a16z Podcast
a16z Podcast
Jul 30, 2020
GPT-3: What's Hype, What's Real on the Latest in AI
Play episode · 33 min

In this episode -- cross posted from our 16 Minutes show feed -- we cover all the buzz around GPT-3, the pre-trained machine learning model from OpenAI that’s optimized to do a variety of natural-language processing tasks. 

It’s a commercial product, built on research; so what does this mean for both startups AND incumbents… and the future of “AI as a service”? And given that we’re seeing all kinds of (cherrypicked!) examples of output from OpenAI’s beta API being shared — how do we know how good it really is or isn’t? How do we know the difference between “looks like” a toy and “is” a toy when it comes to new innovations? 

And where are we, really, in terms of natural language processing and progress towards artificial general intelligence? Is it intelligent, does that matter, and how do we know (if not with a Turing Test)? Finally, what are the broader questions, considerations, and implications for jobs and more? Frank Chen explains what “it” actually is and isn’t and more in conversation with host Sonal Chokshi. The two help tease apart what’s hype/ what’s real here… as is the theme of 16 Minutes.

16 Minutes News by a16z
16 Minutes News by a16z
Andreessen Horowitz
A Nobel for CRISPR! When, Who, How, What Now
"It's CRISPR!" This week, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to scientists Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna (also an a16z co-founder, of Scribe Therapeutics), for the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 method for genome editing -- a technology that's "had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies, and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true". While many describe this technology as "genetic scissors", one of the sharpest _tools_, is that analogy too limited for describing the true power and potential of CRISPR as a gene-editing _platform_? And while the time between (unexpected) discovery to practice to award has been less than a decade -- further confirming that we're in the new century of biology! -- at what point does such discovery become engineering, that is, innovations we can use and systematize and scale (much like transistors)? In this special episode of 16 Minutes, a16z general partners Vijay Pande and Jorge Conde, in conversation with Sonal Chokshi, examine the long arc and narrative of CRISPR, both backwards and forward; tease apart what's hype/ what's real in terms of where we really are, in practice; and... celebrate the incredible milestone this is. It's CRISPR!, and much more...articles cited in this episode [see also related pieces below] "Pioneers of revolutionary CRISPR gene editing win chemistry Nobel", Heidi Ledford & Ewen Callaway, Nature, 7 October 2020 "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020", The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, NobelPrize.org, 7 October 2020 _image: __Bianca Fioretti__ / __Wikimedia Commons_
24 min
Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
Special: Invest Like the Best on Acquired
On this special episode of Acquired, we're joined by a master interviewer himself, Patrick O'Shaughnessy from Invest Like the Best. We turn the tables and cover the most fascinating story he's never told on ILTB... his own! What is O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, and how are they bringing "AWS-level" innovation to the sleepy wealth management industry? How did he go from Notre Dame philosophy major to quant researcher to (arguably) technology CEO and now also an early-stage venture investor... all while simultaneously building one of the world's top new business media empires? Acquired is here to explore it all. 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 new live Book Club discussions with top authors. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsor: * This episode is supported by Teamistry, a great 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 honestly think Acquired listeners are going to love it. (business + history + space!) Click the link below to listen, and our thanks to Teamistry for their support. * https://link.chtbl.com/teamistry?sid=podcast.acquired Playbook Special! Patrick’s Favorite Themes from 5 Years of ILTB: * Chetan Puttagunta (#1): Go slow to go fast — http://investorfieldguide.com/chetan/ * Chetan Puttagunta (#2): Open source isn’t about saving on R&D, it’s about building differentiated distribution among developers — http://investorfieldguide.com/chetan-puttagunta-and-jeremiah-lowin-open-source-crash-course-invest-like-the-best-ep-188/ * Bill Gurley: Healthy marketplace opportunities have increasing marginal value to demand from incremental supply penetration — http://investorfieldguide.com/gurley/ * Matthew Ball: The key to unlocking the Metaverse isn’t about building Ready Player One, it’s about creating interoperable systems that will move value and information between experiences — http://investorfieldguide.com/matt-ball-the-future-of-media-movies-the-metaverse-and-more-invest-like-the-best-ep-185/ * Charlie Songhurst: The best place to look for talent is in less-competitive markets — http://investorfieldguide.com/songhurst/ * Katrina Lake: The past of e-commerce was about price, convenience and selection; the future is about personalization and curation — http://investorfieldguide.com/katrina-lake-the-next-wave-of-e-commerce-invest-like-the-best-ep-187/ * Daniel Ek: Company scaling as “seeing around corners” — http://investorfieldguide.com/ek/ * Kat Cole: Inversion as a tool to deal with difficult people — http://investorfieldguide.com/kat-cole-how-to-operate-lessons-in-brand-distribution-and-leadership-invest-like-the-best-ep-184/ * Sarah Tavel: Hierarchy as a framework — http://investorfieldguide.com/tavel/ * Josh Wolfe: The “directional arrow of progress” and the simple power of extrapolating trend lines — http://investorfieldguide.com/wolfe2/ Links: * Invest Like the Best: http://investorfieldguide.com/podcast/ * Founder's Field Guide: http://investorfieldguide.com/founders-field-guide/ * OSAM and Canvas: https://www.osam.com
