Benedict Evans

Benedict Evans

VC at Andreessen Horowitz

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON September 14, 2015

Discussion

Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
Hi, I’m Benedict Evans. I’ve been trying to understand mobile and startups for 15 years in various ways, and 18 months ago I moved to San Francisco to do it for a16z. Ask me anything.
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@benedictevans now that you've been at a16z for a while, what has surprised you most about the way the partnership functions? How has your role there evolved over time and would you ever want to be an investing partner at a VC fund?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@hunterwalk When you go to a totally new job and new type of company you kind of expect to be surprised. You learn about the internal mechanics of the space (hence, conflict, board seats, how different rounds work) and so on, and its all new. For me it was all part of moving to SF, which comes with a much larger set of... surprises
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@benedictevans Would I be an investing partner? Maybe. It wouldn't be there since there's no path to partner (as I'm not a founder). But right now I'm busy trying to get completely on top of the current role.
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Hi, Benedict! You've quickly solidified yourself as an influential, data-driven voice in tech, specifically on mobile. Everyone talks about the influence and potential of Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and other U.S.-based companies but which relatively under-the-radar international startups would have the greatest potential to become an venerable unicorn and why?
Ouriel Ohayon
Ouriel Ohayon@ourielohayon · KZen, CEO / Co-founder isai (VC)
@benedictevans Hi Benedict (long time). How do you organize your day and in particular your access to information on a daily basis? What are the sources or tools your use most?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@ourielohayon I try to read everything all the time. Mostly twitter is my aggregator, but there are lots of other places to track
Ouriel Ohayon
Ouriel Ohayon@ourielohayon · KZen, CEO / Co-founder isai (VC)
@benedictevans what are you top 3 must follow twitter accounts?
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Stealing this question from Mazzeo: With the qualifier that you guys agree on many/most things, what's a prediction that Marc Andreessen and/or Chris Dixon and/or Ben Horowitz have for the future that you vehemently disagree with and why?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@eriktorenberg Venture is all about what might happen, not what will.
Paul Robert Cary
Paul Robert Cary@prcary · CEO, Findie | www.findie.me
@benedictevans Thanks for doing this. Are Netflix and Amazon gravitating towards replicating traditional film & TV studio models and thus setting themselves up for disruption? Who is going to capture the premium content mobile user, and how?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@paulrobertcary That's a blog post, not a question ;)
Paul Robert Cary
Paul Robert Cary@prcary · CEO, Findie | www.findie.me
@benedictevans Great! Can you write one this week and tag me please? 🙏
Jeff Needles
Jeff Needles@jsneedles · Data @ Houseparty & Maker of Things
@benedictevans Thanks for taking the time! What is the most fascinating trend you've seen come and go very rapidly? Do you think these kinds of things represent innovations before their time or simply driven by marketing/hype?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@jsneedles It's always interesting when cool things don't work. The way QR Codes are a really useful part of everyday life in east Asia and just die every time here is a great example. Maybe beacons will solve that, though.
@benedictevans What does a normal working day at a16z look like for you?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@jbykk driving down the 280, staring at traffic and swearing at the other drivers.
Michael Babich
Michael Babich@michaelbabich · Entrepreneur, hacker, and traveler.
@benedictevans Great time for emotional podcasting.
Abhinav Chhikara
Abhinav Chhikara@abnux · uisources.com
What are your thoughts on apps designed as chat bot based assistants (Pana, Luka.ai, Lark Health, Facebook M etc.)? Does the ubiquity of text messaging + personalisation of app experiences through intelligent chat bots excite you?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@abnux it's tough to have a domain narrow enough for the 'AI' to work but broad enough to be useful. And there's an uncanny valley. There will be a company that makes this work, though
Quang HOANG
Quang HOANG@qhoang09 · CEO @ PlatoHQ
@benedictevans Hi Benedict, what do you think of the "invisible apps" ? Are we seing signs of the next big thing after mobile applications : Magic, many bots on Slack, facebook investing in AI ... ?
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Here's a collection of a few dozen recently launched "invisible apps" for reference: http://www.producthunt.com/@rrho...
Abhinav Chhikara
Abhinav Chhikara@abnux · uisources.com
@rrhoover Would be interesting to see how 'invisible apps' or chat based apps play out with the next 1B people coming online, especially from developing countries where chat usage is off the charts.
Michael Cho
Michael Cho@michael_cho · Cofounder, YAM
@rrhoover awesome list! tks for sharing!
