Podcasts and podcasting have been around a while, but seem to be going through a renaissance of sorts — partly enabled by connected cars and other technologies. But how do we discover podcasts — is the ideal atomic unit the show, or an individual episode/topic? What makes a good podcast? And given their intimacy, how can brands and communities engage with podcasts? In this oh-so-meta episode of the a16z Podcast about podcasts, we discuss this and more (also featuring Roman Mars of 99% Invisible and Ryan Hoover and Erik Torenberg of Product Hunt). MORE
Investors tend to value growth over everything else because a business can’t get big enough to break out if it isn’t growing. Of course, there are a number of key performance indicators for managing a business well and toward profitability — which we’ve written about here — but there are still stomach-churning moments where growth trajectory was interrupted.
Sometimes it happens gradually, but in a surprising number of cases it happens suddenly: The business is growing one day, then it’s not growing the next. I’ve taken to calling these growth hiccups “Oh, shit!” moments for CEOs. So what do you do when the growth rocket judders? MORE
I believe that there are 3 things that make Medium special:
— Medium is modern software with basic features you expect but other tools don’t support: drag and drop, WYSIWYG, autosave, responsive design etc. This probably sounds trivial to non-bloggers, but if you blog it sounds miraculous.
— Blogging on Medium feels like a new media format native to the web and that could only come post social. The best Medium posts are a combination of collaging and blogging. You include tweets, gifs, pull quotes, graphics, and videos along with your text. The social era fragmented the networks by media type. Medium gives you a way to pull it back together.
— Starting out blogging today is very intimidating because you have no audience. You can write something great and literally no one will read it. Basically there are incumbent bloggers with an audience and then everyone else. Medium gives those newbies a change to reach an audience since it it is a blogging tool + fairly meritocratic distribution.
Perhaps more importantly than any of this, Ev and the team have a vision to make Medium a medium where independent authors can not only work with great tools and find their audience, but also earn a living thus finally fulfilling the true promise of blogging. That’s why I am excited to announce Andreessen Horowitz has invested in Medium. MORE
The $12T manufacturing and design market — which is 100% dependent on CAD — is stuck: The industry continues to use software that was designed for a standalone PC running MS-DOS. It’s kind of shocking, actually, given the profound changes in computing as the world has moved on to the internet, cloud, and mobile. Imagine the productivity gains if CAD software embraced concepts like document sharing, collaboration, cloud storage, and being mobile-native.
I’ve continued to be surprised that no new CAD company has been created, and I have been keeping an eye out since I arrived at a16z nearly five years ago.
Then along came Onshape, a new CAD company that has completely re-designed CAD from the ground up, taking advantage of the most modern cloud and mobile architectures. By optimizing local smartphone resources with the cloud backend, Onshape allows CAD to be done entirely through one’s mobile device or web browser — in real-time and with the friendly, easy, convenient user experience a mobile-native customer base expects today. MORE