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Episodes with Smash Notes

This is a special episode of the a16z podcast — it's an audio history, told through the voices of the a16z crypto team, about what crypto is, how it really works, and why it matters. This "innovation overview" is meant as a resource, and it features hallway-style conversations with the a16z team as well as outside experts.

In brief segments, we’ll take you from the ground up — from the basics, to the most current developments, and beyond that to a look at what we might see in the future. 

Here are the topics and voices you'll hear:

The Beginning

Introduction — Zoran Basich, a16z crypto editor Before bitcoin: previous attempts to create digital money, 1:45 — Dan Boneh, computer science professor at Stanford and a16 advisor  The core innovations of Satoshi’s white paper, 3:36 — Dan Boneh  Proof of work, 5:36 — Alex Pruden, chief strategy officer at Aleo Systems and former a16z crypto partner  Mining and why it’s important, 7:10 — Alex Pruden  The history of mining, 8:20 — Alex Pruden  Value in monetary systems, or why bitcoin is worth anything, 9:53 — Arianna Simpson, a16z crypto partner  Bitcoin as store of value, 11:30 — Arianna Simpson  Security in crypto, 12:45 — Alex Pruden 


Why is it called a blockchain? 14:00 — Eddy Lazzarin, a16z data scientist  Why the blockchain matters and what you can do with it, 15:09 — Chris Dixon, a16z general partner  Beyond bitcoin, 17:01 — Eddy Lazzarin  Ethereum as logical extension of open source, 17:36 — Eddy Lazzarin  Tokens: What are they? 19:04 — Eddy Lazzarin  Tokens and the functions they serve, 19:53 — Scott Kupor, a16z managing partner Tokens and the ownership economy, 21:19 — Jesse Walden, Variant Fund founder, former a16z partner, and Mediachain founder  What tokens enable for creators, 22:18 — Ali Yahya, a16z general partner 

Right Now

What DeFi means, 23:58 — Eddy Lazzarin  Yield farming: What is it? 25:16 — Eddy Lazzarin  NFTs: What they are and why they matter, 27:15 — Linda Xie, Scalar Capital managing director, and Jesse Walden  Developer ecosystems, crypto, and composability, 30:17 — Jesse Walden  Decentralized networks, value capture, and what it means for builders, 33:05 — Ali Yahya 

The Future

The big picture, web3, and DAOs, 35:38 — Chris Dixon 

For more crypto resources, please see our Crypto Startup School page, our documentary about the program, and our NFT Canon.


The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation. In addition, this content may include third-party advertisements; a16z has not reviewed such advertisements and does not endorse any advertising content contained therein.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly as well as unannounced investments in publicly traded digital assets) is available at https://a16z.com/investments/.

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.

with @samyamiam @ljin18 @laurenmurrow

It's clear from the growth of Patreon, Substack, TikTok, Clubhouse and many more that the power of the Creator Economy continues to build. In this episode, first published a year ago, Patreon cofounder Sam Yam, Atelier Ventures' Li Jin (formerly a16z), and host Lauren Murrow discuss monetizing community, why creators today are effectively making more money off fewer fans, and what all of this means for the future of work.

In today’s episode of the a16z Podcast, we’re talking about the Creator Economy, and how NFTs (but not just NFTs!) are making it possible for artists, musicians, videogamers, game developers, and writers to create entirely new markets to make money from their work and engage with their fans.

Part of this emerging picture is social tokens, which share a crypto foundation with NFTs, but unlike NFTs (which are non-fungible tokens, in which each token is unique), social tokens are typically fungible, meaning each token has the same value. (Listen to our explainer episode "All About NFTs" with Sonal Choksi, Jesse Walden, and Linda Xie, or see our curated NFT Canon for much more info on NFTs!)

This hallway-style chat features a16z General Partner and crypto investor Chris Dixon, talking with Kevin Chou, who founded Kabam, and is the founder of Rally, an open network on Ethereum where creators can launch social tokens; and Jesse Walden, the founder of MediaChain, a music rights protocol that was acquired by Spotify; he’s now the founder of crypto venture fund Variant.

They’ll talk about how musicians, artists, and writers can think about NFTs and social tokens as well, and how those different types of assets can interact to create models that haven’t existed before.

But Chris starts off the discussion by talking about the emergence of crypto tokens, and a look at how videogames and gamers were early to the idea of community engagement and digital assets, and how that model is beginning to spread outward.

with @ljxie @jessewldn @smc90

From "I've never seen anything like this before" to "is this like ICOs all over again" to "it's just a jpg I don't get it" to "but what about the energy use!" -- this special deep-dive episode from the a16z Podcast network breaks down everything you need or want to know about NFTs... while cutting through the noise for what’s hype/ what’s real.

with @conniechan @DCoolican @jeff_jordan @laurenmurrow and @sriramk

Marketplaces encompass a huge swath of services we use every day, from grocery delivery to online shopping to remote learning. Which marketplace companies are on a tear and which are locked in close competition? Which categories are poised for growth, and which may make a comeback? In this episode, we discuss the post-pandemic outlook for marketplaces—based on data from the Marketplace 100—and the most promising companies and categories on the rise.

Understanding J&J vaccine efficacy and more.

with @bhorowitz @smc90

This podcast (which was recorded at the Computer History Museum before the pandemic) is all about how companies create culture beyond their values and mission statements: A lot's changed... and a lot hasn't. Based on the book What You Do Is Who You Are, the nuanced discussion that follows probes how startups evolve and whether companies and people can change; common tropes that often come up in Silicon Valley folklore; and practical advice. Please note that the discussion that follows includes various mentions of violence.

We share the second installment of Boss Talk, a weekly live show on Clubhouse, where a16z cofounder Ben Horowitz and Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi discuss CEO stuff, leadership stuff, management stuff… you know, boss stuff.

How ransomware works, from the anatomy of a hack to how the groups operate; the role of nation-states, insurers, and regulators; and what to do if your stuff is taken hostage...

With @pmarca and @bhorowitz

In this special episode, Andreessen Horowitz co-founders Marc and Ben have two “one on one” conversations, answering questions from Twitter covering everything from company building to tech trends and culture.

with @cbryar billcarr @smc90

When you hear stories about Amazon's famous "invention machine", we often hear about things like: Memos, six pages exactly and no powerpoints at al! Or, the idea of "work backwards from the press release". But what's lost is the how, as well as the broader narrative of how all companies and leaders, not just Amazon and Bezos, can define their ways as they scale. After all, Amazon was once a small startup, too. So in this episode -- the very first podcast for the new book Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon -- the authors share firsthand observations and experiences from being in "the room" where it happens, from AWS, Kindle, and Prime to more importantly, the leadership principles, decision making practices, and operational processes that got Amazon there. Can other startups do the same?

with @stevenadair @smc90 joeldelagarza

In this special cross-promo episode, we cover the SolarWinds hack, one of the largest known hacks of all time... and the ripple effects are only now starting to be revealed -- especially given latest reports from the U.S. government. What actually happened, when does the timeline really begin? We help cut through the headline fatigue of it in this "anatomy of a hack" teardown -- the who, what, where, when, how -- from the chess moves and details to what such supply-chain compromises mean for what companies of all sizes can (and can't) do when it comes to cloud security.