Chris Schroeder
Chris Schroeder@cmschroed · investor
Benedict: you have shared some of the most concise and provocative data I've seen on the worlds we are in, and thank you for this. I wondered in all that you've seen, what trends have surprised you most -- been most unobvious to you. Mobile is a place I know you've particularly focused on -- so there, or beyond?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@cmschroed It was unobvious to me that there as an opportunity to do something as discontinuous as the first iPhone (though I did immediately think it would change the world). But the industry moves so fast there are always things you didn't see coming. Generally you only understand things once they've already happened. You can see the big trends but it's the details that get you, and the details are where the money is.
Dorin Lukian
Dorin Lukian@dorinlukian · CEO, Happytrip.com
@benedictevans Can you name 3 most important things in a startup pitch? , also does it matter if the startup is in Eastern Europe
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@dorinlukian Venture is a local business. We have made investments outside the USA but they're the exception. The pitch has to say what you're building, why it's a good idea and why you're the people to do it.
Shane Leonard, CFA
Shane Leonard, CFA@shaneleonard121 · CEO @Stockflare
@benedictevans loved the post on "Search v Discovery" http://ben-evans.com/benedicteva... . Do you think "Discovery" is the main secret to @ProductHunt? What other attributes make it successful? Looking at their new "streams" books & games, do you think they can replicate the success there? Or are the communities there too different?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@shaneleonard121 absolutely. But there are lots of discovery models, just as in physical retail.
Shane Leonard, CFA
Shane Leonard, CFA@shaneleonard121 · CEO @Stockflare
@benedictevans sure and @rrhoover in his interview on LinkedIn points to the massive-expansion of tech products as being the reason he set up @ProductHunt. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/s... You highlight the inefficiency of the AppStores for discovery on mobile. Have you seen anyone who's doing "discovery" in the news arena well? What's the incentive to join one of these communities?
Mike Hince
Mike Hince@zer0mike · Freelance UI Designer Founder Howler.co
@benedictevans Hey! Do you approach stand out startups or wait for them to come to you? 👍
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@zer0mike Both - we try to see everything, but that's not possible, and we try to make sure that entrepreneurs will reach out to us. We're a service business - people have to want to work with us, whoever makes the first contact,
Michael Cho
Michael Cho@michael_cho · Cofounder, YAM
@benedictevans Is there any startup where you were like “what were they thinking!” when they first launched but subsequently become a true believer in their idea?
Jason Chan
Jason Chan@jbchan
@benedictevans Have there been any surprise startups that you regret not investing in?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@jbchan I've not been doing this long enough yet
Gaurav Dahake
Gaurav Dahake@gauravdahake · Founder, CEO Buyhatke
@benedictevans What are your thoughts on app only strategies by leading commerce players like flipkart in countries like India ?
Danielle Newnham
Danielle Newnham@daniellenewnham · Founder, The Junto Network. Author
Hi Benedict. You recently moved from UK to San Fran. What do you see as major differences between London and SV tech scenes? Any aspects you recommend one might learn from the other?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@daniellenewnham SF is the global cluster. There's lots of good stuff going on in London (/NYC/Boston/Berlin etc etc) but SF has more critical mass.
Paul Robert Cary
Paul Robert Cary@prcary · CEO, Findie | www.findie.me
@daniellenewnham Hi Danielle! A good example of a UK company that made the move is SwiftKey. Their blog is great: https://blog.swiftkey.com/
Erik S Wilson
Erik S Wilson@erikswilson
@benedictevans great to be able to hear from you! For a pre-revenue app startup, what is your best advice to acquiring seed or series A funding? Vcs? Angels? Private groups?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@erikswilson Angel/seed
Thê-Minh ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Thê-Minh ¯\_(ツ)_/¯@the_minh · Product Guy
Hi Benedict, First of all, thanks for doing this live chat. What is your analysis on Apple discontinuing the iPhone c line? At a16z, what major trends do you currently identify in start-ups? What are the geographical trends? Cheers, Thê-Minh
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@the_minh Apple has always discontinued the 3-year-old line. And it seems to think selling older models for less is the best way to address the mid-range, for now.
Rob Berrisford
Rob Berrisford@robberrisford · Co-founder @ EarnAway
@benedictevans Hi Benedict, if you had to put your kids college tuition into one publicly traded tech stock, what would it be? And why?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@robberrisford An index fund
jack rometty
jack rometty@rometty_ · student
what is the first app you open when you wake up? alarm clock apps don't count! :)
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@rometty_ newspapers
Owen Williams
Owen Williams@ow · Building re:Charged.
