The Insane World of VCs & Businesses like WeWork, Uber & Lyft (w/ Josh Wolfe and Michael Green)

13:43
By the way, talking about somebody being able to operate in India, the single best drone
pilot in the world today– any idea?
MICHAEL GREEN: Well, I’m guessing India.
JOSH WOLFE: 12-year-old girl in Thailand.
MICHAEL GREEN: Really?
JOSH WOLFE: 12-year-old girl.
And she started playing when she was 8.
And she is better on every metric.
In speed, accuracy, she beats everybody.
Her name is Milk.
And that’s, you know, her call sign.
But a 12-year-old girl in Thailand is the best drone pilot in the world.
MICHAEL GREEN: So it truly is actually Ender’s Game, which is the book by Orson Scott Card
where we rely on children to fight the intergalactic battle.
Fascinating.
That’s absolutely amazing.
Let’s think about the nonlinearity for a second.
And one of the topics you wanted to bring up was this idea of liquidity as a nonlinearity.
JOSH WOLFE: Yes.
MICHAEL GREEN: And so one of the things that we see within venture capitals is that there’s
been this explosion of liquidity, particularly exceptionally well-funded growth equity.
So not the true VC stage one, Series A-type round, although that obviously has benefited
from this dynamic, but the Series E pre-public here’s $1 billion, here’s a $20 billion valuation,
here’s a $100 billion valuation.
Talk to me about how you think about this liquidity switch and the impact that that
has on your industry and the impact that has on innovation?
JOSH WOLFE: Well, it ultimately is going to define all the returns.
And if you go back a little bit and say, well, why are we in this situation, where we’ve
called this in the past, the minnows and the megas?
You have lots of these small firms that are starting up that are doing the seed checks,
and then you have these large players that are writing these $100 million plus checks.
Going back 7 years or so, Andreessen— who I think is a brilliant investor, a brilliant
technologist– basically said, there’s only 10 companies that matter in a given year.
And statically, that’s probably true.
Now knowing which 10 is very hard, but he said, you just basically want to be in those
companies.
And I that was a meme that really went very wide.
And people said, OK, well, it doesn’t matter if you invest in Facebook at $1 billion, or
$5 billion, or $10 billion because we’re going to be hundreds of billions.
And so does it really matter if we’re negotiating here and quibbling over $1 billion or $2 billion.
Well, of course, it does, but that I think induced a lot of growth investors to
15:53
let’s just try to speculate on some of these big unicorns.
And you’ve got this phenomenon of companies that were pining to signal that they were
going to be that next Facebook by attaining a billion-dollar valuation.
And then you got a positive feedback effect where people were funding these things, and
to get access, would write an $100 million check at a $900 million pre.
And they would own 10% in a billion-dollar valuation.
And the problem for the early-stage investors and their limited partners is they were getting
these huge markups.

Goals vs Tactics with a16z’s Marc Andreessen at Disrupt SF

10:20
do you do that to a company yeah so a
lot of this is actually you can actually
borrow concepts actually from military
strategy on this which is sort of the
difference between sort of strategy and
tactics right at a difference between
goals and tactics so I think it’s
incredibly important to have a really
vivid clear idea about where you want to
get in the long run that you stick to
and that you’re very solid on and that
everybody agrees to and then I think you
want to be very very flexible in the
tactics and I think the problem is you
it’s a dichotomy right it’s a it’s a
contradiction so you have to you have to
think about terms you have to think it
from a long-term standpoint but also you
have to think in terms of day-to-day
tactics and this is where you know I’ve
been very critical in the past to this
idea of like fail fast because like I
always things like fail fast is like the
key word in there is not fast it’s fail
and failure sucks and success is awesome
and we should be trying to succeed not
fail and I think the fail fast thing is
people thinking because I think fail
fast makes a lot of sense on tactics if
the tactics Network doesn’t work find a
different tactic I think fail fast is
catastrophic if it’s applied to strategy
and if it’s applied to goals and I think
a lot of founders frankly even still
like talk themselves out of what are
going to be good ideas in the long run
because they’re not getting immediate
traction and so again it goes back to
long term like we just ruled by data and
what cited by their gut that’s actually
so that is actually a racing point so
that is one of the things that happens
which is in the old day in the old days
when I when I was running short pants
you just didn’t hat you didn’t have all
the data it was much harder to get a
sense of how well you were doing and so
like on the one hand you you you felt
less concrete connection to what you’re
doing but on the other hand you didn’t
have this cascade of data coming at you
and now is you know like in all of these
businesses today you have daily weekly
if you want you have data to the minute
to the second to the microsecond of how
well or poorly you’re doing and it’s
really easy to get distracted by that by
that short term data and it’s really
easy to draw a long term
Lucian’s based on short-term data and
you do see companies that have gotten in
real trouble over that mm-hmm
conversely you see companies you know
that worked for a very long time on
something that people think is just
completely nutty and they get heavily
criticized along the way and by the way
sometimes those work and sometimes they
don’t but when they do work that is how
you do something like for all this whole
thing about how everything’s supposed to
be speeding up it still takes a decade
or more to build something really
significant I mean it you know in this
world like it still really does so when
it comes to like interesting products
that seem to be sort of jerked around by
their own data or were for a long time

Marc Andreessen on Big Breakthrough Ideas and Courageous Entrepreneurs

Marc Andreessen, Co-Founder & Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, discusses his philosophy on investing in technical founders and the role of technology in today’s startups. Andreessen also addresses the kind of entrepreneurs and ideas his venture capital firm look for: “Big breakthrough ideas often seem nuts the first time you see them.”

Marc Andreessen: “Take the Ego out of Ideas”

“every year in the U.S. on average about 21 million jobs are destroyed and about 24.5 million are created,”

.. it’s wise to understand the difference between two types of errors. Mistakes of commission — losing everything you invest in a company — can be tough, but you’ll get over them in time. Errors of omission — not investing in the first place — will scar you for life.

.. “Just because MySpace didn’t reach Facebook levels of scale didn’t mean Facebook wouldn’t be able to. So you have to be ruthlessly open-minded and constantly willing to reexamine your assumptions,”

.. Instead of spending time overanalyzing whether something will work, he advises, try asking what happens when it does.