When Michael Ovitz founded the Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), he turned a number of the entertainment industry’s well-entrenched traditions on their head. The origin story of a16z (not coincidentally!) is not that dissimilar. So in this episode of the a16z Podcast, Ovitz and a16z co-founder Ben Horowitz talk with Hanne Tidnam about Ovitz’ just-released book, Who is Michael Ovitz? — and about how CAA transformed the power equation in Hollywood.
The conversation covers everything from the history of the entertainment business — the days of vaudeville and the Jack Warners and William Foxes and Jurassic Parks — to what strategies guided the differentiation of the new kids on the block. There’s lessons for other founders here, too, about culture, negotiation, and more.