Notes: Technology That Matters (a16z Podcast) by Roberto Medri

Cliché: Everyone in Silicon Valley is spending time on trivial things.

Objections:

  1. 'Trivial' things are not actually trivial like social networking served as building blocks for more 'serious' things, e.g. social networks helped Lyft. E.g. Bitcoin seemed fluffy, now GS says it'll save consumers $2B.
  2. Easier to start trivial things because no regulatory barriers.
  3. Media bias: trivial businesses easier to write about/sit better with a generalist audience vs., say, B2B reporting. 22-year-old building Snapchat gets more coverage than 22-year-old building Box. E.g. Instagram vs Nicira (same exit, 100:1 coverage). Ok, but media coverage != what's going on in SV. Wrong to extrapolate. 70% VC deployes in enterprise.

Observations:

  1. Distinction between consumer and enterprise going away as consumers participate actively, e.g. developers building things for themselves.
  2. Young people are unserious, so young founders put a 'silly' spin on what they build.
  3. Active media (consumed with intent to reproduce/perform) will be more and more important vs entertainment media.
  4. If anything, SV is becoming more serious, with more gravitas: Tesla, UberX, hospitality, finance, healthcare, genome, 3D printing now all have serious SV players.
  5. Standing on the shoulders of giants: easier than ever to get millions of users with very little headcount and money (Whatsapp, Imgur). Mobile components repurposed (e.g. $100 satellites, Tesla).
  6. Size of industry increased horizontally with mobile devices (1.25B computers, 3B+ mobile devices), now increasing in number of verticals.
  7. Finding pain points that, when solved, are the killer app to get people on a platform, then zero marginal cost to deploy more stuff. E.g. Bitcoin.