Today I Learned

TIL, 2018-08-03

AMA with Marc Andreessen


  • OSS, cloud services have made the core infrastructure of technology companies easier and cheaper to build than ever before.
  • Seed stage: driven by the founding team. Venture: prototype but not business: people + product-market fit. Growth: Can the startup profitably sell its product to each customer?
  • Skill: be so good at networking that they can’t ignore you.
  • Software eating the world: far more companies are being started, and by younger and less experienced people. Today, startups are “full stack”: instead of building tools, they are building technology and then using it to directly enter markets in competition with incumbents.
  • “What do nerds do on nights and weekends” are a reliable source of new ideas in the industry that will ultimately be adopted much more broadly. Cryptocurrency, biohacking, quantified self, synthetic biology, virtual reality, drones, self-driving cars.
  • In highly regulated industries, it’s hard to enter in general. Regulatory capture: the existing incumbents have wired the system for their own benefit. High levels of government subsidy for consumers, and it can be very hard to get the government to pay for something new, even when it’s much better.

Autonomy Is the Best Way to Reward Your Team


  • We live in a connected and empowered society, where employees want autonomy.
  • Micromanagement is not scalable.
  • Autonomy is our desire for choice. It’s the feeling that we manage our own actions.
  • When a workplace enables autonomy:
    • People feel more valued.
    • Alleviates negative emotions.
    • Makes the job more attractive.
    • Drives loyalty.
    • Increases productivity.
  • Being interdependent: adults value autonomy, but they also other people.
  • Our brains are wired to self-direct: we don’t want others telling us how to do things; we want to feel in control. We need to feel autonomy over our tasks, our time, the team, and the technique.
  • On fostering strong, autonomous tribes:
    • The job is to lead people, not manage tasks.
    • Start small.
    • Set expectations up front.
    • Be patient.
    • Reframe mistakes as learning moments.
    • Promote collective autonomy. Providing people with more freedom to speak and make choices doesn’t mean they’ll do what they want.


This project is maintained by daryllxd