Editor's note: Originally published on May 24, 2014
Every Monday morning I listen to EconTalk, a weekly podcast where Russ Roberts interviews various people of different backgrounds to discuss relevant economics issues. Russ is a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institute. He is a fantastic interviewer, makes you think, and often discusses the "unintended" economic consequences of various economic ideas or policies.
This past week Russ interviewed technology venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. Mark is best known for co-creating the early web browser Mosaic, and later co-founded Netscape. The interview this past week between Russ and Marc was absolutely fantastic. It is not very common for me to discuss these podcasts with friends / fellow investors, but I couldn't resist after listening to this one. They discussed the challenges of being a venture capitalist (predicting future trends in tech), how smartphones are causing a technology revolution around the world, how Bitcoin is so much more than a digital currency, and how technology has and will affect areas such as newspapers, healthcare, and education.
The entire interview is great but I found the second half of the podcast to be outstanding. As many investors understand, the newspaper industry has come under heavy pressure from the internet starting around 2007. Newspapers, once fantastic businesses are now losing money and have lost their monopolistic dominance over local markets. The internet now allows people to access news much faster and from different cities. Marc discusses how the internet has fragmented newspapers and how competition is forcing them to change. The local monopolies they once enjoyed are over. He also discusses the one gift that the internet has given to the newspaper industry. I, like Russ and Marc, believe there is still a market for good journalism and news but the future will look different than the past.
Also, the discussions about Bitcoin, healthcare and education are all well worth the free price of this podcast.
You can stream or download the podcast here.