Today, Andreessen Horowitz founder Marc Andreessen announced that social media product veteran Sriram Krishnan will be joining the firm as their latest general partner.
Krishnan, whose previous roles include stints at Snap, Facebook and Twitter, has gained a higher profile in recent weeks from his recurring audio show "The Good Time Show" on Clubhouse. His recent talk with Tesla CEO Elon Musk was something of a watershed moment for the audio chat platform driving plenty of new attention to the budding app.
This announcement follows a report in The Information regarding the hire earlier this week.
Krishnan's hire comes at an interesting point for Andreessen Horowitz, the firm is at the center of plenty of chatter among media circles regarding their "go direct" content strategy. At the same time, a16z and its leadership have played an increasingly hard-nosed role in driving a broader backlash against tech media in recent years among founders and tech enthusiasts in their orbit. Krishnan has spent much of the past couple years building out his flirtations with "tech optimism" content with his interview newsletter "The Observer Effect," his Clubhouse show and his prolific Twitter usage.
Broader "tech pessimism" among media outlets has, I think, partially been owed to a swift and outspoken shift in thinking regarding the societal responsibilities of social media platforms to more aggressively moderate the content they are surfacing on a global scale. Some of the partners at a16z, a Facebook backer, have been among the more vocal in pushing back on these critiques even as the executives at their portfolio companies have seemed more amenable to shift their thinking.
In his blog post, Andreessen notes that Krishnan will be joining the firm's consumer team to invest in areas that include social.
Krishnan, well-regarded in tech circles, may play an important role at the firm as they approach more social investments in a world where the effects of rapidly scaled consumer platforms have become more understood. The firm and its partners have been throwing their full support behind Clubhouse in an aggressive push to promote the platform, flexing the firm's celebrity connections and influence along the way as the platform quickly picks up millions of new users. Krishnan's direct operator roles engaging with the product struggles of building platforms that responsibly scale will likely be an asset as the firm faces increased competition across an increasingly frothy venture market.
I believe I'm now supposed to say the words long expected of me.
"How can I help?"
— Sriram Krishnan (@sriramk) February 3, 2021