Ben Horowitz On Shifting Technologies: "Go Out And Build 'Question Mark' …"

Andreessen Horowitz Founder/Partner Ben Horowitz took the stage today at Web 2.0 Expo SF to talk about what to invest in and what to build during a technological shift.

Comparing our current technological shift to historical technological shifts like the platform shift from mainframe to client server, the database shift from hierarchical to relational databases and then the infectious domino effect of applications, operating systems, infrastructure, networks and eventually PCs afterward, “The results of the change are bigger than the change”, Horowitz said.

He went on to reiterate the “sell pick axes during a gold rush” investment and development philosophy, emphasizing this outside the tech industry by bringing up the example of how the innovations in automobiles created the suburbs — and the fast food industry.

So what are the resulting things to invest in, according to Horowitz? “Not what we expect”, he said.

“Go out and build ‘question mark'” he ended with. “The one thing we can definitely predict is that there will be very large companies but what they will be will be completely unpredictable.”

You can view Horowitz’s entire slide deck above.