Marc Andreesen on Real Estate (and Flying Cars)


Old interview of Andreesen from 2016 but still holds up pretty well. Good read.

We talked about the role of cities earlier. One of the big issues with inequality, which is very vivid right now in the valley and in San Francisco, is can you literally afford to live someplace? It’s like this stupid Prop. 13 thing we have in California. If you’re an old homeowner you pay no property taxes, if you’re a new homeowner you get completely drilled. It presumably should be the other way around, but politically, it got corrupted and it got wired up the wrong way. Rents in San Francisco [have] doubled in the last five years, which is just complete lunacy. In Detroit, you can buy a house for $100. In the valley, it’s hard to buy a house for less than $2 million. It’s just complete lunacy. Half of the people in Detroit should move to the valley and can’t. It’s just nuts.

Then it’s like, “Okay, smart guy: internet, the phone, video conferencing, telepresence, VR, AR, collaboration, Slack, GitHub, Asana, all of these things.” Seriously? The joke in the valley is, “Help wanted. Programmer / designer wanted for state-of-the-art Silicon Valley telepresence software company making collaborative work easy across geography and time zone. Must be willing to relocate to San Francisco.” It’s just nuts.

Stage one, I think, would get transportation to be something where if an hour in the car is actually pleasurable, it’s one of the best parts of the day as opposed to one of the worst parts of your day. That would help a lot. Because then you could live south of San Jose and not kill yourself trying to commute to Redwood City. That’s one. But the other would be go after telepresence. I think telepresence, ultimately, is the answer. Because you just have computer-mediated communication, which is just exactly like you and I are in the room together. The way I think about it is, that’s the one-two punch to solve all of this real estate-related nonsense. We can’t technologically fix real estate, but we can make it less necessary.


One problem I see with flying cars is all the electric wires around. They aren’t all readily visible and when you are airborne it is not as easy to avoid hazards as it is on the ground.


We don’t have batteries good enough for flying cars. Will take a long while.


Flying cars won’t have mass appeal… will need a runway, lots of land…


They actually have flying cars now.


How much runway do they need?


I believe they can use a regular road for a runway, for takeoffs at least. Landing would be more difficult.