10 Years | 2 Narratives | 6 Industries

We need more Technology Innovation to boost jobs & productivity.

Thank you Andreessen Horowitz and Marc Andreessen for your recent interview and sharing a wealth of really useful insights for the wider audience at the Technology Policy Summit.

Both Marc Andreessen and Axios’ Dan Primack speak really fast, personally I had to listen to your tape twice to fully comprehend and write up my notes.

I am borrowing lot of your words here, for I didn’t want to lost the potency.

Is Technology moving at a rapid pace or not?

The last decade we have had two macro narratives. Years 1 though 9, the first narrative has been continuous and in the past 12 months, the second narrative is surfacing up almost everywhere.

Two Narratives

  1. Technology is dead, over, dumb, stupid, bubble, crash, valley is kids, raising too much money, golden days of innovation are over,
  2. Technology is over whelming impacting the world & economy, dramatic impact, too important, changing/destroying jobs, coming to crush us.

Four Big Questions

  1. Is the pace of Innovation and/or Productivity increasing or decreasing?
  2. Is the rate of creation of New companies in our economy increasing or decreasing?
  3. Is the rate of creation or destruction of Jobs increasing or decreasing?
  4. Is the time spent by an individual on a single job increasing or decreasing?

One other question / theme / comment that is bubbling up is…

“Technology is STUPID” || “Technology is EVIL”

How does one go about navigating this …use the ‘Productivity’ & ‘Prices’ metrics to measure macro industry shift.

Prices Decreasing

  1. Media: Productivity is high as a result of new distribution mechanism, internet.
  2. Retail: Walmart & Amazon are redefining this sector.
  3. Financial Services: Consumer is able to summon world class service by the touch of a button on their smart phone.

Prices Increasing

  1. Healthcare: General care and Specialised care is off the charts.
  2. Education: By the time your kids go to college, it will cost us $500K.
  3. Real Estate & Construction: Land and building a home sky rocketing.

How can the valley influence economic stimulation and new jobs?

Universal Basic Income (UBI): What is your perspective on this?

The farmer hasn’t had rest since 1980’s …The truck drivers haven’t had much sleep either …these categories demand a lot of time and effort.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): It is not a new concept, it was originally introduced in 1940’s by Alan Turing.

One thing to consider, AI is not a pixie dust that will obsolete software engineers and writing code.

The more productive one is who leverage their coding and technology skills has a higher probability of earning higher salary. So get back on the saddle and learn how to code (if you haven’t already).

All Ideas Are Good

All of ideas in technology are good ideas, timing is the hard part to figure out, that delays/kills a startup or product before it can become big.

Five years fuse does exist for every startup …if a founder is unable to crack the code, they have to fold and someone else will come and pick it up.

An online store for pet food isn’t a bad idea by definition, unless you were trying to build this startup 10 years ago before mobile, timing is bad.

On the other hand, if you had built it recently, look at the headlines: Chewy got bought out for $3.35 billion by PetSmart.

Ideas + Timing = Success

We have heard the quote “We were promised flying cars and we got 140 characters” …before we go on a tangent and assume Tech is Bad or Tech is Evil …invest some time to understand the industry and political landscape.

The Great Stagnation

Someone suggested I read this book - The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better. I haven’t read it yet, if you have, give me the cliff notes and keen to hear your perspective as well.

Explore 1st, 2nd, 3rd Use Cases

Everybody is the hero of their own story/startup …i.e. we are making moral progress that will have massive social impact. Whilst this is true in the context of a founders bubble, the story might change slightly when additional contexts are brought to focus.

Thomas Edison invented the Phonograph and the initial uses cases were widely different from others and what the market ended up using it for. So yes, founders have a responsibility to brainstorm not just the 1st set of use cases, but I invite you to further into the 2nd and 3rd sets as well.

Bicycles, there was a moral panic, when unmarried women were able to go to the next village to meet new prospects. To avoid this, they had something called the ‘Bicycle Face’.

Over a century ago, women were discouraged from riding their bicycles. In the late 19th century, medical professionals made up a disease called ‘Bicycle Face’ to discourage women from cycling.

The Two Cultures

An engineer at heart, generally wants to get into the details to understand the problem on hand and solve it if required.

A good thesis to read is the following…



In closing, I invite you to come up with a dozen or more ideas and give your entrepreneurial curiosity a chance to experience the founder journey.

The time is now to spark more technology innovation to boost jobs & productivity.

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