Companies & Culture: What You Do Is Who You Are
This podcast -- which was recorded at the Computer History Museum in a live event, before the pandemic (first published in December 2019) is all about how companies create culture: A lot's changed... and a lot hasn't.
a16z editor in chief Sonal Chokshi interviews a16z co-founder Ben Horowitz -- author of the book What You Do Is Who You Are -- on whether companies and people can change; how the very thing that is your strength can also be your weakness; how startups evolve from pirates to the navy; actions vs words and values; and more. The discussion also covers common tropes that often come up in Silicon Valley folklore -- whether it’s “fake it til you make it” and the “reality distortion fields” of visionaries… vs. liars.
Drawing on historical themes and examples from a thousand years ago to today -- spanning empires, wars, revolutions, hip-hop, and prisons -- the discussion covers key themes and nuances, as well as practical advice, on creating company culture. Please note -- especially if you’re listening on smart speakers at home with children or with kids in a car -- that the discussion that follows includes various mentions of violence. 100% of the proceeds of the book go to anti-recidivism as well as towards helping Haiti.
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.