After Hours
After Hours
May 6, 2020
Earnings Reports from Apple and Facebook, and Warning Signs for Uber and Lyft
Play • 31 min

Youngme Moon, Felix Oberholzer-Gee, and Mihir Desai debate what they’ve learned from first quarter earnings reports from Apple, Facebook, and others. They also discuss warning signs for Uber and Lyft, and share their thoughts about the recession.

Recent picks, and recommended reading/websites:

Listeners are invited to join our mailing list by signing up here: After Hours Sign-Up. You can visit our website at HarvardAfterHours.com. You can email your comments and ideas for future episodes to: harvardafterhours@gmail.com. You can follow Youngme and Mihir on Twitter at: @YoungmeMoon and @DesaiMihirA.

a16z Podcast
a16z Podcast
Andreessen Horowitz
Developers as Creatives
The rise of developers -- as buyers, as influencers, as a _creative_ class -- is a direct result of "software eating the world", and of key shifts in IT from on-prem to cloud & SaaS to the API economy, where application programming interfaces are essentially building blocks for innovation. Developers therefore not only play an outsized role in high-performing tech companies -- but managing and motivating them is actually critical in ALL companies, since every company is a tech company (whether they know it or not). As every industry turns digital, and a company's interface to their customers IS software, "asking" one's developer is the key to solving business problems and to thriving not just surviving, argues Jeff Lawson, CEO and co-founder of cloud communications platform-as-a-service company Twilio, in his new book, _Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century._ So in this episode of the a16z Podcast in conversation with Sonal Chokshi and David Ulevitch (who previously argued "the developer's way" is the future of work), Lawson shares hard-earned lessons learned, mindsets, strategies, and tactics -- from "build vs. buy" to "build vs. die", to the art and science of small teams ("mitosis") -- for leaders and companies of all sizes. But what does it mean to truly treat developers as creatives within an organization? What does it mean to be "developer first"? And how does this affect customers, product, go-to-market? All this and more in this episode.
33 min
16 Minutes News by a16z
16 Minutes News by a16z
Andreessen Horowitz
FinCEN Crypto Rule; Haven Healthcare Breakup
We're covering two trends in this week’s episode of "16 Minutes," where we talk about the news, tech trends, and the long arc of innovation:  #1 FinCEN, the Treasury Department's financial crimes enforcement arm, proposed a new rule targeting cryptocurrency holders’ ability to transact using self-hosted wallets. These are software applications for storing crypto that allow people to transact on the blockchain directly, rather than going through financial institutions. The rule would require banks and other financial businesses to keep records, and verify the identities not only of their customers but also — notably — their customers’ counterparties, or people with whom the customer transacts, in certain cases. (Full disclosure: a16z has publicly opposed this plan, and has said it plans to join others in the industry in challenging the rule in court. You can read more about our position here.) a16z General Partner Katie Haun and Operating Partner Anthony Albanese explain the rule and what impact it could have on crypto innovation. #2 Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase shut down their joint healthcare venture. Haven was touted as a potential game-changer for employee-funded health care plans and health costs in general, due to the combined resources of its three corporate sponsors, but it was disbanded after three years. We turn to a16z bio General Partner Julie Yoo for a quick check-in on what opportunities this project actually highlighted (including for startups). — with Zoran Basich
21 min
Equity
Equity
TechCrunch, Chris Gates, Alex Wilhelm, Danny Crichton, Natasha Mascarenhas, Grace Mendenhall
The end of Plaid-Visa, and Palantir's growing startup mafia
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture-capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week we -- Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace -- had a lot to get through, as the news volume in early 2021 has been rapid, and serious. Sadly this means that some early-stage rounds missed the cut, though we did make sure to have some Series A material in the show. So, what did we the assembled crew get to? Here's your cheat-sheet: * The demise of the Plaid-Visa deal, our chat with the CEO of the fintech unicorn, and what the failed transaction could mean for startup valuations more broady. * Why the $1.4 billion Nuvia exit to Qualcomm is impressive in scale, and puzzling. This topic also gave Danny a chance to talk about chips, his favorite thing. * Auto-insurance rates can often depend on highly variable demographic data like marital status, income, and education. Loop is a new seed-stage startup that wants to make the process more equitable. It landed millions this week, underscoring a broader insurtech wave. * SuperCharger Ventures pivoted its fintech accelerator into an edtech accelerator! We discuss why the shift and its surprising focus on B2B makes a ton of sense. * Crypto's going up and down, ahead of the anticipated Coinbase IPO and the known Bakkt SPAC. More on that here. * Sticking to the SPAC front, SoFi joined the list of companies using black-check companies to approach the public markets. * As is Talkspace, the tele-therapy startup that you've heard of. * And then there was SoftBank, of course, which has its own SPAC in the market now, confirming earlier reports. Which makes perfect sense. There are so many SPACs and bits of IPO news and funding rounds to pick through and cover that we're already straining the time limits of the show to even cover half of the material. This week that meant that we excised a chunk of the show to a forthcoming Saturday episode that is focused on e-commerce. So, we will talk to you again soon!
