This VC is optimistic about American dynamism – “the real one” • TechCrunch
Wischoff Ventures solo GP on CHIPS Act tailwinds, US vs. China and more
For many AmericansCOVID-19 served as a wake-up call: the United States was not nearly as prepared to weather the challenges as it should be, and it was too dependent on China.
Whether the current geopolitical order calls for a new wave of isolationism will depend on your worldview, but America’s desire to be more self-sufficient, to solve its most pressing problems, and to stay ahead of their rivals can be found across the political spectrum.
Will the answer come from the government? Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz doesn’t think so. Its co-founder, Marc Andreessen, has already said so in his “Time to Build” call to action, but general partner Katherine Boyle doubled down in January with an essay on American dynamism.
American dynamism, Boyle wrote, is “the recognition that seemingly insurmountable problems in our society – from national security and public safety to housing and education – demand solutions that are not simply incremental changes that perpetuate the status quo. These issues demand solutions from builders — and it’s never been more vital for startups to tackle these serious US problems.
As a thesis, American Dynamism found resonance in the American tech community. But voices also emerged questioning how well that goal was represented in a16z’s portfolio, which is more crypto and SaaS-heavy than govtech, for example.
Boyle had anticipated some of this criticism already, attributing it in part to a false belief “that software only touches the digital world and that we waste valuable talent by ignoring the physical.”
But, she countered, “these criticisms miss this current move towards the physical sector and the interplay between hardware and software.” In terms of sectors, Boyle added, “dynamism is neither govtech nor ESG.”
This is where things get interesting: a16z came up with a concept that clearly resonates with other investors, but which they may also define differently. For example, solo GP Nichole Wischoff recently told TechCrunch that she hopes to fund “American dynamism…the real one.”