Hey Benedict! Thanks for doing this. Would love to hear more about your newsletter -- have been a subscriber for some time now and enjoy it every week! How did you get started? Did you do anything to grow it other than word of mouth? How do much time do you spend on it and why do you write it?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@ow I started it on a suggestion from a friend who was too busy with his job to see everything that was going on I told him about. I've done very little 'growth hacking' - just my blog and twitter. It takes about 2 hours on Sunday (this week's is delayed as I'm working on something else)
Daniel Díez
Daniel Díez@danicellero · Co-Founder & Business Developer @ Bit2Me
Hi @benedictevans, In which industry do you think the Blockchain could add more value? What´s your general impression about this technology?. Thanks for your time, Daniel
Michael Ahdoot
Michael Ahdoot@mikeyahdoot · Co-founder of Habit Nest
@benedictevans Hi Benedict! You rock for doing this. A lot of investors say they invest in the entrepreneurs themselves - I'm curious, do you ever look into the habits / routines of entrepreneurs? What things would really impress you?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@mikeyahdoot we invest in people who can build the product themselves and think about it every minute they're awake, and want to build big companies that can change the world.
Víctor Penela
Víctor Penela@vpenela · Product Manager @ AdRoll
Hey Benedict, how do you see the ecommerce world evolving into mobile? With most of the usage time spent on (a few) mobile apps, are 'building your own app' or 'build a better mobile web experience' the only options for most ecomm brands?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@vpenela I wrote a long blog post about this. You need to think about how the customer comes to you and wants to interact, rather than what you'd like to build and what you'd like them to do.
Michael Dempsey
Michael Dempsey@mhdempsey · Partner at Compound
@benedictevans If you had to focus on one other vertical/ecosystem/technology besides "mobile", what would it be? If you feel "mobile" encompasses everything, what specific niche part of it are you most bullish on?
Telma Neves
Telma Neves@telma_neves
@benedictevans - Hi Benedict, thanks for taking the time and for your many useful insights on your blog and podcasts. If you can, give us a glimpse of what your role at a16z is (in more detail) and what the role entails. In essence, what projects (that had or have your involvement in the past) make you get up in the morning?
Nicki Friis
Nicki Friis@nickifriisw · Entrepreneur. Former Partner @ Ideanote.
@benedictevans B2B SaaS company - Ideanote. .com is occupied by a domainshark. Do you recommend to change name or use .io/.co? Our target market is big corporations. We've existed for 1 year and have customers.
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@nickifriisw Not my special subject, sorry
James McBennett
James McBennett@mcbennett · Designer
@nickifriisw paul graham wrote a post on this topic. http://www.paulgraham.com/name.html
Nicki Friis
Nicki Friis@nickifriisw · Entrepreneur. Former Partner @ Ideanote.
@mcbennett Thanks James!!
Steven W
Steven W@mrwongsteven · Nice guys finish lunch.
@benedictevans - How can a startup position themselves to be found by VCs?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@mrwongsteven Build something great people like. When you have something to show, get an intro to some VCs/seed funds/angels
Erik S Wilson
Erik S Wilson@erikswilson
@benedictevans that makes sense. So if you are only cold connections to VCs, then what is one of the top ways to make contact and stand out or get noticed?
Schoneck Shoaf
Schoneck Shoaf@schoneck1
@benedictevans With Sacca trying out Sharktank do you see future VC's looking into alternative investment channels? Thank you for your time here.
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@schoneck not my area
Peter Bepler
Peter Bepler@pbepler
@benedictevans Love your blog, such a valuable source of insight and info. My question for you: With the explosion of messaging volume and apps over the last few years, do you see this becoming a pain point for consumers? I'm thinking of "email overload" as an example of what can happen when a tool/service becomes so popular and widespread that users start to find it difficult to manage it and as a result, the marginal return on utility starts to decline. Do you see this happening with messaging, potentially?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@pbepler There's always a pendulum (or helix) swinging back and forth between bundling and unbundling. I'm sure that will happen with messaging, but it's not clear how. Perhaps the OS itself becomes that aggregation layer, as is sort of happening now with notifications or watches
Peter Bepler
Peter Bepler@pbepler
@benedictevans Appreciate you taking the time to answer my question... thanks!
Paul Robert Cary
Paul Robert Cary@prcary · CEO, Findie | www.findie.me
@pbepler Good question - and @benedictevans that's a great visual of an oscillating helix. Google search is a good example of how you can keep the original UI simple but render the results more complex. Data is a boon but the more you get, the smarter you have to be in figuring out what's fundamental to satisfying user needs.
