moment and letting your listeners still be able to experience the conversation for themselves.

Mar 17th
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CJ

Really wish I could hear more from the CEO of Activision, he has some great stories!

Feb 22nd
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Michael Bergman

Great podcast, please don't interrupt the subject so much next time.

Dec 26th
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Marcin K

this is actually a really interesting talk...

Sep 18th
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Melanie Matsuo

why are there only men in this interview? are there no women that have an opinion on hiring a vp of product???

Jul 13th
Reply (1)

Indrajit Rajtilak

- Idea meritocracy and believability weighted decision making - mission first people second - everything has precedent, understanding differences is important for good decision making - having 15 low correlated investments is great investing strategy - being early and being wrong are the same thing - ego barrier and blindspot - teacher vs peer vs student - Shaper : visualization to actualization - Simultaneous open mindedness and assertiveness - Open mindedness: having opinions but knowing that you might be wrong, and testing it

Apr 27th
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