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It's time. We dive into the unbelievable history behind the quietest technology giant of them all — and as of recording the world's 9th (!) most valuable company — the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. This story checks every box in the Acquired pantheon of greatness: China, America, MIT, Don Valentine, Silicon Valley, "real men" looking silly, and... moats literally built by lasers. We're not kidding. Pull up a seat and settle in for a great one!

If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/

Sponsors:

  • Thank you to Pilot for being our presenting sponsor for all of Acquired Season 9! Pilot takes care of startups' bookkeeping, tax and CFO services so busy founders can focus on what matters. To paraphrase Jeff Bezos's AWS analogy: bookkeeping and tax don't make your product any better — so you should let Pilot handle them for you. Pilot is in fact backed by Bezos himself, along with other all-star investors including Sequoia, Index, and Stripe. They are truly the gold standard for startup bookkeeping, and many of the companies we work with run on them. You can get in touch with Pilot here: https://bit.ly/acquiredfmpilot , and Acquired listeners get 20% off their first 6 months! (use the link above)
  • Thank you as well to PitchBook and to Nord Security. You can learn more about them at:


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  • Acquired podcast

    TSMC

    2:33:44

    It's time. We dive into the unbelievable history behind the quietest technology giant of them all — and as of recording the world's 9th (!) most valuable company — the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. This story checks every box in the Acquired pantheon of greatness: China, America, MIT, Don Valentine, Silicon Valley, "real men" looking silly, and... moats literally built by lasers. We're not kidding. Pull up a seat and settle in for a great one! If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors: Thank you to Pilot for being our presenting sponsor for all of Acquired Season 9! Pilot takes care of startups' bookkeeping, tax and CFO services so busy founders can focus on what matters. To paraphrase Jeff Bezos's AWS analogy: bookkeeping and tax don't make your product any better — so you should let Pilot handle them for you. Pilot is in fact backed by Bezos himself, along with other all-star investors including Sequoia, Index, and Stripe. They are truly the gold standard for startup bookkeeping, and many of the companies we work with run on them. You can get in touch with Pilot here: https://bit.ly/acquiredfmpilot , and Acquired listeners get 20% off their first 6 months! (use the link above) Thank you as well to PitchBook and to Nord Security. You can learn more about them at: https://bit.ly/acquiredpitchbook https://bit.ly/acquirednord Links: Episode Sources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rQMgQDY5c3Fs5DsjB4cZHVZGdhN4kK-6HapO_r7pjyQ/edit?usp=sharing Carve Outs: Ted Lasso (Season 1): https://tv.apple.com/us/show/ted-lasso/umc.cmc.vtoh0mn0xn7t3c643xqonfzy Greek: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0976014/ Who is Michael Ovitz?: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B2HS77M/
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    Andreessen Horowitz Part I