Lucas Loboda
Lucas Loboda@4th_seguleh · Developer, Inventor (Inventing Myself)
@benedictevans Hi Benedict I asked you similar question some time ago but I would like to do it again. Is a16z planning any expansion (local presence) in Europe? Your recent investment in TransferWise is a good promise for future! Berlin and London seem to be perfect new locations to conquer European Startups ecosystem.
Kartik
Kartik@ayyar · Entrepreneur and engineer.
@benedictevans What do you think Samsung should do differently to compete with Apple?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@ayyar Samsung is in a fundamentally different part of the value chain with different strategic assets. It's not positioned to match Apple's offer. And it has other problems
Amer Bin Breik
Amer Bin Breik@amerf1 · Startup
@benedictevans Dear Benedict, I am a big fan of your weekly newsletter. I just wanted to ask, with the smartphone penetration very high do you see a rise in (on-demand) services like, magic and service? What other key areas in the smartphone app market are trending in your opinion?
Hicham E.
Hicham E.@e_hicham
Hi Benedict. With most of the value having already moved out of Telcos, what do you think are the promising opportunities (if any) for Telecom Suppliers such as Ericsson and NSN (aside from providing infrastructure)?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
Moe Abbas
Moe Abbas@moeabbas1
@benedictevans What is your view on social media moving into niches?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@moeabbas1 we always move from bundled to unbundled
Tom Darlow
Tom Darlow@tdarlow · Designer — bringing products to life
@benedictevans a while back on Twitter you mentioned every new financial innovation ends up with corruption. Do you think peer-to-peer lending / investing is destined for the same future?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@tdarlow I think I said it tends to end in abuse and a bubble, which isn't quite the same thing. I'm sure there will be that in this too. It doesn't tell you anything about the validity of the form.
Adrian Salamunovic
Adrian Salamunovic@adrian_salamunovic
@benedictevans can you share you thoughts on "The internet of things" specifically around home automation - what's next? What gets you excited about this space?
Kaytlin Louton
Kaytlin Louton@kaytlinlouton · Operations Support Manager, iCracked
@benedictevans do you have any suggestions for nonprofits seeking funding? Would you recommend grants or private funding?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@kaytlinlouton private funders ultimately need to sell their investment for a profit. Are you creating a company that someone will buy? That can IPO?
Kaytlin Louton
Kaytlin Louton@kaytlinlouton · Operations Support Manager, iCracked
@benedictevans The product is an app that could be purchased, but obviously has goals outside of profits. I guess if I plan to make the app free I should shoot for a grant, if I plan to charge for the app then private funding is an option?
David Turner
David Turner@dturneresq · RSA Fellow
@benedictevans Without giving away any trade secrets, what do you think is the magic that drives ProductHunt and how can they make sure they keep it alive? How important is the Kitty in all this?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@dturneresq Ask Ryan!
David Turner
David Turner@dturneresq · RSA Fellow
@benedictevans I'd rather ask the kitty! I'm pretty sure the Kitty is the mastermind behind all this!!
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@dturneresq it's really all about the kitty. Without her, we're nothing. 😸
David Turner
David Turner@dturneresq · RSA Fellow
@rrhoover I knew it!!
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
HUGE Thanks to Benedict Evans for taking the time to chat with us today!
Encounter
Encounter@deleted-300145 · Dating Personal Assistant
@benedictevans Thanks for your time. Plenty of Fish was recently sold to the Match group for 575 million dollars cash, and there are 100-200 dating apps released every week. Where do you see dating apps going in the next 12-18 months in the VC world? Trending up or down? Investments in those companies increasing or decreasing?
Srirang
Srirang@srirangr
@benedictevans Hi Benedict, you are one of the very few people in the industry advocating against a possible bubble. I agree with most of the data-backed arguments of yours. But when can we really say we are in a bubble?
Chris Hollindale
Chris Hollindale@chris_hollindale
@benedictevans What do you miss most about living in the UK?
Mohsen Khalkhali
Mohsen Khalkhali@mossibat · Venture investor @ Iratel Ventures
@benedictevans This is a question I ask founders turned VCs. Why become an investor and not a (startup) founder again? What is your opinion on this?
Stephen
Stephen@hxins · CEO, LikeShare
Do you invest in Chinese startups?
Anoob Backer
Anoob Backer@bekz · Product Manager
Current industry focus is more towards to "mobile-phone" as opposed to considering the "mobility" aspects of a customer. History is repeating, like the way disconnected PC-apps came in & then retrofitted to connect each other. Aren't we missing a seamless experience - any trends you observe? If so what role does "mobile-phone" play in that?