1 hr 45 min
All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg
All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg
Jason Calacanis
E10: Twitter & Facebook botch censorship (again), the publisher vs. distributor debate & more
Follow the crew: https://twitter.com/chamath https://linktr.ee/calacanis https://twitter.com/DavidSacks https://twitter.com/friedberg Follow the pod: https://twitter.com/theallinpod https://linktr.ee/allinpodcast Sacks' blog post on Section 230: https://medium.com/craft-ventures/rip-section-230-1112dfad3fac Referenced in the show: NY Post Hunter Biden Story https://nypost.com/2020/10/14/email-reveals-how-hunter-biden-introduced-ukrainian-biz-man-to-dad/ Twitter's explanation for censoring it https://twitter.com/TwitterSafety/status/1316525303930458115 Facebook's explanation for censoring it https://twitter.com/andymstone/status/1316395902479872000 Updated CDC survival rates https://twitter.com/adam_creighton/status/1308652790823051264?s=21 Show Notes: 0:00 The besties catch up on the news 1:29 NY Post Hunter Biden story & censorship by Twitter/Facebook 7:27 What is section 230 & how does it play into the publisher vs. distributor debate 13:23 Distinguishing between publishers & distributors 28:30 Why Twitter & Facebook's actions with the NY Post were a huge blunder & crossed a line, should the laws be rewritten? 37:21 Trump beats COVID, what that means for better treatment options, dueling town halls 46:14 Sacks explains his stance on Prop 13 & Zuckerberg's pro-Prop 15 lobbying 54:34 Thoughts on Amy Coney Barrett & Biden's large lead in the polls
1 hr 4 min
Invest Like the Best
Invest Like the Best
Patrick O'Shaughnessy
Jason Citron - Building the Third Place - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.4]
My guest today is Jason Citron, founder and CEO of Discord. Discord is one of the largest and fastest growing social networks in the world. It started as a place for gamers to congregate online, but thanks to how easy it makes it to create a community of any type and its offering of text, audio, and video as means of communication, it has expanded far beyond gaming. It has the potential to become the default digital “third place” that we go to find belonging in a variety of online communities. With over 100 million users, it’s also one of the most interesting communications service businesses since the original social networks rose to power. Our conversation focuses on his background prior to Discord, Discord’s founding and growth, its business model and how it has evolved over the past 8 years, and what the future holds for Discord. As we talked, I had this sense that I’d be willing to go work for Jason, and I think you’ll see why. I hope you enjoy our wide ranging conversation. This episode is brought to you by Microsoft for Startups. Microsoft for Startups is a global program dedicated to helping “enterprise-ready” B2B startups successfully scale their companies. If you’re a founder running a B2B company targeting the enterprise, you should definitely check them out. This episode is also sponsored by Vanta. Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick. For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag Show Notes (3:17) – (First question) – Lessons from his time as a video game developer (7:58) – Going from game developer to game development platform (12:23) – From his first startup to Discord (16:33) – Expressing the hypothesis of discord (20:10) – How to know what signal to build upon (22:11) – Early adoption of Discord (26:17) – Getting the word out about Discord in the early days (30:43) – Creating more than just a platform, but creating a third place for people to congregate (32:38) – The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community (32:55) – The evolution and expansion of the types of community using their platform (37:27) – Discord’s business model and how it’s evolved (41:32) – Enhancing communication through Nitro (45:05) – Big principles for company building at Discord (51:22) – His thoughts around competitive advantage for the platform (52:55) – Creating a holistic experience for the users (55:45) – What bothers him the most when hiring (57:47) – Kindest thing anyone has done for him Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag
1 hr 2 min
Quibi’s shortform life
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Myself, along with Danny and Natasha had a lot to get through, and more to say than expected. A big thanks to Chris for cutting the show down to size. Now, what did we get to? Aside from a little of everything, we ran through: * The fall of Quibi, and who lost money in the mix. TechCrunch has a bit more on the video service's downfall here. * The Netflix quarter, and why its shares lost ground after its report. The Quibi-Netflix stories show that it's not smooth sailing in the market for online video. * If Netflix stumbled, Snap soared with stronger-than-expected growth. The company still loses lots of money, but it's getting closer to reasonable results, and has lots of cash. * Then we turned to a few media startups that raised, including $4 million for Stir and $2.5 million for Quake. Quake the podcasting company, mind, not the excellent FPS. * Next was a handful of housing rounds, including the very neat Abodu and the somewhat controversial RVshare, which split the three of us about whether or not it was going to work out. * Then we had some great reporting from Natasha to parse through, including her piece on startup hacker houses, and her report on a new women-focused accelerator class. Whew! It was a lot, but also very good fun. Look for clips on YouTube if you'd like, and we'll chat you all next Monday.