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    We kick off Season 9 with a classic: Part I of the a16z story. How did this brand new venture firm charge out of the gates in 2009, going from zero to disrupting the entire venture industry overnight? You probably know Marc & Ben's history with Netscape and Loudcloud/Opsware... but what about the Black Panthers, Nintendo 64, Al Gore, Doug Leone, Masayoshi Son, and an epic feud with Benchmark Capital that became Silicon Valley's version of the Hatfields and the McCoys? Buckle up, Acquired's got the truth. If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors: Thank you to Pilot for being our presenting sponsor for all of Acquired Season 9! Pilot takes care of startups' bookkeeping, tax and CFO services so busy founders can focus on what matters, which is building the company. To paraphrase Jeff Bezos's famous AWS analogy: bookkeeping and tax don't make your product any better — so you should let Pilot handle them for you. In fact Pilot is backed by Bezos himself via Bezos Expeditions, along with an all-star roster of other investors including Sequoia, Index, and Stripe. They are truly the gold standard for startup bookkeeping, and many of the companies we work with run on them. You can get in touch with Pilot here: https://bit.ly/acquiredfmpilot , and Acquired listeners get 20% off their first 6 months! (use the link above) Thank you as well to Pitchbook and to Nord Security. You can learn more about them at: https://bit.ly/acquiredpitchbook https://bit.ly/acquirednord Links: David Streitfeld's great NYT piece on the Horowitz family: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/22/technology/one-family-many-revolutions-from-black-panthers-to-silicon-valley-to-trump.html Marc on the Tim Ferriss Show: https://tim.blog/2018/01/01/the-tim-ferriss-show-transcripts-marc-andreessen/ 2003 Marc in SF Gate: https://www.sfgate.com/business/ontherecord/article/OPSWARE-INC-On-the-record-Marc-Andreessen-2525822.php#photo-2684736 Carve Outs: Ben: The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life: https://www.amazon.com/Elephant-Brain-Hidden-Motives-Everyday/dp/0190495995 David: Resonant Arc Podcast / YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFzWAEPDGiY34bGpwM_DWmA Episode Sources: http://1997.webhistory.org/www.lists/www-talk.1993q1/0099.html http://allthingsd.com/20130125/go-west-young-geek-chris-dixon-on-why-he-became-a-silicon-valley-vc-at-andreessen-horowitz-and-more-video/ http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/1789/Marc-Andreessen/ http://www.internethistorypodcast.com/2015/08/20-years-on-why-netscapes-ipo-was-the-big-bang-of-the-internet-era/ https://a16z.com/2011/05/09/microsoft-buys-skype/ https://a16z.com/2011/06/30/meet-our-new-general-partner-jeff-jordan/ https://a16z.com/2017/04/07/todd-and-freddy-okta/ https://a16z.com/2018/09/25/michael-ovitz-entertainment-culture-negotiation-talent/ https://a16z.com/2019/06/20/slack/ https://a16z.com/2019/11/20/brand-building-a16z-ideas-people-marketing/ https://a16z.com/2019/11/26/a16z-podcast-how-what-why-500th-episode-behind-the-scenes/ https://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/andreessen-horowitz-hires-a-female-partner-from-outcast-communications/ https://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/andreessen-horowitz-starts-second-fund/ https://books.google.com/books?id=zyIvOn7sKCsC&pg=PA15#v=onepage&q&f=false https://charlierose.com/videos/12907 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreessen_Horowitz https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Horowitz https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Panther_Party https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browser_wars https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Horowitz https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_H._Clark https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Jordan_(venture_capitalist) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Andreessen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Ovitz https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosaic_(web_browser) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Betty_Van_Patter https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netscape https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ning_(website) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spyglass,_Inc. https://fortune.com/2011/07/12/skype-the-inside-story-of-the-boffo-8-5-billion-deal/ https://fortune.com/2021/01/20/tech-and-crypto-funder-andreessen-horowitz-wants-to-replace-the-media-that-might-be-bad-news-for-investors/ https://fortune.com/longform/jeff-jordan-vc/ https://greatness.floodgate.com/episodes/marc-andreessen-was-netscape-an-overnight-success https://money.cnn.com/2009/07/02/technology/marc_andreessen_venture_fund.fortune/index.htm