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.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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.
This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus streamlines the investment research process so you can get up to speed and find answers to critical questions on companies faster and more efficiently. The Tegus platform surfaces the hard-to-get qualitative insights, gives instant access to critical public financial data through BamSEC, and helps you set up customized expert calls. It’s all done on a single, modern SaaS platform that offers 360-degree insight into any public or private company. As a listener, you can take Tegus for a free test drive by visiting tegus.co/patrick. And until 2023 every Tegus license comes with complimentary access to BamSec by Tegus.
Today's episode is brought to you by Brex. Brex is the integrated financial platform trusted by the world's most innovative entrepreneurs and fastest-growing companies. With Brex, you can move money fast for instant impact with high-limit corporate cards, payments, venture debt, and spend management software all in one place. Ready to accelerate your business? Learn more at brex.com/best.
Invest Like the Best is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Invest Like the Best, visit joincolossus.com/episodes.
Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.
Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here.
Follow us on Twitter: @patrick_oshag | @JoinColossus
[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