AlistairJeffs
AlistairJeffs@alistairjeffs · Product Maker
@benedictevans if mobile is the sun, how will it slot in with the new multi-platform Apple TV?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@alistairjeffs Dongles have UX challenges
Paul Robert Cary
Paul Robert Cary@prcary · CEO, Findie | www.findie.me
@alistairjeffs I can more easily see a scenario where you choose your entertainment on your phone and send it to your TV via wifi. IMO, dongles and boxes are indeed UX challenges and superfluous intermediary tech and will be made obsolete by phone-wifi-TV direct.
Anoob Backer
Anoob Backer@bekz · Product Manager
@benedictevans : There is an app for everything rather most of the things. Compared to PC-apps these apps do so little & flurry of them needs to be installed to achieve something meaning-full. Where do think this app marketplace is heading? When is an app really required?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@bekz an app that calculates your car loan can be a much better UX for a consumer who needs that than a copy of Excel. What matter are problems and solutions.
Anton Troynikov
Anton Troynikov@atroyn · http://troynikov.io
@benedictevans software is unquestionably eating the world. In fact, the physical world seems to be next - where do you see physical technologies like say, manufacturing automation and self driving cars, in relation to the mobile web?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@atroyn I've written some long blog posts about that. Not a simple subject
Anoob Backer
Anoob Backer@bekz · Product Manager
@benedictevans : What are the ways you improvise the critical/deep thinking about a new problem like some of the routines or techniques?
GD Singh
GD Singh@gdsingh
@benedictevans Hi Benedict! - With the smartphone becoming the center of everyone's lives and slowly integrating everyday actions as layers within the stack, where do you see payments headed? We already see them integrated into devices as services, how do you see payment companies (banks, networks) competing in the future if their services are becoming commoditized?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@gdsingh changing the channel your customers use to interact with you and buy from you generally seems to be disruptive, yes. Transferwise is only one example: startups will unbundle more and more services or find new ways to provide them
Bakz T. Future
Bakz T. Future@bakztfuture · Founder, AtSign.co
Hey Benedict, What are your thoughts on Angellist and the JOBS act - particularly around crowd funding for equity? How do you think this will impact the industry and venture funding? Thanks again for doing the AMA, wishing you well! -- bakz Http://www.StartupTimelines.org
David Pakman
David Pakman@pakman · Partner, Venrock
@benedictevans What is the most surprising thing you have observed about tech and the companies you follow?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@pakman I struggle to answer that. Some things make me go 'wow' with surprise (Apple buying Beats) or product (Magic Leap and others), but everything always changes so much that I'm sort of in a permanent state of surprise. And joining VC, I *learned* a whole bunch about how it works, but I'd not really call that surprising, just new.
Sushant Chavan
Sushant Chavan@csushant · Team Leader, Technology, Mobiefit
Hi @benedictevans, How is a16z addressing the diversity issue in startups? Are there any steps being taken to increase representation of marginalized communities?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@csushant We are spending a lot of time on this, yes. Bu that's not my area of expertise
Kate
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
@benedictevans How has moving to San Francisco changed/influenced your life in terms of lifestyle and the people you surround yourself with?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@katesegrin My commute is a 45 minute drive each way instead of walking to work, and I'm surrounded by Americans.
Danny Denhard
Danny Denhard@dannydenhard · Founder & CEO of Denhard Media
Hi @benedictevans do you feel there is potential for a third mobile OS to actually challenge iOS and Android and if so where do you think the challenger might come from? Thanks Ben
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@dannydenhard Not in this cycle. The future of Android and Chrome is pretty open though.
Danny Denhard
Danny Denhard@dannydenhard · Founder & CEO of Denhard Media
@benedictevans Thanks Benedict, i'm 100% behind your thoughts of the future of Android / Chrome and where everything fits together with Google's mobile. It will be interesting to see if Google continue to push "web" over apps and the importance this will play for the ecosystem
Matthias Prohl
Matthias Prohl@ma_promat
@benedictevans comparing your strategy role at orange and a16z what is the biggest lie corporations, VCs and start ups tell to themselves?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@ma_promat we can do that too.
Sachin Shah
Sachin Shah@sachinmshah · Co-Founder
Hi @benedictevans how do you see A16z investing in digital population health management?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@sachinmshah If we meet the right entrepreneur with the right idea
Michael Cho
Michael Cho@michael_cho · Cofounder, YAM
@benedictevans Quoting Peter Thiel: “Tell us something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on.”