https://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2005/07/25/8266639/ https://newrepublic.com/article/162227/david-horowitz-profile-trump-propagandist-radical-leftist https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ben-horowitz-02-25-20/id814550071?i=1000466601994 https://techcrunch.com/2009/02/20/andreessen-on-charlie-rose-i-am-creating-a-fund-full-video/ https://techcrunch.com/2010/06/20/andreessen-horowitz-celebrates-first-year-with-new-general-partner-john-ofarrell/ https://techcrunch.com/2014/03/27/andreessen-horowitz-raises-massive-new-1-5-billion-fund/ https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/25/andreessen-horowitz-has-a-new-crypto-fund-and-its-first-female-general-partner-is-running-it-with-chris-dixon/ https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/01/a16z-ushers-in-new-fund-strategy-with-2-75b/ https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/24/andreessen-horowitz-triples-down-on-blockchain-startups-with-massive-2-2-billion-crypto-fund-iii/?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAADZwBJIiwmoiePFPnoZk3s1WbLc0aUfwh4wj_nMnhEi5nYQ0Q1xfZfmYDhSbKEsY22uz29mILPEgwMe6RNf3pL8Jmpa6t8I3D19mTdP2c5zWv5jnGf2VNMFgB6UcS4o_5nTs2ymb7QON0OtJ4X4aiHWgNAW5auKjI6Hq65Unz0x8 https://thehistoryoftheweb.com/browser-wars/ https://tim.blog/2018/01/01/the-tim-ferriss-show-transcripts-marc-andreessen/ https://venturebeat.com/2009/08/19/first-andreessen-horowitz-investment-apptio-raises-14m/ https://web.archive.org/web/20110407235346/http://bhorowitz.com/2011/04/06/andreessen-horowitz-has-a-new-200mm-co-investment-fund/ https://web.archive.org/web/20120212181829/http://www.engineer.ucla.edu/visitor-links/alumni/alumni-profiles-1/ben-horowitz-ms-201990 https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/episode-42-opsware-with-special-guest-michel-feaster https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Thing-About-Things-Building/dp/0062273205 https://www.businessinsider.com/benchmark-website-2012-11 https://www.coindesk.com/andreessen-horowitz-doubles-down-on-crypto-investments-with-new-515m-fund https://www.coindesk.com/andreessen-horowitz-rakes-in-2-2b-for-third-crypto-venture-fund https://www.economist.com/technology-quarterly/2011/09/03/disrupting-the-disrupters https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkonrad/2019/04/02/andreessen-horowitz-is-blowing-up-the-venture-capital-model-again/?sh=6f3cdbfc7d9f https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/atr/legacy/2006/03/03/20.pdf https://www.jwz.org/blog/2019/03/brand-necrophilia-part-7/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffjordan1/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/mcopeland/ https://www.newcomer.co/p/the-unauthorized-story-of-andreessen https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/18/tomorrows-advance-man https://www.nytimes.com/1995/08/10/us/with-internet-cachet-not-profit-a-new-stock-is-wall-st-s-darling.html https://www.nytimes.com/1995/08/10/us/with-internet-cachet-not-profit-a-new-stock-is-wall-st-s-darling.html https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/22/technology/one-family-many-revolutions-from-black-panthers-to-silicon-valley-to-trump.html https://www.quora.com/How-did-Netscape-Navigator-make-money https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1660134/000119312517080301/d289173ds1.htm https://www.sfgate.com/business/ontherecord/article/OPSWARE-INC-On-the-record-Marc-Andreessen-2525822.php#photo-2684736 https://www.statista.com/statistics/203734/global-smartphone-penetration-per-capita-since-2005/ https://www.theinformation.com/articles/these-guys-are-very-different-inside-andreessen-horowitzs-rise https://www.theringer.com/2017/6/8/16045766/jeff-jordan-andreessen-horowitz-vc-pickup-basketball-ab4e54928186 https://www.wired.com/1999/02/aol-names-andreessen-cto/ https://www.wired.com/story/andreessen-horowitz-new-crypto-fund-iii/ https://www.worth.com/a-decade-later-how-has-andreessen-horowitz-changed-silicon-valley/ https://www.wsj.com/articles/andreessen-horowitzs-returns-trail-venture-capital-elite-1472722381 https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111903480904576512250915629460 https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB984080550858322401 https://youtu.be/PbW-1k3ZOA4 https://youtu.be/k5pbximmZdI http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~little/OldSites/CSE_Uptime/v4.7-8/xmosaic.html https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1999-09-11-9909110235-story.html https://www.wikiwand.com/en/List_of_web_browsers http://www.internethistorypodcast.com/2014/01/mosaic/ http://www.internethistorypodcast.com/2014/01/chapter-1-part-2-netscape-the-big-bang/ http://www.internethistorypodcast.com/2014/02/chapter-1-part-3-netscape-the-big-bang/
  • Acquired podcast

