a16z monthly newsletter - the long game

Andreessen Horowitz

a16z monthly newsletter - the long game
by Ben Horowitz
Selecting the right sales channel is critical for any business -- products often fail because the company chose the wrong route to market. Yet when designing a distribution strategy, one should never begin with the channel itself; a properly designed sales channel is actually a function of your product and your target customers or market. Here's a simple formula for thinking through all this, as well as a simple case study for how it can play out in practice:
watch the video
with Martin Casado, Michel Feaster, and Sonal Chokshi
The purpose of category creation isn’t just about the lofty visions of founders -- it’s about setting the price. And with that, comes creating the concept in people’s heads, defining its value, and making new rules of the game. But when you’re going for a big change, you also have to play by the current rules of the game... which means doing everything in two phases: for the now, and for the later. So what does that mean for startups trying to navigate a complex enterprise (beyond solely relying on founder charisma to do so)? 
listen to the episode 
with Martin Casado, Sonal Chokshi, Cristina Cordova, Augusto Marietti, and Laura Behrens Wu
As the application programming interface (API) becomes the primary interface for business -- in much the same way physical storefronts gave way to websites and apps -- we’re seeing a new chapter emerge in the story of software. The big idea here is that traditional, large programs are being broken down and offered as services while communicating with each other, thus giving companies access to data/competencies/data they wouldn’t otherwise have. More importantly, entire companies are being formed around or are being created by combining these APIs into something new… it’s combinatorial innovation in action. So what else changes as a result of all this?
by Martin Casado
One of the truisms of software business strategy is that services are bad business (low margins, hard to scale). While on the surface this advice is, well, true, leaning in to services can actually be a good thing for a company offering a complex product. Enterprise startups -- particularly those in pre-chasm markets or touching sensitive infrastructure -- should not dismiss services so quickly, for various reasons. But entrepreneurs need to know why and when they’re doing it -- and when to stop doing it -- as well as avoid going down a fatal path led by false signal from service dollars. How can you tell the difference between a "good" vs. "bad" services scenario?
read this article
with Kristen Fortney, Jeffrey Kaditz, David Sinclair, Michael Snyder, and Hanne Tidnam
Even without a mythical fountain of youth, scientific advances have already dramatically increased how long humans live. But those advances to date have largely been due to lower mortality rates, less infectious disease, and better nutrition. So when will modern medicine increase not just our healthspan, but our lifespan -- slowing down and possibly even reversing aging? What tools will it take? And what else, beyond the biology and technology involved, would change in our healthcare system and society as a whole, as a result of such longevity?
listen to this episode
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Andreessen Horowitz · 2865 Sand Hill Road, Suite 101 · Menlo Park, CA 94025 · USA