a16z Podcast: All Things Compensation

Compensation is a topic near and dear to most everyone’s heart… but what does compensation actually mean? What does it include, and what does it not? How do you compete in an intensely competitive environment, while balancing your company’s real …

Happy 25th Anniversary Amy

Amy Batchelor and I have been married for 25 years today. Here’s what we looked like a long time ago on a vacation together in Cabo.

R.E.M. and Dilbert together kind of says it all.

Here’s another picture of us in our apartment at 15 Sleeper Street in Boston on Amy’s 25th birthday. Amy remembers that I took her out that night to Biba for dinner.

That keyboard is the one that almost burned down an entire fraternity building on 351 Mass Ave one night. But that’s another story. I loved Amy’s permed hair – maybe that look will come back in fashion some day.

Amy and I are in Dresden on our way to Berlin with my parents right now. They just celebrated their 55th anniversary, which is a remarkable achievement. I hope to have at least another 30 years with Amy.

Happy anniversary my beloved.

The post

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A Pharmacist Working His Magic…

A staggering $453 billion will be spent on pharmaceutical products in 2018 in the United States per Statista analyst estimates. Ten years ago, that amount was $291 billion. With 326 million Americans, that is nearly $1,400 per capita. Into this marketplace enters Aspen Health, our most recent “semi-stealth” investment which is focused on enabling pharmacists to practice to their fullest potential.

Much has been made about the devastating opioid crisis, and appropriately so. What has come to light in this current raging debate has been greater scrutiny of the various pharmaceutical distribution channels and whether the role of the pharmacist can be expanded to play a more meaningful patient-centric role. The increased complexity of the mix of therapeutics as increasingly more of them move to biologics and specialty drugs (now 42% of pharma revenues) necessitates the need for competent clinical pharmacy practices.


Aspen Health is founded by David Medvedeff

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What Do You Want From Me Besides Capital?

I live for that moment of flicker in an entrepreneur’s eye during a pitch discussion. The one which suggests I’ve asked a question which is simultaneously both new to their fundraising experiences AND interesting to them personally. “What do you want from me besides capital?” is flicker-producing more often than it should be. Maybe it’s because raising money itself can be such a trudge or many investors over-promise and underdeliver, that you’d be happy to *just* get capital and be done with it. But Homebrew is founded upon the belief that we’ll put sweat and reputation behind your startup, not just a wire transfer, so to me it seems like a normal question to help understand if you need things that we can, or can’t, provide.


The answers I receive typically fall across four categories:

1. “Vertical Expertise” – More hands and minds around the industry maze they’re traversing. Continue reading "What Do You Want From Me Besides Capital?"

FAANG Anxious

Subconscious anxieties hover over my FAANG relationships

FB: eventually every product becomes 50% ads

AAPL: they’ll release a $10k iPhone I can’t resist

AMZN: beats everyone & raises prices

NFLX: they’ll realize my HunterPatel login isn’t Satya Patel’s kid

GOOG: they’ll randomly kill my fav product

Never Forget Them

My old friend who is now deceased was in the “back half of the first wave” at Omaha Beach.  I was always in awe of him. I told him I wasn’t sure I had the courage to do what he did-yet as soon as my word ended he would retort “of course you do”.  If you follow my friend Rahul on Twitter, he just visited Normandy with his children.  I would urge anyone to make the trip.

Here is one clip of my friend Walt talking about his experience that day.

I visited Normandy with my family in June of 2006.  I still do not understand how the GI’s in the Higgins boat pictured above won the day.  It’s amazing, especially when you go there.  It’s one of the reasons I am a passionate supporter of the National World War Two Museum and will be there Thursday and Friday.  I Continue reading "Never Forget Them"

Microsoft Buys GitHub for $7.5 Billion

Six years ago we invested an “eye-popping” $100 million into GitHub. This was not only a Series A investment and the first institutional money ever raised by the company, but it was also the largest single check we had ever …

Yubico – Hardware Eats Security

I’ve been directly or peripherally involved in the security community approaching two decades now: in the early 2000’s working with the intelligence community; as a PhD student researching networking security; subsequently at my startup Nicira where security was a major …


“You can observe a lot just by watching.”

—Yogi Berra

David Ricardo was born in the late 18th century, and along with Adam Smith was one of the most influential early economists, pioneering the term “comparative advantage.” A plumber is

Ian Bernstein :  Founder & Head of Product at Misty Robotics

On the latest episode of This Week in StartupsIan Bernstein, former Co-Founder & CTO of Sphero and current Founder & Head of Product at Misty Robotics stops by. Ian introduces his programmable robot, Misty II, and we discuss the current state of generalized robotics, as well as more advanced functionalities that seem to be just around the corner.

Join us for a glimpse into the future of consumer robotics, AI, the brain-computer interface, and more 🔥.

This podcast is brought to you by Weebly. A good looking website is great, but a website that turns into a successful online business is better.

With Weebly, you can manage inventory, collect payments, run promotions and even live-chat with customers. When you’re ready to grow, Weebly can help you get discovered on search engines, create marketing campaigns, and help you with retargeting customers.

Go to Weebly.com/twist today to

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Cancer is Bad. Bid On Lunch With Me To Raise $$$ To Fight It.

Lunch or coffee with me and Satya. Money goes to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 

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Auction ends May 31st.

We are tossing in BONUS ITEMS to raise even more money!

The winner gets:

  1. Lunch/coffee with me and Satya Patel
  2. 30 minute call with Beth Scheer, Homebrew’s Head of Talent. She spent her career at Google, Salesforce and now venture capital. Talk recruiting strategies, compensation best practices, how to hire passive candidates, how to deal with a Google/Salesforce counter-offer to a candidate you want to land, etc


3. 30 minute call with ONE of the following founder/CEOs to get advice on whatever you want – company building, bootstrapping, raising venture capital, building a brand. These founders have raised hundreds of millions of dollars from top VCs, celebs and strategic investors – maybe their advice helps YOU land the big

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Zipcar Fundraising Breakdown

I teach entrepreneurship at Columbia University. We devote the second-to-last class to a Harvard Business School case study about the early years of Zipcar. It’s a good case and we can review most of what we learned through the lens of the problems Chase Danielson faced just before raising her second round of financing.

In the last class we talk about fundraising and venture capital. For continuity, I decided to use Zipcar as an example of the mechanics and norms of VC funding: pre- and post-money, preferred stock, rounds, dilution, etc. Since Zipcar had been a public company, I figured public documents would contain most of the numbers I would need to piece together the story.

This is that story, as far as I could really piece it together. It was stranger than I had assumed it would be, and that was good. My general philosophy about taking VC money Continue reading "Zipcar Fundraising Breakdown"

Iora Health – Bird in Flight

Yesterday Iora Health announced the close of a $100 million growth financing. We are thrilled to be an investor in what is emerging to be the leading company in the value-based primary care space. Iora is focused on Medicare patients over 65 years of age, managing over two dozen practices nationally. The care model is incredibly compelling as it focuses on an array of both clinical and social relationships with the members. Typical care teams are comprised of a primary care provider, health coaches, behavioral health specialists, nurses, clinical team managers and operations assistants, all collaborating to care for the whole person. Iora Health’s patients experience a 40% decrease in hospitalizations and a 20% decrease in ER visits.

Arguably the US healthcare system is at a point of inflection. Yup. We have heard that many times before. But wait – this now feels different. CVS buying Aetna, Cigna combining with

Inflection Point JPEG.jpg
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