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The Future of Innovation in America: A Fireside Chat with Joe Lonsdale | Mainstage

media partner:yahoo clear e1635277838410 - The Future of Innovation in America: A Fireside Chat with Joe Lonsdale | Mainstage

Joe Lonsdale, General Partner, 8VC
Akiko Fujita, Anchor/Reporter, Yahoo Finance

The U.S. has long been an incubator of innovation. For Joe Lonsdale, General Partner at 8VC, the future remains bright. Pushed by Akiko Fujita, Anchor/Reporter at Yahoo Finance, Lonsdale listed his approach to innovation. First, he looks for conceptual gaps, then he finds the talent. With so much money available in venture capital, Fujita asked what sets 8VC apart. Lonsdale explained that his team are builders and they want to work with other builders. In a winner-takes-all economy, it’s important to find partners who can work nimbly. 

Government plays a role in antitrust, he continued, but too much investment creates cronyism. The market is not perfect but it is efficient in creating value. Fujita asked if government funding should play a role in climate innovation, to which Lonsdale expressed his belief that funding must be sustainable. Capital is misallocated if it is based on personal relationships rather than market-tested ideas. 

Turning to China, Lonsdale expressed concern over the internal politics and hidden challenges within the country, in addition to the crackdown on technology. He said that the U.S. needs to out-innovate its competition. Looking forward, Lonsdale explained that he sees an oncoming revolution in the biological sciences and in infrastructure. He also sees cryptocurrency as a force for liberty against systems of fiat currencies.

When you’re doing early-growth investing, or you’re doing early building of a company, you want to be working with other top builders.

Joe Lonsdale

A lot has changed over the last 20 years since Palantir was founded.

Akiko Fujita

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • In a winner-takes-all economy, investors should seek to partner with nimble and responsive companies.