Fashion, function or just a fad? Wearable technology is getting huge amounts of attention from companies of every size and stripe. Consumers are slapping on fitness bands, experimenting with smart watches and trying on jewelry that syncs with their smart phones. Christina Mercando, CEO and co-founder of Ringly, which fits in the fashion/jewelry segment of wearables, joins a16z’s Chris Dixon in a discussion about this emerging technology segment. What is working today, and where things are headed in wearables.
Jim Barksdale in the run-up to the Netscape IPO told potential investors that you can make money in software in two ways: bundling and unbundling. Benedict Evans and Steven Sinofsky revisit that thesis in the context of a mobile app world — how Facebook for example, is unbundling itself, while at the same time Baidu is bundling everything together as fast as it can. How and why Barksdale’s thesis is very much alive and well in the mobile world. All that, and the proper use of “fissiparousness” in a sentence.
Open source software has permeated practically every nook of the software world. The biggest companies and largest-scale systems all lean heavily on open source code. Yet, with the exception of Red Hat, no one has built a great business on top of open source software. That’s because what companies should be selling isn’t necessarily the software, or even support, says a16z’s Peter Levine, but a service that leverages open source. One example of such a service is DigitalOcean, which has built a cloud environment tailored to the needs of developers. DigitalOcean CEO and cofcounder Ben Uretsky joins Levine from his New York City HQ for a discussion about open source-as-a-service, how companies of all sizes should think about leveraging open source, and whether we’ll start to see a slew of specialized clouds geared toward different verticals.
a16z’s Peter Levine goes deeper into the changing nature of the data center with Yoram Novick, CEO of Maxta, and Florian Leibert, CEO of Mesosphere. Does ARM architecture, the foundation of the chips in practically every mobile phone, have what it takes to displace X86 processors in the data center? Is the private cloud — effectively a company operating its own data center — dead, or will a hybrid public/private cloud model dominate? Given all the upheaval in the data center how do startups fit into the equation, and how are they competing today with legacy technologies and companies?
What if we could tap into our government with the same speed and ease as our smartphones and search? Can technology make a difference in how government operates, and how we citizens interact with it? Two-time Mountain View Mayor Mike Kasperzak, OpenGov CEO Zac Bookman, and a16z’s Tom Rikert discuss government’s historically uneasy relationship with technology, how a growing trend in government transparency is being powered by software, and why you should be glad your local city council takes its sweet time to pass a budget.
The Google I/O keynote was epic in at least one respect, length. For three hours Google laid out the near horizon for all things Google. This included the next version of Android; a new platform for connected watches; Google for your car; yet another Google TV; and a new health platform. Andreessen Horowitz’s Benedict Evans plowed through it all, including what was noticeably absent: Google+ and Google Glass. What the future looks like as the lines between mobile apps and web pages blur, and why Google is the new Microsoft — in the best possible way.