Tyler Cowen's conversation with Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz
I am a self-proclaimed student of the a16z university, where I learn and discover on many things about tech, growth, trends and many times recommendations for good TV and books.
I am a long time subscriber to Tyler Cowen's blog Marginal Revolution, which is a portal to anything interesting in Internet. So when Tyler was having a fireside chat with Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, it is a thing that cannot be missed. Here are my key highlights of this conversation.
On running VC company as a network of talent:
We actually thought of it as a talent business and a lot of the reason for that is you know a friend of ours Michael Ovitz who founded the talent agency CAA was a board member...If you take a long view of relationships, you can build a network that's so powerful that nobody will ever be able to match it. And that was kind of the original inspiration.
On what will be the breakthrough application for blockchain:
It's like asking what the killer app on the Internet was in the 1990s, nobody ever gets it right.. it was never Facebook, that's for sure. But the way that we think about blockchain technology is that it's a new computing platform.
It's slower, it's harder to use, it's harder to program. But it has a new feature. And that feature is trust. And trust is really, really an interesting feature. Because it means that you don't have to trust the government or a corporation or your lawyer, you just have to trust the mathematical properties and the game-theoretic properties of the system. And then you can do things and it opens up applications such as you can program money, you can program contracts, you can create digital property.
Marc's recco on TV shows that has a lesson about VC:
- Halt and Catch fire (It is one of my favourite shows on the story of Silicon Valley)
- Burn Notice
- Succession (it's inspiring for founders. Because it I think, pretty accurately shows the dysfunction it's a certain kind of larger companies.)
Managerial intelligence: How to spot that? What does it consist of?:
Ben's answer is:
- Systems thinking
- People Skills (having empathy, looking at their motivation/incentives and understanding them beyond their words)
What's an interesting book they've read lately?:
Ben: Genghiz Khan by Jack Weatherford (teaches a lot about inclusion and diversity)
Marc: Private Truths, Public Lies by Timur Kuran (talks about preference falsification, where a majority of people believe in something, but then they can't say it . Also it has the clearest explanation of the Trump phenomenon)