It used to be the case for large, global organizations that innovation would simply arrive — brought every year or every quarter by the technology vendors they did business with. That slow moving, upgrade-cycle cadence no longer exists, says Chris Curran, chief technologist at PwC. And the companies that benefited from it, what Curran calls “slow tech” companies, need to learn from what has become a “fast-tech” world — the tech environment of devops, open source, big data and mobile. But how to pull it off? MORE
Mention Patrick Byrne, the founder and CEO of Overstock.com, and you’ll elicit a strong opinion. In 2004, one hedge fund manager labeled Byrne the most hated man on Wall Street — a label he wears proudly. Byrne joins this segment of the a16z Podcast to discuss the state of online retail, value investing in tech, and why he believes Bitcoin and the crypto revolution is bigger than the Internet … MORE
There’s a debate that rages in the corridors of VCs, startups, and other intense entrepreneurial centers, which is: Can you have it all? Aren’t the best CEOs and founders so ambitious, so driven, that they must sacrifice everything to make it work? We have seen couples struggle with this on a personal level, and there is almost always an imbalance that leads to deep sacrifices on one front or the other … MORE
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