a16z Podcast: Designing a Culture of Reinvention


This post is by Ben Horowitz from Andreessen Horowitz

Since Netflix started in the late 90s as a DVD-by-mail rental service competing with Blockbuster, it has completely reinvented itself… twice – first, when it went from DVD rental to video streaming platform, and then again when it went from …

The post a16z Podcast: Designing a Culture of Reinvention appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

Introducing the Talent x Opportunity Fund


This post is by Ben Horowitz from Andreessen Horowitz

“Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what’s going on
What’s going on”
–Marvin Gaye

Last week the country watched the slow and heart-wrenching murder of George Floyd and …

The post Introducing the Talent x Opportunity Fund appeared first on Andreessen Horowitz.

Your Mission Statement Is Not Your Company Culture


This post is by Ben Horowitz from Stories by Ben Horowitz on Medium

If you see something off-culture and ignore it, you’ve created a new culture

Your Mission Statement Is Not Your Company Culture

If you see something off-culture and ignore it, you’ve created a new culture

a16z Podcast: The Infrastructure of Total Health

Bernard J. Tyson is the chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, a $73 billion non-profit health organization that provides healthcare and coverage with more than 22,000 physicians caring for more than 12.2 million members across 9 states.

In  this conversion …

TripActions

Everybody say that nothing come too easy,
But when you got it, baby, nothing come too hard
—Prince, “Baby I’m a Star”

Corporate travel is hard. It shouldn’t be, but it is. The tools, often analog travel agencies integrating with …

a16z Podcast: New Upstarts in an Old Industry

When Michael Ovitz founded the Creative Artists Agency, he turned a number of the entertainment industry’s well entrenched traditions on their head. The origin story of a16z is not at all dissimilar — and not by coincidence.

In this episode, …

Introducing the Cultural Leadership Fund

Yo, the sun don’t shine forever
But as long as it’s here then we might as well shine together
–Sean “Diddy” Combs, “Victory

In the early days of the technology industry, there was no thought about consumers, because …

a16z Podcast: Earned Secrets with Ben Horowitz

What does it really take to start a startup (or work at one)? In this episode of the a16z Podcast — based on a Q&A with Ben Horowitz as part of an event hosted by a16z’s Technical Talent and People …

Connie Chan

I was just a little girl
Skinny legs, a press and curl
My mother always thought I’d be a star
–Lauryn Hill,”Every Ghetto, Every City

I clearly remember interviewing Connie Chan for an analyst position many years ago. After

Katie Haun

How many of them could’ve did it with finesse?
Now everybody like, ‘she really is the best’
–Nicki Minaj, “Chun-Li

We first met Katie Haun when she joined the board of Coinbase, but her reputation preceded her. She …

a16z Video: Distribution and Sales Channels

watch time: 6 minutes

What is a sales channel? It’s a route to market for a product or set of products, from a website to a sophisticated sales force. Selecting the right channel is critical for any business — products …

Andrew Chen


This post is by Ben Horowitz from Stories by Ben Horowitz on Medium

I’m a fuckin’ genius, Jimmy Neutron
Soulja Boy, The Best

Back in 2007 when Marc and I were angel investors, we read everything we could on the emerging techniques for building products and companies. We were hungry for any information that would help us understand the state-of-the-art. Among all the things we read, one blogger really stood out. He broke down techniques for distributing consumer products in a way that was so smart, so well articulated and so on-the-money that he turned product distribution into a science. The blogger’s name was Andrew Chen.

We reached out to Andrew to learn more and he was generous with his time and ideas. So when Andrew decided to start a company, Marc and I were eager to invest. We began our diligence with a reference call to his former boss who said: “Andrew is so much smarter than everyone here, that we call him Jimmy Neutron.”

Marc and I invested. Andrew and his team worked like crazy to build a great company, but they struggled to find product/market fit. Nonetheless, they continued to grind it out, developing impressive new product distribution techniques along the way. Ultimately, the company did not succeed, but our admiration for Andrew grew. Successful startups are a combination of ingenuity, hard work, and luck. While Andrew had almost no luck, he had plenty of ingenuity and nobody worked harder. Beyond that, he became the world’s leading expert at consumer and bottoms-up SaaS product distribution. We often thought about how great it would be to have Andrew help our companies.