Dundon
Dundon@teddundon · Valuation consultant - San Francisco
Would you say the current rates being paid for mobile ad inventory are at a premium/discount to a long-term steady state (when mobile is the sun)? Is this something only time will tell?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@teddundon far too early to tell
Brian Shultz
Brian Shultz@brianlshultz
@benedictevans Do you think the introduction of 5G will have a significant impact on big telecom/internet providers (i.e. Comcast, Timewarner, etc)? If so, how do you think they will respond?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@brianlshultz no (and those aren't telecoms companies)
emson
emson@emson · Building software at atomic14.com
@benedictevans do you think Telcos are facing "the innovators dilemma" from low power networks like Sigfox? Or is there another technology they should be wary of. Thanks and keep up the good work. Ben Emson
Paolo Perazzo
Paolo Perazzo@sivola · Building products, enterprise & consumer
@benedictevans Hi Benedict, thanks for the time here and your weekly newsletter - very useful and great curation. You are big on messaging as a platform. Do you think there is space for a new messaging app in the mind of consumers (I do, with caveat) or will one of current players will evolve and win that race? Is A16 looking to make new investments in this area?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@sivola the messaging wars are far from over - only the first wave is.
Which role do you think will Stripe play in the future of payments? How big do you think is Stripe going to be? + Why didn't a16z follow-up it's investment in Stripe?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@jbykk Stripe makes something hard look easy
Conor O'Phelan
Conor O'Phelan@conorop · Co-Founder, Dojour
@benedictevans - what is your advice for startups from the Midwest (outside of Chicago) attracting or connecting with SV or Bay Area VCs?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@conorop probably? move. lots of reasons why it's much easier to build a great company in the cluster. But it depends on the company.
Matthew Willis
Matthew Willis@mattsappstv · PM
@benedictevans What is the most striking change you've seen in entertainment consumption habits (video/apps/games) on mobile?
JAYANTH NANJAPPA
JAYANTH NANJAPPA@jaiz30 · Research, 90-10 Financials
@benedictevans Yo... Greetings.... Do u seed fund Indian start ups & if yes... How does one pitch you guys..... Namaste Regards
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
Anoob Backer
Anoob Backer@bekz · Product Manager
@benedictevans What are your thoughts around mobile improving lives of poor & rich? Like the internet has done with knowledge.
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@bekz it has already had a huge impact
Shaun Trennery
Shaun Trennery@shauntrennery · Founder X&Go
I see messaging as the ultimate remote control. Buttons that become available based on our context. The missing puzzle piece is a platform that aggregates the world's APIs and enables them to be executable in a chat thread. What are your thoughts on the best way to create this repository of "buttons"?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@shauntrennery start with a huge user base. Very hard to do that from zero when it's against the interests of most of the existing participants
Abhinav Chhikara
Abhinav Chhikara@abnux · uisources.com
@shauntrennery Interesting viewpoint. Something that comes to my mind is Yo App (buttons on a screen that are hooked up to APIs that you trigger with a yo) and Telegram's bot platform (APIs with inputs through a chatbot interface). While I'm not sure about how Yo is doing, Telegram could definitely have the huge user base @benedictevans talks about (it's currently at 10bn messages a day)
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
Thanks for doing this @benedictevans! =) I really enjoy your tweets, newsletter, and your guest appearances on the a16z podcast. If you had to recommend several people to follow on twitter, or newsletters to subscribe, or podcasts to listen to, that you personally find interesting (whether related to tech news or not) what would you recommend? Thanks!
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@alexcartaz too many to list
Alex Carter
Alex Carter@alexcartaz · Operations @ 60dB. Ex-PH Podcasts 😻
@benedictevans doesn't have to be comprehensive =)
Cynthia Siantar
Cynthia Siantar@shejiaxin · Co-Founder, Call Levels
Hi Benedict! Will a16z be looking to invest in more Asian startups? What's the best way for Asian startups to reach out to the team based in US?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@shejiaxin probably not. Venture is mostly a local business
salles
salles@sallespro
please share your thoughts on Internet of Things platforms
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@sallespro I wrote a long blog post about this.
Thies Grüning
Thies Grüning@thiesgruening
Hi @benedictevans How do you see the potential of mobile apps that turn media (photos & videos) created with smartphones into tangible products (photos into postcards, photobooks etc)?
Adrian Salamunovic
Adrian Salamunovic@adrian_salamunovic
@thiesgruening this is not something very new. Postagram and companies like CanvasPop (i'm a co-founder) as well as Printful, etc. have been at this a long time. It's a huge market but the problem is margins are not anywhere as high as pure digital plays.
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@thiesgruening People like things. The challenge is all the boring stuff like gross margin and customer acquisition. Out investment Teespring is doing pretty well here.
Thies Grüning
Thies Grüning@thiesgruening
@king_of_canvas I'm well aware of that, still wanted to take the chance and hear ben's opinion on it.
