‘Re/code Decode’ Podcast Episode: Andreessen Horowitz VC Conversation


#1

VC Chris Dixon from Andreessen Horowitz was on the “Re/code Decode” podcast. He talks about investing in general, and about several of the tech projects they invest in, including Soylent. He talks about a lot of cool tech stuff, like VR, Bitcoin, etc., but the Soylent/food tech conversation starts at around 19:10. (if you don’t want to listen to the rest of it) It only lasts a couple of minutes because they are going through the topics so fast, but is interesting.

Summary
Podcast


#2

Thanks for posting this!


#3

At about 20:20 he says it’s about $10 per day and they’d like to get it way down from that but that most of the cost comes from shipping and packaging.

First of all that surprises me that I thought potential advancements in algae or single cell protein were going to maybe make big dents in the cost of the food itself but if most of the cost is shipping and packaging then it sounds like there isn’t a big dent to be made.

And secondly, beyond incremental improvements, how can they make a big improvement in the costs of shipping and packaging? I would’ve thought those pouches cost pretty little. The only think I can think of is maybe have more manufacturing locations which then lessens shipping distance and thus cut costs.


#4

Yes.

Just yesterday i read (probabaly on recode itself) how amazon increased its operating margins by placing its warehouses/fuffilment centers? closer to towns and cities than before thereby saving on fuel. Maybe soylent could also do this if they are not doing it already. Also amazon has launched ‘amazon launcher’. I haven’t read much detail about it, but its something like amazon encouraging startups and also selling their product (which presumably includes shipping).


#5

I hope Soylent’s warehouse workers are and will be treated better than Amazon’s.


#6

Amazon is doing something right…they are now bigger/more valuable than Walmart.


#7

Another company not exactly known for treating its workers very well. I just want my Soylent bucks to go toward giving people a decent wage and a decent workday!


#8

Actually, Walmart has raised their minimum pay nationally well above minimum wage now, to $10 an hour. (Higher in many more expensive markets.) Also, there are lots of chances for people to move up in pay and move into manager positions with benefits. I wouldn’t say they provide the best job in the world, but compared to flipping burgers, I would much rather work at Walmart. (Not that I ever have or will, but given the hypothetical choice.)

I am not as familiar with Amazon’s employment practices.