Andrew seemed to be thinking along similar lines in terms of helping companies. He became an active angel investor and advisor for startups including Dropbox, AngelList, Gusto, Barkbox, Front, Boba Guys, and many others. Beyond that, he kept writing great blog posts and organized conferences to build the community and share knowledge about the field.

So when Andrew called me up to talk about what he should do next in his career, I had a very clear idea. I thought he should join Andreessen Horowitz and help the next consumer and SaaS entrepreneurs achieve greatness. That’s why I am so pleased to announce that Andrew Chen will be our newest General Partner.

Andrew Chen

I’m a fuckin’ genius, Jimmy Neutron
Soulja Boy, The Best

Back in 2007 when Marc and I were angel investors, we read everything we could on the emerging techniques for building products and companies. We were hungry for any information that would help us understand the state-of-the-art. Among all the things we read, one blogger really stood out. He broke down techniques for distributing consumer products in a way that was so smart, so well articulated and so on-the-money that he turned product distribution into a science. The blogger’s name was Andrew Chen.

We reached out to Andrew to learn more and he was generous with his time and ideas. So when Andrew decided to start a company, Marc and I were eager to invest. We began our diligence with a reference call to his former boss who said: “Andrew is so much smarter than everyone here, that we call him Jimmy

Continue reading “Andrew Chen”

Andrew Chen

“I’m a fuckin’ genius, Jimmy Neutron”
—Soulja Boy, “The Best”

Back in 2007 when Marc and I were angel investors, we read everything we could on the emerging techniques for building products and companies. We were hungry for any information …

Lars

When Lars joined our firm, nobody was more excited about it than me as
I wrote here. That excitement proved to be warranted in so many ways as
Lars brought a perspective and a vibrance that we had not …

United Masters


This post is by Ben Horowitz from Stories by Ben Horowitz on Medium

“Dinner with Anna Wintour, racing with Anja Rubik
I told you muthaf*ckers it was more than the music”
 — Kanye West, “Cold”

Nearly 30 years ago Steve Stoute saw something that changed his life: He went to see RunDMC perform at Madison Square Garden. During the show, as they began the hit song, “My Adidas”, Run took off his Adidas sneaker and hoisted it into the air. Spontaneously, nearly everyone in the audience took off their Adidas and responded in kind.

At that moment, Steve realized that great musical artists meant much more to their fans than just music. They moved their fans. They moved the culture.

Steve could not get this thought out of his head: Cultural influence was real. It was a real, tangible, valuable thing. He became so obsessed with the idea that he quit his prestigious job as president of Interscope Records. Despite having zero experience in the advertising business, he quit to found an advertising agency dedicated to translating cultural influence into market influence for brands and transforming cultural capital into financial capital for artists. He appropriately called the company Translation.

Translation went on to achieve great success building massively successful ad campaigns for companies such as McDonald’s, Anheuser-Busch, and State Farm while creating wealth for artists like 50 Cent, Justin Timberlake, and Jay-Z.

In the meantime, the music business was changing. The Internet decimated the old business model as music moved from CDs to streaming. At first, this obliterated the earning power of artists, but ultimately enabled the smartest artist to think independently and seek to control their own artistic and financial destiny.

This gave Steve another idea. Musical artists themselves were brands. Brands that were just as important to their fans as comparable corporate names like ESPN were to their customers. But there was a problem: In a world where leading-edge companies like Facebook and Google knew every detail of their customers, right down to what they read in the last five minutes, even the biggest stars in the world knew embarrassingly little about their fans. In fact, most artists didn’t even know their fans’ names.

Steve thought: What if there were a platform that instantly enabled musical artists to market themselves globally as effectively as the top technology companies market to their customers? Such a platform would free musicians from dependencies on the old model while increasing their income tenfold. It would create unprecedented intimacy between artists and fans, while making artists truly independent.