    Special: Solana (with CEO Anatoly Yakovenko)

    1:14:44

    We sit down with the hottest new protocol layer in crypto today: Solana, and its cofounder Anatoly Yakovenko, who is the CEO of Solana Labs. If you listened to our Ethereum episode or follow crypto even at a cursory level, you've likely heard of Solana and its ability to scale transactions thousands of times higher than Ethereum. And, unlike other so-called "ETH killers", Solana is doing so in production today with large and real applications. We dive into the project's history coming out of the 2017-18 crypto winter, how it works and what's ahead now that they've recently raised $314m (yes that is Pi $million) from a16z and Polychain Capital, with their native SOL tokens currently trading at a market cap around $10B (!). If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like our Book Clubs. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors: Thanks to SoftBank Latin America for being our presenting sponsor for this special episode. SoftBank has truly been the first and best large capital allocator in the Latin American startup ecosystem, and we are very excited to work with and learn from them over the rest of 2021. If you are an entrepreneur, employee, other investor or simply someone who's interested in learning about the best young companies in LatAm right now, get in touch with them at: https://bit.ly/acquiredsoftbanklatam and tell them that you heard about them on Acquired. Shu's Twitter (which we highly recommend following!): https://twitter.com/snyatta Paulo's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulo-passoni-67195/ Thank you as well to Modern Treasury and to Fundrise. You can learn more about them at: https://bit.ly/acquiredmoderntreasury (and you can find our reverse interview with them at https://www.moderntreasury.com/acquired ) https://bit.ly/acquiredfundrise Topics covered: Anatoly's background as a wireless engineer at Qualcomm, and how it led to a fundamental discovery of how to improve crypto system scalability Solana's role in the crypto protocol ecosystem and why there's a need for it (and why it can and will exist) alongside Ethereum versus "killing" it Starting Solana during the 2017-18 crypto winter, and how it forced them to focus just on building and shipping versus raising and posturing Bootstrapping adoption with the mining community (Solana's "true believers") and the early and ardent support they provided Where Solana falls on the Vitalik "Scalability - Security - Decentralization" trilemma, and why Solana's superpower of maintaining composability is so attractive Links: Solana: https://solana.com Solana on Twitter: https://twitter.com/solana Solana Hackathon submissions: https://airtable.com/shriNT26cAZeDJagn/tbl5fZ4E1BBbVAttW FTX: https://ftx.us Audius: https://audius.co Note: Acquired hosts and guests may hold assets discussed in this episode. This podcast is not investment advice, and is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should do your own research and make your own independent decisions when considering any financial transactions.
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    Ethereum