30 min
Acquired
Acquired
Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
Special: Acquired x Indie Hackers
As regular listeners know, we typically cover some of the biggest companies who often receive the most media attention (see Airbnb and DoorDash). But today's episode is a little different. In our conversation with Courtland Allen of Indie Hackers, the largest community of startup founders, we dive into the stories of underdogs. What happens when there are millions of people doing small business entrepreneurship? How does anyone having access to the globally addressable market of 3 billion internet users open the door for the niche-est of products? We tell the story of Courtland’s own “Indie Hacker” journey, how he came to found Indie Hackers itself, and the lessons learned along the way. If you want more more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show, the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our live Book Club discussions with top authors. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors: * This episode is supported by Teamistry, a great new podcast from Atlassian that tells the stories of teams who work together in new and unexpected ways to achieve remarkable things. It's one of our best new podcast discoveries in 2020 and we think Acquired listeners are going to love it. Our thanks to Teamistry for their support, and you can listen here: https://link.chtbl.com/teamistry?sid=podcast.acquired * Thank you as well to Kevel and to Capchase. You can learn more about them at: * https://www.kevel.co * https://www.capchase.com Playbook Themes from this Episode: (also available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/special-acquired-x-indie-hackers ) 1. As long as you don't quit your journey, you're still in the act of succeeding. * Indie Hackers was Courtland's seventh company. Before it, Courtland had started six other companies, each with a few thousand dollars in revenue but never as big as he wanted it to be. Looking back, Courtland has realized that everyone has a certain number of companies they need to start before they succeed: for some, that number may be one, for others, 36. For him, that number was 7. So his advice? All you have to do is not quit before you get to that number. 2. The journey is as important as the destination. * While Courtland was working on some of his earlier companies, he was miserable. A few of those working years felt like a complete blur. But sometime before he started Indie Hackers, he realized that in order to keep going until you succeed (see playbook #1), you must structure your life so that it's easy for you to not quit. In other words, you have to make the journey fun — almost like the emotional counterpart to Paul Graham’s famous “default alive” concept. With this reframe, Courtland began to enjoy the journey — enjoying the new people he met and the new things he learned. This mindset helped him level up as a person. Instead of worrying and asking "am I there yet?" he was able to enjoy the building journey. 3. Stories are always paramount. * As we discuss so often on Acquired, stories can be an incredibly powerful force, and their value is one of the core theses/value propositions of Indie Hackers. One insight Courtland came to from Hacker News was that people didn't want to just read comments about people who didn't succeed. They wanted high quality, verified stories that were trustable in some way. * Indie Hackers sends a survey out to users 6 months after they join the community. One of the questions the survey asks is, "would you have started your company if not for Indie Hackers?" 15-20% say they would not have started without some story or interaction on Indie Hackers! 4. Don't try to create budgets — sell to people that already have them. * Courtland originally tried to monetize Indie Hackers via advertising, and shared advertisement opportunities with the Indie Hacker community. But he soon realized that these smaller businesses weren't exactly the best customers to sell to. Eventually, he transitioned to selling to enterprises, and was pleasantly surprised by how much easier it was to sell. * The sales process simplified is: educate, then win. If you're selling to someone with a budget, you essentially bypass the education step. 5. Utilizing platforms, like everything in business, has tradeoffs. * There are no hard or fast rules in business. Everything has tradeoffs. Platforms may help with distribution but make it harder to build a brand and also create risks and dependencies. For Courtland, it was important for Indie Hackers to have its own brand. Additionally, he already had a distribution strategy (Hacker News). Hence, it made sense for Indie Hackers to be its own site, as there were many risks but few benefits to using some other platform like Medium. 