a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: Infrastructure… is Everything

Martin Casado, Michael Copeland, and Sonal Chokshi

Posted February 25, 2016

Infrastructure. It powers everything from cities to computing, yet is sometimes considered “boring” because it is so invisible to so many of us. But as software continues to eat the world, infrastructure has come to the forefront. And some of the most exciting technology innovations are now happening at the infrastructure level: It’s changing everything, observes a16z’s newest general partner Martin Casado — from how new tech is created to how new tech is sold.

Casado — one of the pioneers of “software-defined networking” — joins this episode of the a16z Podcast with Sonal Chokshi and Michael Copeland to share his journey from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to Stanford to Nicira Networks to VMware to a16z. He also discusses the tradeoffs in theoretical v. applied computer “science”, including lessons learned as a PhD and technologist who then had to run a startup through hard times.

Finally, Casado shares what he thinks are the key vectors and trends in networking, what’s coming next, how the “as-a-service”(ification) of infrastructure is creating entirely new patterns of buying tech, and how selling to developers is so different (hint: open source is a lot more important than you might think!).