    3:01:08

    We close out Season 8 with the most ambitious organization we've ever covered on Acquired: Ethereum, and it's celebrity wunderkind founder Vitalik Buterin. If you thought Mark Zuckerberg IPO-ing Facebook at $100B by age 27 was something, just wait until you hear the story of this high school junior creating $500B (!!) of market cap by the same age — and oh yeah, maybe seeding the future dethroning of Facebook, Google, Amazon and all of big tech in the process. Regardless whether you're a crypto neophyte, a die-hard bull, or a skeptical bear, this is a story you need to hear, and Ethereum is an innovation you need to understand. Buckle in for a wild ride... and some special surprises from a few Acquired friends. :) If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors:  Thanks to Tiny for being our presenting sponsor for all of Acquired Season 8. Tiny is building the "Berkshire Hathaway of the internet" — if you own a wonderful internet business that you want to sell, or know someone who does, you should get in touch with them. Unlike traditional buyers, they commit to quick, simple diligence, a 30-day or less process, and will leave your business to do its thing for the long term. You can learn more about Tiny here: http://bit.ly/acquiredtiny Thank you as well to Vouch and to Capchase. You can learn more about them at: https://bit.ly/acquired-vouch http://bit.ly/acquiredcapchase Links: The Ethereum Whitepaper: https://ethereum.org/en/whitepaper/ Yung Spielburg https://open.spotify.com/artist/273so0X2Yuo93vfeX2nLDI and Mike Taylor https://open.spotify.com/artist/30ejUciK31BCg0IVCbt1dW on Spotify Carve Outs: Arthur C. Clarke: https://www.amazon.com/Arthur-C-Clarke/e/B000APF21M? (especially Rendezvous with Rama and The City & The Stars) Disney-Marvel's Loki: https://www.disneyplus.com/series/loki/6pARMvILBGzF The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson: https://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Age-Illustrated-Primer-Spectra/dp/0553380966 Nier Automata: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nier:_Automata Magic the Gathering IRL: https://magic.wizards.com/en/events/event-types/friday-night-magic Episode Sources: https://www.amazon.com/Infinite-Machine-Crypto-hackers-Building-Internet/dp/0062886142/ http://www.gjermundbjaanes.com/understanding-ethereum-smart-contracts/ https://bitcoinmagazine.com/technical/bootstrapping-a-decentralized-autonomous-corporation-part-i-1379644274 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4916.msg72174#msg72174 https://bitinfocharts.com/comparison/ethereum-transactionfees.html#6m https://blog.ethereum.org/2015/07/30/ethereum-launches/ https://coinmarketcap.com https://cointelegraph.com/news/ico-market-2018-vs-2017-trends-capitalization-localization-industries-success-rate https://consensys.net/about/ https://decrypt.co/36641/who-are-ethereums-co-founders-and-where-are-they-now https://defipulse.com https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_(classical_element) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin_Magazine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcointalk https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Hoskinson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynthia_Dwork https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dai_(cryptocurrency) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decentralized_autonomous_organization https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decentralized_finance https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emin_Gün_Sirer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EOS.IO https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethereum https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethereum https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavin_Wood https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Russia_(1991–present) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Goldberg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jed_McCaleb https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Lubin_(entrepreneur) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MetaMask https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_of_work https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_contract https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_DAO_(organization) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitalik_Buterin https://ethereum.org/en/developers/docs/gas/ https://ethereum.org/en/whitepaper/ https://finance.yahoo.com/news/eip-1559-nears-ethereum-upgrade-070058011.html https://info.etherscan.com/understanding-an-ethereum-transaction/ https://joincolossus.com/episodes/14242194/drake-ethereum-into-the-ether?tab=transcript https://media.consensys.net/ethereum-gas-fuel-and-fees-3333e17fe1dc https://medium.com/@ConsenSys/a-101-noob-intro-to-programming-smart-contracts-on-ethereum-695d15c1dab4 https://medium.com/the-capital/layer-1-vs-layer-2-what-you-need-to-know-about-different-blockchain-layer-solutions-69f91904ce40 https://novicedock.com/learn/cryptocurrency/ethereum https://open.spotify.com/episode/0I8O5IW4lDaFdUNrhXJZ6k?si=tt199jqFThKyk__DSgb08w&context=spotify%3Ashow%3A41TNnXSv5ExcQSzEGLlGhy&dl_branch=1 https://uniswap.org/blog/uniswap-history/ https://vessenes.com/more-ethereum-attacks-race-to-empty-is-the-real-deal/ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-07/crypto-coin-outperforming-bitcoin-is-about-to-see-supply-reduced https://www.coindesk.com/2016-ico-blockchain-replace-traditional-vc https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/358661 https://www.fool.com/investing/2021/05/27/what-is-ethereum-20-and-when-will-it-happen/ https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/031416/bitcoin-vs-ethereum-driven-different-purposes.asp https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/4oi2ta/i_think_thedao_is_getting_drained_right_now/ https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/m07kof/ethereum_to_become_a_deflationary_asset_eip1559/ https://www.reddit.com/r/MakerDAO/comments/as40d0/why_would_someone_choose_dai_over_tether/ https://www.statista.com/statistics/807195/ethereum-market-capitalization-quarterly/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x1b_S6Qp2Q https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4UNOv6SUcQ&t=2354s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSN5BaCzsbo
  • Acquired podcast

