In this lively conversation — from our recent a16z Tech Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. — Axios’ Dan Primack interviews a16z co-founder Marc Andreessen about the two major narratives dominating discussions about the tech industry right now: the industry is building stupid stuff; and tech is “evil” (or at least has an outsized impact, is destroying jobs).
Part of the problem, Andreessen argues, is that we don’t have enough technological innovation: With higher productivity growth, we’d have higher economic growth and more opportunity. But without enough opportunity, we’re all at risk on all sides of the ideological spectrum. And actually, both the “tech is stupid” and “tech is evil” narratives are true… in different sectors [hint: those afflicted by Baumol’s cost disease]. So what then are the roles for policymakers and and entrepreneurs in addressing these issues, including jobs?
Ultimately, Andreessen argues, success in Silicon Valley isn’t really about good idea vs. bad idea at all … and it’s all eventually political. (Bonus: why Andreessen stopped tweeting!)