In many ways, a16z created the playbook for the boom times in tech. During the era of fawning tech journalism and low interest rates, valuations of private companies exploded. Founders were “geniuses” and “rockstars”; it was easy to raise and easy to spend. There were herds of “unicorns,” companies that are valued at more than $1 billion. (This is to say nothing of “decacorns.”) Startups stopped running lean and instead got fat, attempting to outspend their competition.
This strategy is now at least two vibe shifts behind.