    Special: Ho Nam from Altos Ventures — A Different Approach to VC

    1:49:45

    What do you get when you combine Berkshire Hathaway's approach with early-stage venture capital? Altos Ventures. We're joined by Altos's wonderful Ho Nam to discuss their highly unusual approach to VC, which has resulted in them becoming significant shareholders in great companies like Roblox, Coupang, Woowa Brothers and Krafton (makers of PUBG). This episode is an absolute must-listen for anyone in our industry — Ho is one of the best and most under-the-radar thinkers in Silicon Valley, and has many lessons to offer us all! If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like our Book Clubs. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors: Thanks to MITIMCo for being our presenting sponsor for this special episode. They are truly some of the best and most well-known investors in the LP community, and their investment performance supports MIT's cutting-edge research, and world-class education. If you or someone you know is starting a fund or recently launched, or if you are interested in learning about the MITIMCo team, you can email them at partnership@mitimco.org and learn more at https://mitimco.org/emerging-managers/. Just tell them that you heard about MITIMCo on Acquired. MITIMCo is looking to expand their global investment team! If you want to work with Nate and their team (with their unique structure), you can learn more here: https://mitimco.org/global-investor/. Thank you as well to Masterworks and to Perkins Coie. You can learn more about them at: http://bit.ly/acquiredmasterworks (use code “Acquired” to skip the waitlist) http://bit.ly/acquiredperkins Topics covered: Altos's 13-year+ journey with Roblox, and how they deployed over $400m into the company out of an $86m fund Altos's heritage in Jack McDonald's Investments class at Stanford GSB, and the influence of Jack, Phil Fisher and Warren & Charlie How Altos successfully "value invests" in venture capital, and reconciling cashflow potential with growth "Good fundraisers" vs. "bad fundraisers" and correlation with returns Altos's unique fund structure and how they're architected to stay with companies longer than a typical venture capital firm Ho's Twitter presence and how (and why) he went from de minimus followers to one of the top FinTwit accounts in a few months Links: Ho's amazing Twitter presence: https://twitter.com/honam Ho's "Foxes and Hedgehogs" post: https://altos.vc/blog/foxes-and-hedgehogs Ho's "How do you know?" post: https://altos.vc/blog/howdoyouknow Ho's "Venture Lotto" post: https://www.altos.vc/blog/venture-lotto Sam Walton's Made in America: https://www.amazon.com/Sam-Walton-Made-America/dp/0553562835
  • Acquired podcast

