During his keynote address, Levchin said too many entrepreneurs focus on small ideas. He’s looking for transformative ideas that will have a massive impact through his firm, HVF. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Affirm, a financial technology startup and is an active investor in Uber and other startups. He also founded Slide and helped start Yelp. So he knows a thing or two about game-changing technology startups.
“Riding the big wave is the dream of every entrepreneur,” Levchin said.
During his talk, he outlined four major trends and a fifth bonus trend for entrepreneurs to focus on and to create startups around.
1. Beneficence – the act of doing good, active kindness. A company that does well by doing good for its customers.
2. Human-assisted AI – the robots will get smarter but they will still need humans to provide insight and knowledge.
3. Software eating older software – Building on Marc Andreessen’s famous essay on Software Eating the World, Levchin sees the second wave of software replacing older software creating tremendous innovation in old industries.
4. Regulatory Arbitrage – Opportunities created and money available from the government around data.
5. Fractal Knowledge – Specializing in niche markets and becoming an expert and forming a new model of how the world works and seeing opportunities that others might not.