Greymatter

Greymatter by Greylock

Stories from Company Builders

  • 32 minutes 39 seconds
    Reinventing Distributed Commerce with AI

    App-tracking rules closed the door on user-tracking and targeted ads, but AI opened up new channels of engagement and personalization that previously weren’t possible. Commerce infrastructure company Fermat ushers businesses into this new era of online retail. CEO and co-founder Rishabh Jain talks with Greylock partner Saam Motamedi about the double impact of ATT and AI on commerce, and how Fermat is helping to build the next generation of online businesses. You can read the transcript of this interview here on greylock.com.

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    16 May 2024, 1:30 pm
  • 12 minutes 23 seconds
    Shifting Power Dynamics in AI-Focused Cloud

    Audio version of the essay "The Big 4 Era: Shifting Power Dynamics in the AI-Focused Cloud" written by Greylock partners Jason Risch and Jerry Chen (read by Greylock head of editorial Heather Mack).

    It’s never been harder to compete with the Big 3 cloud providers. As the AI revolution has shifted NVIDIA into the central power broker of the tech ecosystem, AWS, Azure, and GCP have rushed to build their AI edge. In this “Big 4” era, What’s left for startups?

    At Greylock, we see ample opportunities in developer tools, infrastructure, agents, apps, security, codegen, and robotics. These observations our based on our daily work, as well as our ongoing data collection and analysis for our Castles in the Cloud project. This essay outlines those areas of opportunity, as well as those that are better suited for incumbents. You can read the essay at greylock.com.

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    16 May 2024, 1:00 pm
  • 30 minutes 38 seconds
    Product-Led AI: Adept CEO David Luan on Upleveling Human Work

    Guest episode of Product-Led AI, a new podcast series hosted by Greylock partner Seth Rosenberg featuring conversations with leading AI builders.

    Adept CEO and co-founder David Luan has been riding the LLM wave since the early days of the modern AI boom: an early OpenAI employee, he led the company’s engineering team before serving as the tech lead for Google Brain’s work on LLMs. He co-founded Adept in 2022 to develop multimodal agents built to work alongside humans in any profession. Believing computers should work more like humans and not the other way around, Adept has stood out for its human-centric approach to AGI. 

    In this episode, David talks about the moment he realized building a new product (and a startup) was a faster track to AGI; breaks down the frameworks for Adept; and shares his view of a future where AI functions almost invisibly below all software we use. 

    Check out the whole series at productledaipod.com

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    15 May 2024, 2:00 pm
  • 42 minutes 41 seconds
    Product-Led AI: Reid Hoffman on AI-Powered Networks

    Guest episode of Product-Led AI, the new series hosted by Greylock partner Seth Rosenberg where he chats with builders who put the power of AI into products that people love.

    This week, AI visionary (and fellow Greylock partner) Reid Hoffman talks with Seth about the main opportunities in the application layer of AI, with an extra deep dive on AI-powered networks and marketplaces. Having been instrumental in building and scaling several iconic networks throughout his career, Hoffman has learned the core fundamentals of building these types of businesses don't change much - they just look different, depending on the latest tech platform shift.

    About the series: Investor and former product builder Seth Rosenberg talks with founders about their inspiration and process to build, test, and continually reimagine how AI and humans work together. You can find more about the series at productledaipod.com.

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    8 May 2024, 1:00 pm
  • 47 minutes 53 seconds
    Introducing Product-Led AI

    Special guest episode of Product-Led AI, a new podcast hosted by Greylock partner Seth Rosenberg. In this series, he focuses on the central question: How do you make AI useful?

    While plenty of money and attention goes to large language models and GPUs, it takes a different skill set to build AI products that change the way we work, learn, and live. We’re seeing this in AI co-pilots, AI-first networks and marketplaces, and entirely reimagined software categories where AI is solving long-standing challenges in new ways. But how do they actually do it?

    Investor and former product builder Seth Rosenberg talks with founders about their inspiration and process to build, test, and continually reimagine how AI and humans work together. You can find more about the series at productledaipod.com.

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    1 May 2024, 4:38 pm
  • 13 minutes 15 seconds
    Jacob Andreou | From Ports to Transformations

    Greylock general partner Jacob Andreou reads his essay on how to build valuable products during moments of technology transitions. Having previously led product and growth for one of the iconic native apps of the mobile era (Snap), Andreou developed a perspective on some of the best (and worst) strategic and tactical decisions companies can make during tech shifts. It starts by asking an important question: Are you building a novel solution to an enduring need, enabled by new technology?

    Using lessons learned from his hands-on experience at Snap and observations across other companies, Andreou provides a framework for evaluating your product and company to ensure you are building a transformative product and not a toy.