    Berkshire Hathaway Part III

    2:54:59

    It's time. We wrap our Berkshire Hathaway trilogy with Warren and Charlie entering a new era: the age of the internet. Can they and Berkshire adapt to this brave new world? We find out. And, after 9+ hours, we render our final judgments on Berkshire and Warren's career. Is "Never bet against America" still the right longterm approach? Or is there another, even bigger Snowball out there that Warren may be missing? If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like our recent Book Club event with Brad Stone. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors:  Thanks to Tiny for being our presenting sponsor for all of Acquired Season 8. Tiny is building the "Berkshire Hathaway of the internet" — something they're so dedicated to, they even make and sell bronze busts of Warren & Charlie online! if you own a wonderful internet business that you want to sell, or know someone who does, you should get in touch with them. Just like Berkshire, they commit to quick, simple diligence, a 30-day or less process, and will leave your business to do its thing for the long term. You can learn more about Tiny here: http://bit.ly/acquiredtiny and find their Berkshire Nerds store here: http://bit.ly/acquiredbrknerds Thank you as well to Vouch and to Capchase. You can learn more about them at: https://bit.ly/acquired-vouch http://bit.ly/acquiredcapchase The Berkshire Hathaway Playbook: (also available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/berkshire-hathaway-part-iii ) 1. The Berkshire Hathaway "Culture" Berkshire Hathaway really only has three key cultural tenants that stretch across its huge array of operating businesses and investments: Don't put Berkshire's reputation at risk (i.e., don't be Salomon Brothers). Don't take money out of the business (i.e., re-invest and avoid or defer paying tax whenever possible). Funnel all excess cash back to Omaha for re-allocation (i.e., if you can't find a good use for excess cash, give it back to Warren). 2. You need different strategies at different company scales and points in time. Berkshire's greatest longterm strength has been its ability to adapt and employ different strategies as it and the world has changed. From the transition from cigar butts to wonderful businesses as we saw in our last episode, to diluting the equity portfolio with fixed income assets from Gen Re before the internet bubble crash, to focusing on preferred equity during the financial crisis and ultimately making a non-controlling stake Apple the largest asset in the whole Berkshire portfolio, Warren and Charlie have demonstrated remarkable flexibility during their investing careers. 3. There are huge advantages to a company structure where one person makes all decisions. Warren's ability to make $10 billion+ decisions on his own and within an hour (usually with input from Charlie) is truly unique in the global history of business, and allows Berkshire the flexibility to capitalize on opportunities that no one else can act upon, like the financial crisis. At the same time this setup obviously carries risk — not so much in Warren making bad decisions (cough, airlines), but in missing other opportunities simply due to lack of diversity in thought. Which leads us to our last playbook theme... 4. Never Bet Against The Internet. (aka the "Rosenthal doctrine") Andrew Marks of TQ Ventures perhaps sums up Warren's career best: he's the greatest "status quo investor" that's ever lived, as embodied in his "never bet against America" philosophy. As long as the future looks mostly like the present, nobody is better than Warren at handicapping probabilities and picking winners. But that's no longer the world we live in today. As Doug Leone laid out in our Sequoia Part II episode, we now live in a world of accelerating change: what works today is unlikely to keep working tomorrow. And where is that dynamic baked into the very fabric of existence? The Internet. Never bet against it. Links: Bill Gates 1996 Wired interview: https://youtu.be/VFFlO7yBIBM?t=1056 Jeff Bezos's 2008 AWS == electricity talk at YC Startup School: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nKfFHuouzA Charlie's 2021 Shareholder Meeting "slip-up": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gyqElEG6Uo Carve Outs: Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits: https://www.amazon.com/Common-Stocks-Uncommon-Profits-Writings/dp/0471445509 Xbox Game Pass: http://xbox.com/gamepass Goodfellas: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099685/ The Goodfellas soundtrack: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0xVpgEngjrg6FOw5vEFHRp Episode Sources: https://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1999/11/22/269071/index.htm https://berkshirehathaway.com/2020ar/2020ar.pdf https://companiesmarketcap.com/berkshire-hathaway/marketcap/ https://cunninghamjeff.medium.com/don-keough-mel-gibson-and-the-buffett-gang-abcb8b06e9b3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajit_Jain https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bear_Stearns https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkshire_Hathaway https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Keough https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Graham_Buffett https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_Berkshire_Hathaway https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marmon_Group