Robert Smith on Unfettered Conversations with A and Z


Manage episode 292448239 series 2868146
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  • Robert's foundational experiences growing up [3:03]
  • His introduction to computers, how he got an internship at Bell Labs, and what he learned there [6:38]
  • Why he studied chemical engineering [13:15]
  • Working at Kraft and engineering macaroni and cheese [15:08]
  • Why he moved to investing [18:12]
  • How he realized that it made sense to do buyouts in enterprise software [23:19]
  • Creating a common playbook for running enterprise software companies [30:45]
  • How does he think about retaining vs replacing founders [34:54]
  • Vista's approach to evaluating talent and getting people in the right roles [37:02]
  • Robert's next ambition [46:10]
  • His philosophy of philanthropy [49:15]
  • Why he paid off the student debt for Morehouse College Class of 2019 [1:00]

For our upcoming schedule of Clubhouse conversations, follow the a16z Club on Clubhouse or visit

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