Podcast: Ways to think about cars

This is a discussion of the issues I wrote about in this post: ways to think about cars. 

"After the smartphone, what business has the global scale in terms of people and profits that make it attractive for tech companies to turn their attention and capital towards? The answer, according to a16z’s Benedict Evans, is the car business. Yes, Benedict is our mobile expert, and sure cars are mobile, but what does your iPhone have to do with your ride? More than you might expect.

Through his mobile-tinted lens, Evans offers his vision of the future of cars, and perhaps the future of today’s biggest technology companies. Who will build these cars, who will own them, and who (or what) will do the driving in this segment of the a16z Podcast."

Podcast: Slack, messaging and institutional memory

You've heard the story: Slack began as a game. But almost exactly 1 year ago today, the internal tool the team built for its own use became a team communication app that anyone (and especially enterprises) can use -- and is now one of the fastest growing ones at that.

It seems like collaboration is "something software should be helping us with” Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield observes, yet it typically isn't. So what can an app like Slack tell us about how we work today, and how the nature of work will change (fewer meetings? less emails)?

Butterfield is joined in this edition of the a16z podcast by a16z board partner Steven Sinofsky and a16z's Benedict Evans. The trio examines the origins of messaging and task management tools (many of which Sinofsky worked on at Microsoft) -- and how the advent of cloud-based services and mobile in particular have changed the requirements for modern workplace tools and information management.

Podcast: Apple day

NFC (near field communication) technology has been around for about a decade, and with the exception of transit cards mostly outside the United States it’s gone nowhere. Now Apple has debuted Apple Pay. Has Apple filled in the gaps in terms of user experience, sheer number of devices, and retail footprint to finally make NFC work? In six months will we all be swiping our phones at every coffee joint and grocery store? Once Apple has virtualized your credit cards, what comes next? Benedict Evans is joined by a16z’s Frank Chen and Zal Bilimoria to discuss the latest from Cupertino’s finest around payments, the long-awaited Apple Watch, and a bigger (and biggest) iPhone.

Podcast: Amazon

Profitless Ponzi scheme, or the greatest company in the world led by an absolute genius? Amazon is a polarizing company. Quarter after quarter, as it grows ever larger gobbling up categories and adding businesses, Amazon manages to produce exactly no profit. It’s as if its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos engineered it that way. He has, and Bezos will continue on the same profitless path, says Benedict Evans in conversation with Ben Horowitz in this segment of the a16z podcast. Benedict and Ben (yeah, we know, two Bens) examine the company Bezos has constructed, and why, for Bezos at least as opposed to nervous investors, it works so well. How one of the world's great founders gets away with building a massive public company his way. 

See also my blog post

Podcast: bundling and unbundling

A new podcast with Steven Sinofsky on bundling and unbundling in software, mobile and China

Jim Barksdale in the run-up to the Netscape IPO told potential investors that you can make money in software in two ways: bundling and unbundling. Benedict Evans and Steven Sinofsky revisit that thesis in the context of a mobile app world -- how Facebook for example, is unbundling itself, while at the same time Baidu is bundling everything together as fast as it can. How and why Barksdale's thesis is very much alive and well in the mobile world. All that, and the proper use of "fissiparousness" in a sentence.