GG
GG@ggonweb · Connecting my thoughts ...
Is Television a dying industry? If desktops market moves into ipadpro like device, what could Television industry morph into? or is there data/trend to show that families would buy small screens for each family member instead of family television?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@ggonweb The shows that people like will be fine. It's the bundling and aggregation that will change, and the content that got watched only because of those old models.
George H.
George H.@gthartley · Co-Founder, SmartrMail and Bluethumb
@benedictevans Hi Benedict, long time reader (of your newsletter) first time poster. What do you make of the updated AppleTV, and how big an impact do you think it will have?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@gthartley It's a refresh. And the commercial model for paying for TV is unchanged. Apple made the best streaming box, not really an entirely new device. That said, I don't own a TV, so I'm not the best sample.
Murdo Connochie
Murdo Connochie@murdo_ · Tech Consultant, KPMG
@benedictevans First small question, what do you define your role as? And what advice would you give someone starting in the tech industry looking to become an analyst for a VC firm?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@murdo_ I try to work out what's going on. start with the experience a VC firm wants, I think.
Marc
Marc@marceglon · Hackerpreneur Mag & Letterlist.com
As somebody with transatlantic insights, do you see any fundamental differences in entrepreneurs and markets between Europe and US? Does it even matter?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@marceglon The US is a single huge market. That shapes everything else.
Paul Tomkinson
Paul Tomkinson@paultomkinson · Founder, Textras
@Benedictevans Hi Benedict. Really enjoy your insights. Do you think Uber's temporary blocking by WeChat is a sign of integration partnerships, and/or future problems worldwide?
Bernard O'bien
Bernard O'bien@bernard_o_bien
@benedictevans Thanks for taking out time. Are you looking at investing in Africa given the high volume of mobile users and start up' s across the continent. What will make the right mix for an investment considerations from a16z?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@ben_java Venture is almost always a local business.
Shane Webster
Shane Webster@shaneynice
@benedictevans I want to ask this again because you didn't really answer it. What is a typical day like for you? How is it organized? How much time do you spend doing email? reading? in meetings? etc... And what do you wish you had more time for? Many thanks for doing this AMA! -Shane.
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@shaneynice I spend maybe a third of my time in meetings. Otherwise, I don't track it.
TashaChoi
TashaChoi@tashachoi · CEO, Tackl
@benedictevans Hi Benedict, you mentioned that "When you have something to show, get an intro to some VCs/seed funds/angels". What do you exactly mean by "something to show"? Revenue, paying customers, initial traction, or MVP?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@tashachoi you need different things at different stages
Jeff Umbro
Jeff Umbro@jeffumbro · CEO of The podglomerate
What do you think your newsletter has achieved for you in a business sense? Obviously it's a way into the inboxes of thousands every week, but are there any other pros that may not be easily visible?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@jeffumbro It aggregates my way of looking at the world.
Aleksandar Bibovski
Aleksandar Bibovski@biba219 · Co-Founder at Infinity
@benedictevans How do you help founders in their "hard times" and what is the general advice you give to them?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@biba219 Ben Horowitz has said far more about this than I can
orliesaurus
orliesaurus@orliesaurus · Lasers handler
@benedictevans - last time I saw you speak it was in a small office in White Bear Yard in London, now you moved to the U.S. you must have seen a lot of new cool things - if you could start your career all over with the knowledge you have today, what would you become?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@orliesaurus The job I had when I started my career is much less appealing now, and the job I have didn't really exist, so it's hard to answer that ;)
orliesaurus
orliesaurus@orliesaurus · Lasers handler
@benedictevans I'll take that as a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Nicholas Sheriff
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Medic Ventures
made a mistake woops
STEFAN ROSCA
STEFAN ROSCA@stefanr0sca
@benedictevans What is the future of OS? how would the ideal web enabled OS look like? i often listen to the a16z podcasts. I do appreciate your work!
Jason Chan
Jason Chan@jbchan
Do you think it's possible that someone will make a premium version of Android + hardware that can realistically compete with iOS and iPhone?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@jbchan possible but very hard. Arguably, Android has too many of the wrong assumptions for that.
Will Iam
Will Iam@acan8tve
@benedictevans First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to make yourself available for questions. What is it that motivates you every morning when you get up? Also, why did you ultimately decide to enter the Venture Capital world and why in the locale that you did and not in some other city?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@acan8tve Because SF is the global cluster for technology and venture.
