EM Group Chat #094: Solving The Cold Start Problem With Andrew Chen

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Andrew Chen

Recording of the Everything Marketplaces Group Chat #094 (4/5) with Andrew Chen, who's a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Andrew focuses on marketplace investments at a16z, where they've invested in notable marketplaces like Airbnb, Lyft, Hipcamp, Neighbor, and more. Andrew is a top mind when it comes to marketplaces and is also the author of The Cold Start Problem.

0:05
Intro
1:22 Andrew's background
3:45 Writing The Cold Start Problem
5:34 Initially solving the cold start problem & atomic networks
10:42 How to build & measure strong initial atomic networks
16:05 Thinking through marketplace expansion (categories, new markets, layering on services, etc)
20:06 Examples of marketplace expansion & playbooks
24:25 Key learnings from The Cold Start Problem & tips for early stage marketplace founders
27:30 Group Q&A on timing for marketplace expansion & the pull for launching new categories
31:36 Group Q&A on how to think about defensibility with marketplaces
35:34 Group Q&A on how to quantify community & users without monetization
38:47 Group Q&A on how much to focus on one side of a marketplace early-on
40:51 Group Q&A on adverse selection with marketplaces

Follow-up thread for Q&A with Andrew: https://twitter.com/Yoroomie/status/1511399144350384128?s=20&t=VhaH6KV4_oWQyVjLsCLqvA

Andrew's blog: https://www.andrewchen.com
The Cold Start Problem: https://www.coldstart.com
a16z: https://www.a16z.com

Connect with Andrew in the Everything Marketplaces community.