For many in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call that showed the US was unprepared for difficulties and unduly reliant on China.
Whether the present global order necessitates a fresh wave of isolationism depends on your worldview, but the desire for the United States to be more self-reliant, tackle its most obvious difficulties, and remain ahead of its adversaries can be found across the political spectrum.
Can we expect a response from the government? Certainly not, according to Andreessen Horowitz, a venture finance company. Even though co-founder Marc Andreessen made this point in his “Time to Build” rallying cry, general partner Katherine Boyle reinforced this point in a January article on American dynamism.
Boyle defined American vitality as “the awareness that apparently intractable challenges in our society — from national security and public safety to housing and education — deserve answers that aren’t just incremental tweaks that preserve the status quo.” There has never been a more critical time for entrepreneurs to address these significant concerns facing the United States.
In the United States, the idea that “America is dynamic” was well received. However, others have questioned whether or not a16z’s portfolio adequately reflected this aim, because it is more heavily weighted toward crypto and SaaS than, say, govtech.
Foreseeing some of the backlash, Boyle said, “that software only impacts the digital world and that we’re squandering good expertise neglecting the physical.”
She countered that “these naysayers are overlooking this present drive to the physical sector and the interaction of hardware and software.” According to Boyle, “dynamism is neither govtech nor ESG.”
This is where things start to get interesting, since a16z has developed an idea that seems to strike a chord with other investors, but which those investors may interpret differently. Nichole Wischoff, a sole general partner, recently expressed to TechCrunch her desire to invest in “authentic American dynamism.”
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