Vikram
Vikram@j4uvikram · Associate, Nirvana
Hi Benedict, I have been a big fan of "Mobile is easting the world", however disruption of web 1.0 by Mobile is an ongoing phenomenon. In your mind if I fast forward 5 years, what do you think will be the disruptors at play?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@j4uvikram Not easy to predict such changes in advance. New display tech seems like the tool. Hence, Oculus, Magic Leap and others.
Vikram
Vikram@j4uvikram · Associate, Nirvana
@benedictevans Thanks for the reverts Benedict. One last thing, any views on e-commerce moving completely to mobile, where companies are taking the bold decisions to shut their commerce websites.
Vikram
Vikram@j4uvikram · Associate, Nirvana
In your mind, in the mobile world, beyond the standard metrics such as DAU,MAU, DAU/MAU, screens/session etc. are there stages in the life of a company where the company should worry about one over other?
Benedict Evans
Benedict Evans@benedictevans · a16z
@j4uvikram You have to work out what the key metrics are that show what you're trying to achieve. It can be very different for different companies. Certainly not always raw active users.
jason
jason@amznjsn · Product marketing
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Justin Kwong
Justin Kwong@justinckwong · Founder @ ISM (ism-sf.com)
Do you think that in 5-10 years we'll see global companies come out of emerging markets that will also take over the U.S. market? If so, in what verticals do you think this is possible?
Hi Benedict, wondering if there's anything that you happened to fundamentally change your opinion about during last year? If anything at all...
Nicholas Sheriff
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Medic Ventures
@benedictevans Hi Benedict you've been quite outspoken regarding the shift to mobile photography which has further killed off DSLR cameras and that entire market has went through an entire shift. With Cannon now making cameras with an ISO range of 4.5 million and Sony working on similar advancements ( they power the image sensor in the iPhone ) and a new company like Lytro manufacturing a light field camera and raising $50 million. Do you believe many companies are currently better on the wrong thing...on the wrong future almost fighting it without adding real value to users? All of the data points to a mobile focused future around photography why do you think others are going against this? Btw last question would be ha given your affinity for photography and tech would love your thoughts on our app Audrey ( setting a new standard in mobile photography )
Blaze Arizanov
Blaze Arizanov@ba_blaze · Chief Marketing Officer
What is the future of mobile apps? Death, they say.. Why would they say that?
Adam Fallon
Adam Fallon@afallon02 · software engineer
@benedictevans Hey Ben. Hailing from the UK do you think that the scene there has any particularly interesting sectors, excluding FinTech?
Ekaterina Klink
Ekaterina Klink@ekaterinaklink · Growth & International Bizdev
Hey @benedictevans ! We're building a platform for data exchange on Emerging Markets (Bloomberg analog with more user-generated data on emerging markets). Where do you see the main opportunities and challenges in this market?
Erik Larsson
Erik Larsson@eriklarsson · Co-founder, Juntoo
Hi Ben, what science fiction writers do you enjoy reading? (If any)
Kartik
Kartik@ayyar · Entrepreneur and engineer.
Have you every used an Android device as a daily driver phone?
keyul
keyul@keyul · Maker of Quick Code & Bot Stash
which mobile application will be next disruption (like snapchat, uber,whatsapp) in your view?
Taufiq Husain
Taufiq Husain@taufiqhusainca · Managing Director at Polar Hills.
Hey Ben, I love your data visualizations! I have 2 questions for you. First question: Where do you get all these data to make graphs & charts? Is it some universal repository or do you actually find them one by one? Second question: What do you use to create these charts? Excel? Google Sheets? Something else? Thanks!
Jonathan Korn
Jonathan Korn@jkkorn · Product Owner @ PlayKids
@benedictevans Why is it that mcommerce has centered mostly in selling services as opposed to physical goods? What do you think is the missing link?
Juan Pablo Morales
Juan Pablo Morales@juanpamf · CPO
@benedictevans Growing economies have cellular data infrastructure but still mobile connectivity's market penetration is low. Seeing as fast as data requirements are exploding (richer app experiences, IoT) - and so do CAPEX expenses -do you think there might be some kind of 'connectivity leapfrogging' as it happened for hardware (PC-Mobile)?
;D
;D@semicolon_d · ;D
What do you see as the biggest disruption in the financial (investment) technology space?
JULIO QUINTANILLA
JULIO QUINTANILLA@julsquintanilla · Marketing Strategist & Developer
@benedictevans you said that you´re trying to read everything all the time ( i think a lot of people around here feel the same, technology moves very fast), i would like to know what are the sources or tools you use most?
Piyush Makhija
Piyush Makhija@makhija_piyush
Hi Benedict, do you think limited storage space on mobile devices is one of the many reasons why we are seeing services bundling in a single app (Wechat, Kik) ?