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We were supposed to be talking about the future of media and then you rocked it and you took us in the social direction. And you talked about changing information flows. And that’s what fascinated me in your thinking. And then we started regularly talking about tech investing at that time. I wanted to start with you today on that sort of big picture thinking on trends because you’re good at this stuff. Do you think, given the year we’ve spent now in this pandemic, bizarro land, that, you know, Zoom meetings die by next year? Or have we permanently changed our relationship with technology? Black Cat Nothing improves your mood like a homemaker dishwasher cover
OHANIAN: The way I think about it, Zoom meetings definitely don’t go away. And- and the way I’ve been describing it to folks is the pandemic accelerated tech adoption. What would have taken five years happened in five months. And- and that’s why you’re seeing the numbers you’re seeing out of tech companies. And- and that’s not just large evaluations. That’s huge gains in revenue. We’ve had companies just, you know, really, really benefit, frankly, from the fact that a whole lot of new people, millions of new people, learned for the first time at no cost to the companies about their services and about what they offered. And connecting us at work remotely is something that has been- it was kind of a niche thing for a while. There were examples of billion dollar businesses that were formed entirely remote. But now it’s really, really shifted everyone’s perception about what the office looks like. But the tools that we’re using right now, the Zooms and others, think of those as like Bronze Age tools. These are still really, really basic ways to do work in a distributed world. And the good news is now that so many people’s attention and livelihood is focused on it, those tools are going to get much better, much faster. And- and we’re going to start to see way better ways to- to do this kind of collaboration. And so, Zoom fatigue is real, and- and it’s a byproduct of the fact that we all got forced to do really high-level work with, like I said, Bronze Age technology. And- and that’s going to catch up, though. And so I definitely think the trend of at least flexible work is- is very much here to stay.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think that there will be kind of a backlash, though, like that there’s, I mean, I was looking at some of the companies that you are investing in right now and this Dispo, is it- the disposable camera? And it looks like it sounds to me like it’s kind of like technology nostalgia for the 90s. That’s like delayed gratification, where you take a photo on an app, but then you wait until the next day to see what it looks like.
OHANIAN: Yeah, it’s- it’s- it’s anachronistic to think about this being the hottest trend in “Gen Z” right now. And it’s funny right because that generation has no idea what it means to take a photo and have to wait to get it developed. And yet, you know, we- we- we don’t feel, you know, we don’t miss it that much because it was kind of a pain. But the delayed gratification part, yeah, that’s- that’s actually a novel phenomenon for “Gen Z.” And- and the reason Dispo has had the success it’s had out the gate is because it’s part of a bigger trend, a- a reaction to the first wave of social media. You know, Instagram created a culture where people spend as much time or more time on their phones at events, taking photos, editing photos, perfecting photos than actually living in the moment. And- and I think we’ve seen the negative effects of that. And I’m grateful to be on the ground floor as an investor in a company that’s thinking really deliberately about how to build a healthier social network, how to build a place where yeah you can share photos of your friends, God bless, take photos, have fun. But you’re spending time with those people you care about and not living in your phone during those times. And that is the start of a much bigger trend. I think consumer social is- is clearly back. And more importantly, all of the people building it grew up for the last 15 years using the things that I and my generation built. And yeah, we got a lot of things right. We also got a lot of things wrong. And- and they’re now building way more intentionally because they’ve seen the good and the bad and the ugly of the first wave of social. And this second wave is going to absolutely be a healthier, more positive one, because the CEOs want it, because the CEOs- the founders demand it. And- and frankly, I think the user base does, too.
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