6. Trust and mission alignment are critical in acquisitions. * Acquisition terms are about much more than just the purchase price. Sometimes, other considerations are more advantageous than cash (e.g. equity), and there are creative ways to align their incentives. * For Courtland, it was crucial that he retain freedom over his time and control over the direction of Indie Hackers. Hence, it was — and still remains — key that Patrick and Courtland's relationship have a high degree of trust. 7. Acquisitions can enable established brands to take bigger risks. * “Intra-preneurship” can be difficult because the initiative is constrained by internal processes and standards as well as external expectations. Hence, you can often take bigger risks through an acquisition. Google video versus YouTube is a great example of this. 8. There is an infinite number of "indie hacker" opportunities. * There is no end to the number of niche problems that can be identified and served. Big businesses and platforms create massive opportunities to go for the long tail. New businesses can build on top of these platforms or build for these platforms, creating tools to help people use them. For example, there are thriving tools business ecosystems today for Stripe, Shopify, WordPress, and still many more use cases yet to be addressed. Links: * Indie Hackers: https://www.indiehackers.com
1 hr 49 min
Analyse Asia with Bernard Leong
Analyse Asia with Bernard Leong
Carol Yin and Bernard Leong
Reflections and Predictions on China and SoftBank in 2020 with Shai Oster
Fresh out of the studio, in episode 338, Shai Oster, the Asia Bureau chief for The Information is back on his annual review with us again to discuss the state of China technology giants and SoftBank in the time of COVID-19 pandemic and predict what is to come in 2021. Starting the conversation, Shai reviewed the predictions he made in 2019 and explored the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on how they played out in 2020. From there, Shai reflected on the year that dominated the headlines in 2020: the diffusion of the China-US tensions to other regions: India and Australia against China tech giants, Tik Tok's problems in the US, Ant's botched IPO and SoftBank's attempt to go private. Last but not least, Shai offered his predictions for 2021 and what is to come for the Chinese technology giants and SoftBank for the year ahead. Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion: * * Shai Oster (@beijingscribe, LinkedIn, TheInformation Profile), Asia Bureau Chief in The Information * So since your last appearance on the show, what have you been up to? * 2019 Predictions: * China & US: Trump’s impeachment * China economy: growth * Tiktok will retreat from US, scale back & renew focus china, maybe India, Southeast Asia and Africa: accurate * Huawei * The shift of Chinese money to other markets * 2020 Events that shook China and SoftBank: The China-US tensions have exacerbated and percolated to other regions now (and that includes Australia and India) to Chinese companies: 1/ India banning 47 apps including Wechat, Tik Tok and many apps from China and 2/ Australia and US banned Wechat. * Let’s go to India first, given that the major unicorns are invested by Chinese tech giants, for example, PayTM by Alibaba, and the rise of local giants such as Reliance Jio backed by a strong US consortium: Facebook, Google, Silver Lake Partners, KKR, how do you see the challenges moving ahead for Xiaomi, which is dominant in India as well? * How do you think the Biden administration will handle the current tensions with China? * In the year ahead, do you think China will come down hard on US companies that are heavily invested here, like Apple or Starbucks Coffee? * Currently, the Chinese government has directed the local companies to be self-reliant, and specifically in the semiconductor industry, does that mean that we will see the decoupling of the supply chain accelerate much quicker? * Given that Tencent owns a few major gaming companies, for example, Epic, and with the recent lawsuit between Apple and Epic, do you see a possibility that the US government will pressure Tencent to divest their holdings in the US? * Tik Tok’s problems in the US and elsewhere: First, Kevin Mayer, the former CEO of DisneyPlus was poached and then became the CEO of Tik Tok US and Group COO, and subsequently resigned in July 2020, given the Trump’s administration insistence that the company has to be sold. Finally, after talks with rumors that Microsoft might acquire the entity completely, the eventual decision is that Oracle becomes the beneficiary of being an investor (along with Walmart) for Tik Tok US to ensure that data resides in the US. * What are your thoughts on Tik Tok’s current situation in the US? * Can ByteDance grow further given that there is so much pushback from other markets? * Where do you see ByteDance’s growth markets are? Will be they turn inwards towards domestically or expand