My guest today is Katherine Boyle, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Katherine started her career as a reporter for The Washington Post before moving into VC at General Catalyst. She now leads a practice at a16z called American Dynamism, investing in companies that are solving critical issues in areas like defense, housing, and education. In the past year, I've spoken to Marc Andreessen, Josh Wolfe, and a number of founders about this need to build societally important businesses so I was excited to explore the topic in even more detail today. Please enjoy my conversation with Katherine Boyle.
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The content here is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal, business, tax or investment advice, or be used to evaluate any investment or security and is not directed at any investors or potential investors in any a16z fund. For more details, please see a16z.com/disclosures.
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[00:02:42] - [First question] - The origin and overview of the term American Dynamism
[00:05:01] - Why the shift to a move slow and make sure nothing breaks mentality
[00:07:31] - What about the American system today feels broken and stale
[00:09:48] - Becoming a journalist at The Washington Post
[00:11:35] - Describing the power landscape of media as it exists today
[00:12:28] - Major categories of American Dynamism that matter most
[00:14:29] - What matters more or less to her as an investor in these categories
[00:17:31] - Whether or not there’s anything fundamentally broken about our government
[00:19:36] - The Systems Bible; What excites her about aerospace and defense and what creates opportunity and demand in these sectors
[00:22:44] - Explanation of what it means when the factory is the product
[00:23:47] - How much is flowing into aerospace and defense currently
[00:26:01] - An overview of how lobbying works and who does it and why
[00:29:07] - Whether or not she considers these sectors from a bottom up perspective as in investor
[00:30:32] - What other categories she feels pulled towards
[00:33:09] - The biggest problems that currently exist in the K-12 school system
[00:35:34] - Thoughts on how states are competing citizens and how it plays into American Dynamism
[00:37:34] - The role immigration will play in range of outcomes in these main categories
[00:39:32] - Key takeaways about housing in light of American Dynamism
[00:42:09] - Her interpretation of the chart that shows inflation in categories over time
[00:44:40] - How different the investing dynamics are in all of these categories and thoughts on valuation in this world
[00:47:56] - Whether or not expected returns and risk profiles are different in this area
[00:48:36] - The importance of effective a founder’s storytelling, knowledge and customer empathy
[00:49:55] - Overview of the anatomy of a great story
[00:51:30] - The story she tells founders at this stage so establish a partnership
[00:52:46] - The kindest thing that anyone has ever done for her