My guest this week is Chris Dixon, who has written some of my favorite essays on technology and venture investing. Chris is a prolific investor and thinker, having been an entrepreneur, angel investor, and now partner at the well known venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Our conversation focuses on major trends in technology, including cryptocurrencies and the future of autonomous vehicles and drones.
Chris has a rule of thumb for technology trends: find out what smart people are working on during the weekend, and you’ll know what other will be doing years in the future. After surveying his old essays, it’s clear you use Chris’s writings as a similar litmus test.
Please enjoy this great conversation with Chris Dixon on the future of tech.
0:00 (First Question) – Why did Chris choose to study philosophy
:19 – Douglas Hofstadter
:20 – Daniel Dennett
1:31 – Where has his thinking and viewpoints changed the most having been in the real world
2:38 – What is the real driving force behind all of the technology that we are creating and will automation kill all of the jobs
4:53 – The World of Numbers website
6:32 – A look at his history in networks and network design
11:02 – What are the market and technological forces that make it difficult to regulate software hardware companies
12:35 – The best features of proprietary centralized networks and open networks
14:36 – What things are better centralized vs decentralized
20:26 – David Tisch podcast
20:59 – When it comes to cryptocurrencies, what are the concerns that the protocols themselves hold value and could this lead to centralization of the system problems
22:00 – Block size debate (topic)
(minus 6 seconds)
24:42 – ERC-20 Token Standard
25:25 – Is the blockchain the answer to the stagnation of the big tech players
30:49 – Does Chris find investment in individual crypto tokens analogous to seed funding in companies
32:41 – How does Chris think about the dichotomy of investing in people vs technologies
35:47 – What organizational structures of companies are most compelling
39:52 – Any major trends in technology a cause for concern for Chris
40:36 – Any interesting trends by people looking to disrupt the centralization of internet power to a small few
42:11 – What major trends is Chris passionately pursuing
49:17 – If everyone agrees on a future trend of technology, can you still make money investing in them
51:22 – How do you encourage younger people to approach the world and a career differently in this ever-changing world
55:41 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Chris