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Episodes with Smash Notes

with @jeffiel @davidu @smc90

The rise of developers -- as buyers, as influencers, as a creative class -- is a direct result of "software eating the world", since every company is a tech company (whether they know it or not). Developers are therefore the key to solving business problems and to thriving not just surviving, argues Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio, in his new book, Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century. Lawson shares hard-earned lessons learned, mindsets, and tactics -- from "build vs. buy" to "build vs. die", to the art and science ("mitosis") of small teams -- for leaders and companies of all sizes and kinds.

with @mmasnick @smc90

All about section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in "one of the clearest-but-still-nuanced explainers I've heard" (per WIRED)

with @pmarca @vijaypande

If software’s eating the world -- and more specifically, bringing costs down and increasing productivity through entire industries -- why have some industries, like healthcare, been so resistant?

with @GretchenAMcC @smc90

In a year that left us speechless, 2020 has been filled with new words unlike any other”... so it's unprecedented that for the first time, the Oxford English Dictionary did NOT name a word of the year. But do we really need the dictionaries to tell us what our words of the year are? From remote work portmanteaus to scientific discourse in a pandemic (for better and for worse) to social movements and more -- we take a whirlwind tour through the words of the year, exploring misplaced analogies, shifting metaphors, and even the evolution of interfaces and spaces.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel tells the story of not just the vaccine’s development, but the machine that made the vaccine: the platform, the technology, and the moves behind the vaccine’s development. Aired on Bio Eats World right after FDA EUA.

Special omnibus episode combining two previous episodes on the a16z Podcast network, discussing the relevance, considerations, and problems/ solutios of the Paycheck Protection Program (or PPP) from the Small Business Administration (and the role of government stimulus/ pandemic relief for the economy) and where tech comes in.

with @DCoolican @illscience @laurenmurrow

The intersection of social networks and finance—as well as shifting attitudes around what we share about money online—have given way to an ambitious new wave of financial products. Fintech partner Anish Acharya, formerly a product manager at Credit Karma, consumer partner D’Arcy Coolican (who himself is a former founder in this space), and host Lauren Murrow discuss why the “holy grail” of social plus finance is both so challenging and, potentially, so rewarding. This episode is part of Social Strikes Back, a new series exploring the next generation of social networks and how they’re shaping the future of consumer tech. See more at a16z.com/social-strikes-back.

with @martin_casado @armon @smc90

As companies evolve -- especially from product to sales to scaling operations -- so must the leaders. But can the same person transition across all these phases? When and when not; what are the qualities, criteria, and tradeoffs to be made? Former CTO of Nicira Martin Casado and CTO of HashiCorp Arman Dadgar share a glimpse into their journeys on the question of to CEO or not to CEO; managing their psychology and tactics for managing transitions; and much more.

What happens if we treat food as a medicine in the healthcare system?

This episode features Q&As with two artists who are exploring crypto-powered auction sites and marketplaces – this is part of our ongoing series on the creator economy. The big picture is that emerging "tokenization" models, especially non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are creating new ways for collectors and investors to buy, sell, and trade digital art. More broadly, these innovations open the door to the tokenization of any products or collectibles that can be captured and owned digitally. 

Marketplaces powered by NFTs open up new revenue streams for creators, because anytime digital work is resold or their tokens traded on these platforms, no matter how many times, the creator gets a percentage of those secondary sales. It's all transparent and governed by code on the blockchain, and it’s a big shift in creator economies.

Our first guest is one of the biggest names in crypto art, and one of the most mysterious. Murat Pak is the artist and industrial designer who created the AI-powered image sharing site Archillect. Pak has made it a policy to separate their personal identity from their online work, and prefers to keep their quote-unquote real identity hidden, so we conducted this interview by email and converted Pak’s answers to audio using text-to-speech software. As Pak has expressed in other interviews, it's really the work that matters. And we do know a lot about the work, Pak has sold more than 60 pieces of digital art this year on the auction site SuperRare, for more than $350,000. And that’s just one of the several platforms on which Pak’s work is sold. 

In this Q&A, Pak talks with a16z's Zoran Basich about NFTs. These "non-fungible tokens" are unique assets that are not interchangeable. Dollar bills are fungible — each dollar bill is worth exactly the same as every other one. But works of art, for example, or any collectible, can be non-fungible — their value varies based on the market for that particular asset. With crypto, these assets carry digital ownership rights that can be easily exchanged. We start by discussing the whole concept of digital art, and why anyone would pay for something that (seemingly) can be easily copied.

Our second interview is with Signe Pierce, a visual, digital, and performance artist whose work has appeared in major galleries in Paris, Los Angeles, and New York. She’s currently featuring her artwork on the creator marketplace Foundation. On that site, in addition to auction-style NFT markets, the price of tokens associated with individual works of art is something like you’d see on a stock market – the pricing is real-time, and dynamic and fluctuates according to demand by buyers, who might be investors, collectors, or fans. Signe discusses why she went from working exclusively with galleries to trying crypto marketplaces, how this move affects her work and her business, and how crypto could change the way she engages with her fans. She also offers advice for creators interested in getting into the world of crypto. She starts off by talking about how social media popularity several years ago opened her eyes to the idea of new monetization models for creators. 

with @vintweeta @jorgecondebio @smc90

Given our early and ongoing coverage of coronavirus in this feed, we share a recent episode of 16 Minutes breaking down the 4 D's and what to know about recent news around the vaccines.

True cloud-native games—those exclusive to and solely playable within the cloud—are poised to revolutionize gameplay and unlock new avenues of hyper-personalized storytelling and socializing. In this episode, Jade Raymond, VP of Stadia Games and Entertainment, and a16z partner Jonathan Lai, formerly of Riot Games and Tencent, talk about the challenges in building cloud-native games, their potential to upend prevailing business models and pricing, and most importantly, the spontaneous, social, super-shareable experiences that true cloud streaming will reveal. Through the rise of user-generated content, AI, and the cloud, they believe we're inching ever closer to the Metaverse.