a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: Beyond Zero-Sum Thinking in the Game of Tech… and Life

Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz, and Steven Johnson

Posted July 6, 2018

The rise of zero-sum thinking — which has come snapping back recently — slows and even halts progress, observes Marc Andreessen. Because you’re then dividing up a smaller piece, adds Ben Horowitz, instead of growing the pie altogether. This is true not just in economics, politics, and tech, but also in business relationships (and life), too.

And speaking of such relationships, how does the partnership between Ben and Marc work, more than two decades later, how has it changed through different types of organizations — and is there anything startup co-founders (and other colleagues) can take away from it? Where do they find the creative inspiration, information, and influences for new ideas? And then, more broadly, how do they think about tech change… including jobs, automation, AI in general?

This episode of the a16z Podcast covers these questions and much more. It’s based on a fireside chat that took place at our annual a16z Summit event in November 2017 (which brings together large companies, finance investors, academics, and startups to talk all things innovation), and is moderated by author Steven B. Johnson — who has written numerous magazine articles, 11 books so far (including Where Good Ideas Come From), and also hosted the PBS series “How We Got to Now”. Incidentally, those are the de facto themes for this conversation, which arcs from past to present to future — taking us from blinking cursors to dashboards to screens and beyond.