In this 55 minute fireside chat, Andreessen Horowitz's Marc Andreessen touches on a lot of interesting topics:
- The importance of books, of thinking from first principles, and problems with that, and why history of Hollywood is fascinating, and its parallels to the Silicon Valley. Also touches on importance of storytelling.
- How Marc thinks about learning, and how history plays a role in understanding the future — for instance, with the advent of Self Driving Cars, it's instructive to look at early 1900s and look at rollout of cars in the first place, and how that affected various parts of economy.
- Technological change and loss/creation of jobs.
- Marc's heroes in the valley: Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Andy Grove among others, and how he thinks about learning about them.
- Importance of engaging with people who disagree with you, and of being open minded, not getting tied to your beliefs, and taking the ego out of ideas.
- Importance of strategy in business and the difference between being an operator and an investor
- Why Marc thinks we are in more of a tech depression than a tech bubble. We cannot find enough places to deploy excess of capital lying around in endowment and pension funds, while there are enough big problems waiting to get solved.
- Thoughts on why a16z has been focussed on the US market, and has not expanded to China/India unlike Sequoia. Also, alternative funding models for capital-intensive ideas — if you wanted to build SpaceX, and weren't an internet billionaire, how would you raise the $500M needed to get to market?