Source: Blake Masters blog, May 2012
Peter Thiel: What areas do you think are particularly promising in the very near term?
Marc Andreessen: Probably retail. We’re seeing and will continue to get e-commerce 2.0, that is, e-commerce that’s not just for nerds. The 1.0 was search driven. You go to Amazon or eBay, search for a thing, and buy it. That works great if you’re shopping for particular stuff.
The 2.0 model involves a deeper understanding of consumer behavior. These are companies like Warby Parker and Airbnb. It’s happening vertical by vertical. And it’s likely to keep happening throughout the retail world because retail is really bad to start with. There are very high fixed costs of having stores and inventory. Margins are very small to begin with. If you take away just 5 or 10%, things collapse. Best Buy, for example, has two problems. First, people can get pretty much everything online. Second, even if you do want to shop brick and mortar, software is eating up what you can buy at Best Buy in the first place.