Tag: a16z

What exactly is ‘hybrid work’?

‘Future’ is a new publication from the VC firm a16z. As such, most things there, while interesting, need to be taken with a large pinch of salt.

This article, for example, feels almost right, but as a gamer the ‘multiplayer’ analogy for work breaks down (for me at least) in several places. That being said, I’ve suggested for a while that our co-op meets around a campfire in Red Dead Redemption II instead of on Zoom…

Remote 1.0. The first wave of modern “remote-first” companies (including Automattic, Gitlab, and Zapier) leaned heavily on asynchronous communication via tools like Google Docs and Slack. This involved a fundamental culture shift that most enterprises could not — and didn’t want to — undertake. It didn’t help that video conferencing technology was clumsy and unreliable, making frictionless real-time communication unfeasible. When collaboration happened, it was primarily through screen sharing: low-fidelity, non-interactive, ineffective. Rather than paving the way, technology was in the way.

Remote 2.0, the phase we’re in, more closely approximates in-person work by relying on video conferencing that allows real-time collaboration (albeit still with friction); video calls are much better now, thanks to more consumer-friendly tools like Zoom and Google Meet. Millennials and Gen-Z-ers, who are more comfortable with multimedia (video and audio as well as multi-player gaming), are increasingly joining the workforce. But while this phase has been more functional from a technical standpoint, it has not been pleasant: “not being able to unplug” has become the top complaint among remote workers. (Especially since many teams have tried to replicate a sense of in-person presence by scheduling more video calls, leading to “Zoom fatigue”). As context diminishes, building trust has become harder — particularly for new employees.

Remote 3.0 is the phase ahead of us: hybrid work. The same challenges of Remote 2.0 are magnified here by asymmetry. The pandemic leveled the playing field at first by pushing everyone to remote work; now that it’s feasible to work in-person, though, hybrid work will create a “second-class citizen” problem. Remote employees may find it much harder to participate in core company functions, to be included in casual conversations, and to form relationships with their colleagues.

Source: Hybrid Anxiety and Hybrid Optimism: The Near Future of Work | Future

Microcast #084 – Chris Dixon on RSS, crypto, and community ownership of the internet

I don’t often listen to the a16z podcast but for some reason I decided to listen to an episode about the past, present, and future of the internet while out for a long walk.

In it, Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO of Buzzfeed, interviews Chris Dixon, a partner at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. A section of it really struck me, which I’d like to share with you now.

Microcast #084 – Chris Dixon on RSS, crypto, and community ownership of the internet

I’d be interested in your thoughts on it, too. Are you optimistic about the kind of approach that Dixon outlines?

Show notes