You don’t need to feel sorry for venture capitalists. At the same time, with a little empathy for what they’re going through you can gets some clues about where a tech-driven economy is going.
VCs are, after all, people who listen all day to pitches from other people who typically want to put the latest and coolest technology against the most challenging and rewarding problems. Even on a good day, this can mean listening to a lot of the same thing.
These days, that means hearing nonstop pitches about Artificial Intelligence. While A.I. is certainly a very big deal — it’s at the center of self-driving cars, home assistants, and most of the activities of my employer, Google — that doesn’t mean it’s fun hearing how every startup is now A.I. compliant or an A.I innovator.
“We’ve gone through three big trends in the last 10 years of pitches,” said Frank Chen, head of deals and research at Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s larger VCs. “Everyone was ‘mobile first.’ Then they were ‘cloud native.’ Now it’s ‘A.I. inside.’”