a16z Podcast

Kickstarting Network Effects

Andrew Chen, Alexis Ohanian, Paul Davison, and Das Rush

Posted December 6, 2021

Network effects can be found powering almost every major technology company, from messaging apps and workplace collaboration tools, like Slack and Zoom, to marketplaces, like Airbnb and Instacart to even the internet itself. In this podcast, we look at the role of network effects creator-driven social platforms, with Alexis Ohanian, cofounder from Reddit, Paul Davison, cofounder from Clubhouse, and a16z general partner Andrew Chen, whose new book, “The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects” comes out this week (see coldstart.com for more). We cover: how do you cold start and get your first creators? How does your relationship to creators change as you scale? And how is web3 changing the incentives and dynamics around network effects?

Show Notes

What are network effects? [1:32]

How do you cold start and get your first users? [2:33]

Atomic networks and why minimum viable community is more important than minimum viable product [6:36]

How do you curate your network and set norms? [8:42]

Faking users: good idea, bad idea? [13:13]

What is flintstoning? [14:26]

How does the relationship to creators change as you scale? [17:07]

Building for the professional creator class [22:52]

How is web3 changing incentives? [25:12]