https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Coke https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Goizueta https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Weschler https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giving_Pledge https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Combs https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bank-america-become-one-warren-141016560.html https://fortune.com/2011/09/12/meet-ted-weschler-buffett-auction-winner-berkshires-new-hire/ https://fs.blog/2009/11/the-crisis-the-decline-of-berkshire-hathaways-stock-from-triple-a-status/ https://givingpledge.org/About.aspx https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/warren-buffett-invested-3-billion-general-electric-ge-2008-crisis-2020-6-1029327040 https://omaha.com/business/ajit-jain-s-role-at-berkshire-expands-new-ceo-at-reinsurer-gen-re-will-report/article_e2c6283e-d64a-57aa-85bf-c6f540f41231.html https://omaha.com/business/berkshire-hathaways-bnsf-railway-seems-to-pull-its-own-weight/article_59b29e97-aa57-5826-9c1f-8e2cf85180cd.html https://rationalwalk.com/revisiting-berkshire-hathaways-acquisition-of-bnsf/ https://rationalwalk.com/revisiting-berkshires-wrigley-investments-brka-brkb/ https://realmoney.thestreet.com/investing/kass-apple-is-the-most-consequential-investment-that-warren-buffett-ever-made-15220462 https://sabercapitalmgt.com/warren-buffett-1997-email-exchange-on-microsoft/ https://sabercapitalmgt.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/BuffettRaikesemails.pdf https://seekingalpha.com/article/4175060-time-for-berkshire-and-mclane-to-part-ways https://static.fmgsuite.com/media/documents/1bae1ba7-c2f2-4af5-ac1f-c0429dc7e5f0.pdf https://theoraclesclassroom.com/blog/berkshire-hathaway-intrinsic-value-calculation-q3-2020/ https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html https://www.ajc.com/business/keough-affable-but-tough-coke-leader/3mJH6FkDAXijjEscdeEQMK/ https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Financial-History-Berkshire-Hathaway/dp/0857199129 https://www.amazon.com/Poor-Charlies-Almanack-Charles-Expanded/dp/1578645018 https://www.amazon.com/Snowball-Warren-Buffett-Business-Life/dp/0553805096 https://www.berkshirehathaway.com/2008ar/2008ar.pdf https://www.berkshirehathaway.com/2020ar/2020ar.pdf https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/02/27/buffett-apple-airline-wagers-highlight-emergence-deputies/nV0z0YHUmR8SjYi1XZ6eLK/story.html https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/31/this-decade-saw-warren-buffett-finally-exit-ibm-jump-big-into-apple.html https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/31/this-decade-saw-warren-buffett-finally-exit-ibm-jump-big-into-apple.html https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/24/warren-buffett-says-apple-is-probably-the-best-business-i-know-in-the-world.html https://www.economist.com/leaders/2021/05/08/warren-buffett-should-step-aside-for-his-chosen-successor https://www.einpresswire.com/article/251597070/donald-r-keough-1926-2015 https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/02/18/the-3-biggest-mistakes-warren-buffett-made-with-ib.aspx https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/11/19/heres-how-much-warren-buffett-has-made-on-coca-col.aspx https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/12/29/heres-how-much-money-warren-buffett-has-made-in-ge.aspx https://www.forbes.com/sites/joewalsh/2021/05/01/buffett-doesnt-regret-selling-airline-stocks-last-year---and-he-still-doesnt-want-to-invest-in-them/?sh=48cbba1e6dfa https://www.goldmansachs.com/our-firm/history/moments/2008-buffett-investment.html https://www.himcap.com/#Management https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/021615/what-difference-between-berkshire-hathaways-class-and-class-b-shares.asp https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/BRK.A/berkshire-hathaway/stock-price-historyhttps://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/25/warren-buffett-says-berkshire-stock-managers-weschler-and-combs-have-trailed-the-sp-500.html https://www.nytimes.com/1995/02/15/business/worldbusiness/IHT-buffett-quietly-amasses-10-stake-in-amex.html https://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/28/business/28gum-web.html https://www.reuters.com/article/us-berkshire-buffett-precisioncastparts/warren-buffetts-10-billion-mistake-precision-castparts-idUSKCN2AR0MZ https://www.theguardian.com/business/2011/apr/30/warren-buffett-big-mistake-david-sokol-lubrizol https://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-DLB-32821 https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303341904575576373008860754 https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303467004575574630162624198 https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703740004574513191915147218 https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703977004575393180048272028 https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111904353504576569102534356770 https://www.wsj.com/articles/warren-buffett-recounts-his-role-in-2008-financial-crisis-1536314400 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gyqElEG6Uo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nKfFHuouzA https://youtu.be/QSGz4Y8CP2I https://youtu.be/VFFlO7yBIBM?t=1056 https://youtu.be/VFFlO7yBIBM?t=1056 https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/109694/0000898430-96-001695.txt  

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