Martin Casado - The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Infrastructure - [Invest Like the Best, EP.280]
My guest today is Martin Casado. Martin is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz where he focuses on digital infrastructure. Before joining a16z, Martin pioneered software-defined networking and co-founded Nicira, which was bought by VMware for $1.3 billion in 2012. Martin has studied, built, and invested in digital infrastructure his whole career and is the perfect person to discuss the most interesting aspects of the industry. Please enjoy this great conversation with Martin Casado.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:02:43 ] - [First question] - The state of the digital infrastructure industry today
[00:04:02 ] - The major stages and eras of cloud technology
[00:06:30 ] - Overview of Dropbox’s story and the two major trends at the time of its emergence
[00:10:12 ] - Lost margin and lost market cap from big users of the public cloud
[00:12:14 ] - Whether or not there is a headwind coming for public cloud providers
[00:14:07 ] - The base level primitives of the digital world and innovation within those areas
[00:17:33 ] - How entrepreneurs might go after the biggest public cloud providers
[00:19:37 ] - His view on API first companies and granular monetizable units in growing markets
[00:23:20 ] - Developer facing tools and what works well when going to market
[00:25:34 ] - Lessons learned about successfully building relationships between a company and developers as a buying class
[00:27:12 ] - The difference between a front-end and back-end developer and what is changing in their responsibilities
[00:28:45 ] - What he looks for as an investor when he’s processing a new API first company
[00:30:31 ] - Common redflags and disqualifying observations for an API first company
[00:31:59 ] - Pricing usage and building a revenue model around one of these businesses
[00:33:49 ] - Reasons why this proliferation is happening and important parts of the data stack
[00:39:06 ] - The history of digital security and potential opportunities as an investor
[00:40:19 ] - How digital infrastructure intersects with the real world and hardware world
[00:42:14 ] - What he’s most excited about that digital infrastructure might unlock in the future
[00:43:33 ] - How to screen out people for their potential to deliver transformative technology
[00:45:38 ] - What he’d like to know about the future that he isn’t sure of yet
[00:47:45 ] - Things he’s most intrigued about by cryptocurrencies as an infrastructure person
[00:51:36 ] - Where he’s most bullish and bearish relative to his peers in digital infrastructure
[00:52:49 ] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him