a16z Podcast

The Factory of the Future with Chris Power

Steph Smith and Chris Power

Posted November 17, 2022

Today, we have an episode with Chris Power, the founder and CEO of Hadrian. Hadrian is a company trying to build the most efficient factories on the planet.

In this conversation, we’ll introduce the audience to advanced manufacturing, and expose them to the reality that it’s a remnant of the first space race. We also cover the challenge of manufacturing, the importance of visibility in complex systems, the killer app for space, how simplifying the world of atoms can be done through bits – and ultimately, what kind of experimentation that may unlock.

Show Notes

0:00 – Introduction

1:28 – What is advanced manufacturing?

4:18 – When a hatch is jammed at the ISS

6:11 – What’s happened since Space Race 1?

8:56 – A retiring workforce

13:20 – What is at stake?

21:03 – Onshoring manufacturing

24:06 – Is capital enough?

24:43 – Fixing the problem with technology

28:55 – Convincing the old guard

31:20 – Building a new culture

34:45 – Experimenting with hardware

37:24 – The value of observability

41:47 – The cost of timeliness

46:09 – Hadrian’s key risks

49:22 – Why Hadrian pivoted

52:22 – What talent is needed

57:31 – Why focus on space first?

1:03:38 – The killer app of space

1:10:36 – Who inspires Chris?