It's "Marketplaces Week" for us at a16z, thanks to our consumer team releasing a new index of the next industry-defining marketplaces, the . But what happens as such marketplaces and other platforms evolve over time, as do their users? This episode is a rerun of a popular conversation from a couple years ago -- featuring general partners Andrew Chen and Jeff Jordan (in conversation with Sonal Chokshi) -- on what comes after user acquisition: retention. It's all about engagement. So what are the key metrics? And if different kinds of users join a platform over time -- what does that mean for engagement, and where do cohort analyses come in?
Tough Love, Global Diplomacy, and Lessons on Leadership
Susan shares how she learned to leverage the characteristics of her personality early in her career as assistant secretary of state [2:05] One of the important conversations Susan had with a mentor that changed the trajectory of her career [4:50] Her parent’s commitment to education, their personal backgrounds, and the legacies they created [8:10] The result of instilling self-belief into children and mastering “psychological jiu jitsu” [10:22] What the early lessons of family diplomacy taught her [14:00] The importance of strategic compartmentalization [16:48] How to approach crisis during high stakes situations [18:29] How to practice compassionate leadership while maintaining effectiveness [20:10] Hacking the concept of “work-life balance” [21:10] The required characteristics of powerful leaders [28:14] The hard things about leadership and the idea of being liked [31:20] The “middle finger story”/the time Susan stood up for herself in an important meeting [33:23] Susan talks about China’s intelligence collection in the US [39:45] A call for unity between the private, public, and academic sectors [42:54]
Building the First CAR T Company
with @OzAzamTmunity1, @JorgeCondeBio, and @omnivorousread CAR T therapy, the groundbreaking new medicines that uses engineered T-cells to attack cancer, has been so effective in childhood leukemias that we believe it may actually be a potential cure. But this isn't just one new medicine, it's an entirely new therapeutic tool—and a total paradigm shift from most traditional medicines we've seen before. Tmunity CEO Usman "Oz" Azam was previously the head of Cell and Gene Therapies at Novartis, in many ways the first CAR T company and the team brought us blood cancer CAR T-cell therapy Kymriah—the first cell-based gene therapy to be approved in the US. In this conversation, Azam discusses with a16z's general partner Jorge Conde and Hanne Tidnam what CAR T therapy really is and how it all works. The conversation begins with the “patient and cell journey” of this treatment and how this medicine is developed, manufactured, delivered to patients; why exactly it's so different traditional medicines; what it will take to make these new medicines work on more kinds of cancer, scale to more patients, and cost less; and finally, what company building lessons can be learned from building the first CAR T company of its kind from the ground up. This episode was recorded at the annual a16z Summit.
When we think about rebellious behavior in the context of organizations and companies, we tend to think of rebels as trouble-makers, rabble-rousers; in other words, people who make decisions and processes more difficult because they may not follow the established rules or norms. But rebel behavior can also be incredibly positive and constructive—in keeping us from stagnation, encouraging growth and learning, increasing curiosity and creativity. In this episode of the a16z Podcast, Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, a social scientist who studies organizations, breaks down with a16z's Hanne Tidnam what makes rebels different in how they tend to see and do things—whether that’s cooking, flying planes, or holding board meetings—and what we can all learn from “ ” to make our organizations more productive and innovative.
All about the Coronavirus
This episode of 16 Minutes on the news from a16z is all about the recent coronavirus outbreak -- or rather, a new type of coronavirus called 2019-nCoV for 2019 novel coronavirus. Since it's an ongoing and fast-developing news cycle, we take a quick snapshot for where we are, what we know, and what we don't know, and discuss the vantage point of where tech comes in. Topics covered include: definition of a virus, categories of coronaviruses origins and spread how this stacks up so far against SARS and MERS speed of sequencing, implications of genomic info speed of information sharing R0 ("r-naught"/"nought") and what it measures different ways to think about how bad a given epidemic is current moves and treatments Our a16z guest is Judy Savitskaya on the bio team, in conversation with Sonal Chokshi. Link sources or background readings for this episode: