Unscaled 7: The Future of Companies

Does the “company” still make sense as the default operational unit for doing business? Or is it an archaic method of organizing the development, manufacture, and sale of goods and services? For people who want to make innovative products, Silicon Valley demands they start an entirely new business as well. But not every new idea needs to become a company. It’s time to rethink companies as the modus operandi for creating things of value.

Show notes

Hemant Taneja’s book Unscaled: How AI and a New Generation of Upstarts are Creating the Economy of the Future (referral fees will be donated to charity)

Hemant Taneja, managing director at General Catalyst

Ronda Scott, marketing partner at General Catalyst


Do companies still make sense? (1:08)

Historically, companies were the only way to bring innovation to light (2:20)

What is starting a company good for? (2:58)

The idea for corporations started as a way to share risk (3:25)

All Turtles video “Why form a company?” has more details on why companies were historically useful (4:14)

The value of open-source stacks (6:30)

How Amazon AWS has changed how early-stage startups can operate (7:50)

The Netflix model: if you want to make a movie, you don’t have to start a film company (9:51)

The potential of tech product development in Mexico City (12:49)

Why it’s valuable for founders to work on local issues (14:55)

Conventional VC wisdom is changing (16:31)

What defines a good business today (18:20)

Companies in the U.S. provide healthcare (19:09)

The perks that companies offer employees other than salary (20:09)

The concept of an employee is changing as well (e.g. Uber drivers) (21:13)

TaskRabbit connects users to freelance workers (21:49)

What is the future of capitalism? (22:50)

Retirement has fallen on the individual as pensions have disappeared (23:28)


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