    You can read the full essay, "From Ports to Transformations: Strategies for Building Enduring Consumer Products During Tech Shifts here: https://greylock.com/greymatter/building-enduring-consumer-products-during-tech-shifts/

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    4 April 2024, 4:19 pm
  • 49 minutes 43 seconds
    Jerry Chen and Instabase CEO Anant Bhardwaj | Building a System of Intelligence

    Building a defensible system of intelligence at a time when LLMs are becoming commoditized (and when all the classic moats like economies of scale are more important than ever) isn’t easy. But Instabase, which provides an applied AI platform for enterprise organizations to run various operational processes, has managed to accrue a large customer base and recently hit $2 billion valuation. The company has gained traction largely because they've taken cues directly from customers since day one while incorporating the latest technology advances to continually expand their product, making it useful across hundreds of different use cases for a range of industries.

    Greylock general partner and Instabase board member Jerry Chen spoke with Instabase CEO and founder Anant Bhardwaj about the company’s journey amid the fast-changing AI landscape.

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    12 September 2023, 5:10 pm
  • 20 minutes 17 seconds
    Jerry Chen | The New New Moats

    Greylock general partner Jerry Chen discusses key takeaways from his essay "The New New Moats: Why Systems of Intelligence are Still the Next Defensible Business Model." The essay is a fresh take on his "New Moats" blog from 2017, in which he postulated that startups would be able to build defensible moats using AI. With the explosion of AI activity in recent times, Chen revisited this analysis to see what holds true, what he got wrong, and what is still too early to tell.

    You can read the 2023 essay here: https://greylock.com/greymatter/the-new-new-moats/

    You can read the original 2017 essay here: https://greylock.com/greymatter/the-new-moats/

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    22 June 2023, 5:33 pm
  • 39 minutes 29 seconds
    Inflection AI | The AI Friend Zone

    As anyone who has experimented with the latest artificial intelligence tools that generate human-like responses to text, every interaction with technology is increasingly becoming a conversation. Beyond pre-programmed responses based on specific key words, interacting with AI trained on large language models is beginning to feel like a natural back and forth dialogue.

    "In the future, I think there will be an ever-present relationship that you have with an AI that helps you to make sense of the world around you," says Inflection AI CEO and co-founder Mustafa Suleyman, whose company recently released Pi, or "personal AI", designed to listen, talk, and provide support like a companion.

    Listen to Suleyman and his Inflection co-founder Reid Hoffman on the Greymatter podcast discuss how they approached building the "AI sidekick" that is Pi, and share their vision for the future of the technology.

    You can read the transcript of this conversation here: https://greylock.com/greymatter/inflectionai-the-ai-friend-zone/

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    10 May 2023, 4:52 pm
  • 20 minutes 18 seconds
    Jerry Chen | The New Wave of Cloud Innovation

    Greylock general partner Jerry Chen analyzes top trends impacting funding, company creation, product launches, and partnerships throughout the cloud ecosystem for 2022 and the first part of 2023. This analysis is based on data compiled for Greylock's Castles in the Cloud project, which maps the activity of VC-backed startups as well as that of the Big 3 cloud providers AWS, Google, and Microsoft Azure. AI, an increased focus on vertical specialization, and the expansion of security needs are all fueling activity in the cloud ecosystem. 

    The trends in this discussion are also examined in Greylock investor Jason Risch's recent essay, which you can read here: https://greylock.com/greymatter/three-trends-in-vc-backed-cloud/

    You can find the entire Castles in the Cloud project here: greylock.com/castles.

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    2 May 2023, 5:10 pm
  • 13 minutes 37 seconds
    Jason Risch | Three Trends in VC-Backed Cloud

    Audio version of Greylock investor Jason Risch's essay "Three Trends in VC-Backed Cloud." As part of our Castles in the Cloud project, which maps the activity in the venture capital-funding startup ecosystem with that of the Big 3 Cloud providers, we compile a database of fundraising at the end of each calendar year and identify trends. Although 2022 and the first part of 2023 has been marked by notable advancements in cloud technology – mostly via AI integrations – there is still considerable restraint in today’s venture capital-backed ecosystem. That figure doesn’t translate to lower activity, however. Many venture capital firms report they are just as busy as prior to the market correction, albeit with a focus on smaller checks for early-stage companies. Technological advancements, partnerships between major powerbrokers, and vertical specialization are all components of the current wave. The top three trends for this period are the rise of AI/ML in cloud, Vertical specialization (or, industry clouds), and security.

    You can read this essay here: https://greylock.com/greymatter/three-trends-in-vc-backed-cloud/

    You can view the entire Castles in the Cloud project here: https://greylock.com/castles/

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    27 April 2023, 8:07 pm
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