Ravishankar Iyer

#SOTD 88: Smart acronyms to label patterns (Marc Andreesen interview)

publishedabout 1 month ago
1 min read

This week we are exploring storytelling techniques used by Marc Andreesen (co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz) in an interview with The Mckinsey Quarterly.

On Monday, we looked at the use of historical context/parallels. while yesterday we explored the use of the hill-climbing analogy.

Today we study the use of smart acronyms to label patterns

Here's the question by the interviewer (the 'hill' being referred to here is what was mentioned in the previous #SOTD) and Marc's response.

Tracy Francis: So you think hills are being formed right now?
Marc Andreessen: I do. Some of the hills that we’ve discovered over the past 15 years are still being climbed. But we’re also in search mode. And we think the search has turned up three extremely promising new hills, which, conveniently, line up in the acronym ABC.
Artificial intelligence [AI] is the A. There are all these amazing technologies around deep learning, machine learning, GPT-3 [generative pretrained transformer 3], DALL-E, this new, image-generation thing from open AI, and so forth.
Biotech is the B, with genomics and now the mRNA revolution, and the revolution of bringing together the disciplines of biology and engineering. That’s a big hill to climb.
And the third, the C, is crypto and Web3, which is a revolution around distributed consensus, building trusted networks on the internet, and all the things that follow from that.

I love how Marc built on the search and hill-building analogy with a summary of the major "promising hills" being formed.

What helps is to label those opportunities using an easy-to-remember acronym - ABC.

(I should know, I use ABCD for data storytelling!).

When you see fundamental patterns in your industry/space, explore whether you can label them with smart acronyms.

#SOTD 88


PS: Here is the context for #SOTD and the 'Ultimate Guide to Storytelling Techniques' framework I use - in case you joined this series late! Here is the archive of previous posts. Click here to subscribe.