36 min
North Star Podcast
North Star Podcast
David Perell
David Nemetz: Founding Bleacher Report
My guest today is Dave Nemetz, the Founder of Bleacher Report, which was one of my favorite media companies as a kid. During his time there, Dave oversaw video, business development, and business operations. He helped grow the audience to more than 40 million monthly unique visitors before selling the company to Turner Broadcasting in 2012. Today, he is the Founder of Inverse and the Executive Vice President of Bustle Digital Group where he leads growth and business strategy for Inverse, Input, and Mic. The conversation topics in this episode fall into three buckets: personal principles, business principles, and the state of the world. We spoke about what it's like to lead your company through a merger, why you can think of media businesses like a supply & demand equation, and one of Dave's favorite quotes from Hunter S. Thompson: “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” My favorite part of the interview was hearing about a band called Phish, which Dave has seen in concert more than 200 times. That section kickstarted a whole conversation about the brand-building tradeoff between being welcoming to new fans and serving die-hard fans. ____________________________ Show Notes 2:31 - What inspired David to get started on the Bleacher Report and why he was drawn to it as a project. 6:24 - Why the desire for a different kind of sports coverage took so long to take off and why other companies didn't get into it earlier. 9:06 - Why sites like Bleacher Report find their niche, even with an abundance of content being created all of the time. 12:46 - The implicit versus the explicit side of finding your niche and exploiting it in the market. 15:14 - What David has learned about building a brand and serving your customers from his favorite band, Phish. 20:12 - How businesses can both serve their die-hard fans and not neglect their newcomers. 27:05 - The arrival fallacy and why selling Bleacher Report to Turner wasn't as exciting as it may have looked on the outside. 31:36 - Why David believes that a fervent drive and passion to achieve goals is a double-edged sword. 34:26 - What most people don't know about managing a business during a buyout or a merger and why it was so difficult for David to handle. 42:54 - How the world of advertising in the early 2000s hadn't seemed to change much from the era of "Mad Men". 52:38 - Why the "the geeks won" and why David is super happy about it. 57:13 - How David has oriented his recruitment and retention strategy in his media brands. 1:05:43 - What the "career elevator" is and why David was determined to create it for himself. 1:10:29 - Some of David's favorite quotes, and why one of his core philosophies is to "enjoy your sandwich".
1 hr 16 min
The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch
The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch
Harry Stebbings
20VC: Intercom Founder, Eoghan McCabe on How To Deal with the Weight of Expectation, Having Your Identity Tied To Your Company, How To Be Your Authentic Self Even with Stakeholders & Why There Are No Rules
Eoghan McCabe is a technology entrepreneur. He's started a number of companies, the most notable of which is Intercom, the conversational relationship platform. He was CEO of Intercom for nearly 10 years, during which he grew the company to hundreds of millions in annual revenue, nearly 700 employees, and raised nearly $250M from the likes of Kleiner Perkins, Index, Bessemer, and ICONIQ. He's also invested in dozens of companies including Stripe, Figma, SuperHuman, and Coda. In the summer of 2020 he moved to the role of Chairman of Intercom. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How Eoghan made his way into the world of startups from Ireland and came to build one of the Valley's greats with Intercom? 2.) How does Eoghan thinking about living and thriving with a chip on one's shoulder? What does Eoghan advise in terms of one's search for their true selves? What were his biggest learnings in his search? What does Eoghan advise people who maybe feel they have lost themselves? 3.) Having been CEO of a $Bn company for close to 10 years, how does Eoghan think about dealing with the weight of expectation placed on shoulders? How did he manage it? How does he think about his identity being so tied to his company? 4.) In terms of being one's authentic self, how can one achieve this while also respecting their stakeholders who may hold different views? How does Eoghan think about being an authentic leader vs bowing down to the demands of your team? What is the right balance? 5.) Why does Eoghan think that vision can actually be limiting? How does Eoghan think about stress testing one's vision and ambition? What adversity from early VCs did Eoghan have to fight against? How does Eoghan encourage dissent and debate within his teams? Items Mentioned In Today’s Show: Eoghan’s Fave Book: Breathe: simple breathing techniques for a calmer, happier life As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here! Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.
30 min
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