But there was a huge challenge. To build such a platform, the company had to be world class in three distinctly different disciplines: music, advertising, and technology. Steve already had the expertise in music and advertising, but technology was the key and that’s when he called me. Together, we recruited a phenomenal technology team with members from distinguished companies such as Facebook, Dropbox, and Pandora. I think that the UnitedMasters engineering team is one of the best in the technology industry, but you can judge for yourself.

Today I am pleased to announce the unveiling of the platform they’ve built and the company behind it: UnitedMasters. I am excited to also announce that Andreessen Horowitz has invested and that I have joined the board.

United Masters


This post is by Ben Horowitz from Stories by Ben Horowitz on Medium

“Dinner with Anna Wintour, racing with Anja Rubik
I told you muthaf*ckers it was more than the music”
 — Kanye West, “Cold”

Nearly 30 years ago Steve Stoute saw something that changed his life: He went to see RunDMC perform at Madison Square Garden. During the show, as they began the hit song, “My Adidas”, Run took off his Adidas sneaker and hoisted it into the air. Spontaneously, nearly everyone in the audience took off their Adidas and responded in kind.

At that moment, Steve realized that great musical artists meant much more to their fans than just music. They moved their fans. They moved the culture.

Steve could not get this thought out of his head: Cultural influence was real. It was a real, tangible, valuable thing. He became so obsessed with the idea that he quit his prestigious job as president of Interscope Records. Despite having zero experience in the advertising business, he quit to found an advertising agency dedicated to translating cultural influence into market influence for brands and transforming cultural capital into financial capital for artists. He appropriately called the company Translation.

Translation went on to achieve great success building massively successful ad campaigns for companies such as McDonald’s, Anheuser-Busch, and State Farm while creating wealth for artists like 50 Cent, Justin Timberlake, and Jay-Z.

In the meantime, the music business was changing. The Internet decimated the old business model as music moved from CDs to streaming. At first, this obliterated the earning power of artists, but ultimately enabled the smartest artist to think independently and seek to control their own artistic and financial destiny.

This gave Steve another idea. Musical artists themselves were brands. Brands that were just as important to their fans as comparable corporate names like ESPN were to their customers. But there was a problem: In a world where leading-edge companies like Facebook and Google knew every detail of their customers, right down to what they read in the last five minutes, even the biggest stars in the world knew embarrassingly little about their fans. In fact, most artists didn’t even know their fans’ names.

Steve thought: What if there were a platform that instantly enabled musical artists to market themselves globally as effectively as the top technology companies market to their customers? Such a platform would free musicians from dependencies on the old model while increasing their income tenfold. It would create unprecedented intimacy between artists and fans, while making artists truly independent.

But there was a huge challenge. To build such a platform, the company had to be world class in three distinctly different disciplines: music, advertising, and technology. Steve already had the expertise in music and advertising, but technology was the key and that’s when he called me. Together, we recruited a phenomenal technology team with members from distinguished companies such as Facebook, Dropbox, and Pandora. I think that the UnitedMasters engineering team is one of the best in the technology industry, but you can judge for yourself.

Today I am pleased to announce the unveiling of the platform they’ve built and the company behind it: UnitedMasters. I am excited to also announce that Andreessen Horowitz has invested and that I have joined the board.

United Masters

“Dinner with Anna Wintour, racing with Anja Rubik
I told you muthaf*ckers it was more than the music”
 — Kanye West, “Cold”

Nearly 30 years ago Steve Stoute saw something that changed his life: He went to see RunDMC perform at Madison Square Garden. During the show, as they began the hit song, “My Adidas”, Run took off his Adidas sneaker and hoisted it into the air. Spontaneously, nearly everyone in the audience took off their Adidas and responded in kind.

At that moment, Steve realized that great musical artists meant much more to their fans than just music. They moved their fans. They moved the culture.

Steve could not get this thought out of his head: Cultural influence was real. It was a real, tangible, valuable thing. He became so obsessed with the idea that he quit his prestigious job as president of Interscope Records. Despite having zero experience in the advertising

Continue reading “United Masters”

UnitedMasters

Dinner with Anna Wintour, racing with Anja Rubik
I told you muthaf*ckers it was more than the music
–Kanye West, “Cold

Nearly 30 years ago Steve Stoute saw something that changed his life: He went to see RunDMC …