to other markets where the push back is lesser, for example, Southeast Asia? * The Botched IPO of Ant Financial and what’s going to be next? * The Chinese government has ended Ant Financial’s IPO with direct interference from President Xi as reported by various outlets. What are the causes in your opinion as to why the IPO ended up not happening? * What are the implications for Alibaba Group as a whole with Ant Financial not able to IPO? * What must Ant Financial do in order to convince the authorities to allow them to IPO? * The billion-dollar question: Will Ant Financial eventually IPO? * A lot of people did not realize that the Ant Financial IPO has left a lot of money on the table in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, do you think that the companies which are going to IPO in HKSE will benefit from this event? * Does this offer a lesson to how Chinese tech companies should conduct themselves? Which companies do you think might run into trouble with the state? * COVID-19 Pandemic: * Which tech companies in China are the major beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic? * China has managed the COVID-19 pandemic much better than the US. What are the implications to the Chinese economy from now with the various successful vaccines, for example, Pfizer vaccine being approved? * SoftBank in 2020 and its current strategy to go private * After the Wework debacle, SoftBank has gone on a few different directions: 1/ Selling their Alibaba stake, 2/ Sell ARM to NVDIA and Boston Dynamics to Hyundai, 3/ Ran a stock market gambit with futures in tech, 4/ DoorDash’s IPO giving them 10B gain that will write off Wework’s investment, and 5/ quietly buying back shares to go private? * How do you assess SoftBank’s performance in 2020 and do you think that with DoorDash’s success, will SoftBank Vision Fund 2 happen? * Has SoftBank’s enormous influence on the tech industry waned after WeWork’s debacle? Where do you think that they will spend the remainder of the $100B Vision Fund on? * Do you think that SoftBank will go private according to Tim Culpan’s analysis on Masa’s strategy? Do you think that SoftBank will manoeuvre and make a comeback after being private? * 2020 is now closing to the end, what are your predictions for 2021 so that we can have a future conversation a year from now? * Closing * Any recommendations? * Shai's recommendations: Rui Ma and Ying Ying Lu, Techbuzz China podcast and subscribe to The Information with the key breaking news it broke in 2020. * How does our audience find you? Editor's note: Our team in Analyse Asia thanked our audience for your support and wished everyone a Happy New Year 2021. The episode is recorded in the last week of 2020. Podcast Information: * * RSS Feed * Apple Podcasts * Himalaya * Spotify * Libsyn * Google Play * Overcast FM * SoundCloud * Luminary * Twitter * Facebook Video * Facebook Page * Linkedin * Stitcher * Castbox * RadioPublic * Acast * PodBean * ListenNotes * TuneIn The show is hosted and produced by Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin) and originally created by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, "The Beginning" from Red Cliff Soundtrack. analyseasia · Reflections and Predictions on China and SoftBank in 2020 with Shai Oster
1 hr 7 min
Bio Eats World
Bio Eats World
Andreessen Horowitz
Journal Club: Synthetic Germs, Our Newest Weapon for Fighting Cancer
Dr. Willem Mulder is a Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, Eindhoven University of Technology, and Radboud University Medical Center and is a co-founder of Trained Therapeutix Discovery. He joins host Lauren Richardson to discuss the results and implications of the article "Trained Immunity-Promoting Nanobiologic Therapy Suppresses Tumor Growth and Potentiates Checkpoint Inhibition" by Bram Priem, Mandy M.T. van Leent, Abraham J.P. Teunissen, Alexandros Marios Sofias, Vera P. Mourits, Lisa Willemsen, Emma D. Klein, Roderick S. Oosterwijk, Anu E. Meerwaldt, Jazz Munitz, Geoffrey Pre ́vot, Anna Vera Verschuur, Sheqouia A. Nauta, Esther M. van Leeuwen, Elizabeth L. Fisher, Karen A.M. de Jong, Yiming Zhao, Yohana C. Toner, Georgios Soultanidis, Claudia Calcagno, Paul H.H. Bomans, Heiner Friedrich, Nico Sommerdijk, Thomas Reiner, Raphae ̈l Duivenvoorden, Eva Zupancic, Julie S. Di Martino, Ewelina Kluza, Mohammad Rashidian, Hidde L. Ploegh, Rick M. Dijkhuizen, Sjoerd Hak, Carlos Pe ́ rez-Medina, Jose Javier Bravo-Cordero, Menno P.J. de Winther, Leo A.B. Joosten, Andrea van Elsas, Zahi A. Fayad, Alexander Rialdi, Denis Torre, Ernesto Guccione, Jordi Ochando, Mihai G. Netea, Arjan W. Griffioen, and Willem J.M. Mulder, published in _Cell_. For more on the innate immune system, also check out "Journal Club: Why do only some people get severe COVID-19?" and "Journal Club: How to Win an Evolutionary Arms Race"
22 min
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