a16z Podcast Notes

Fri, 26 Oct 2018

A continually updated set of notes on episodes of the a16z podcast. I don’t listen to all the episodes, and when I do I don’t always make notes, but when I do I publish them here.

Seeing into the future


  • The act of planning by predicting different things that could happen and theorizing on what you might do is called simulation planning.
  • When simulation planning, it’s best to use three prompts:

    1. A future where things get better
    2. A future where things get worse
    3. A future where things get weird.
  • They talk about the shared pool of knowledge in meetings (as mentioned in the book Conflict). It can be difficult to get people to contribute to the pool of knowledge. To break through this barrier, one trick is to simply assign people roles. “Mary is the expert on x, John is the expert on y” and then get them to represent their role.

Tesla and the nature of disruption


Really great breakdown of how to determine if a company or change is disruptive or merely incremental. They break down Tesla to understand whether it has a fundamental advantage or not.

I tweeted the main points.

The Basics of Growth: Engagement and Retention


How to measure engagement and retention in apps. Including metrics like DAU/MAU, the “smile”, cohort analysis and others. Interesting discussion on how metrics can prove that there are network effects in your business.

David Tuite

Platform Product Manager at Workday. Ex. JavaScript and Ruby developer