a16z Podcast

Of Emojis and Innovation

Episode Summary

with @fredbenenson @jenny8lee and @smc90 A whole new set of emojis are about to hit people's phone within a month, but that's not the only reason we're re-running this popular (and defining!) episode of the a16z Podcast from 2015. It's an evergreen classic, that is really about how innovation works -- from the politics and economics of creativity, to the design and governance of social communication systems, and much more...

Episode Notes

This rerun podcast (first recorded in 2015, now being rerun as one of our evergreen classics/ favorites) -- is ALL about emoji. But it's really about how innovation really comes about: through the tension between open standards vs. closed/ proprietary systems; the politics of time and place; and the economics of creativity, from making to funding.

So yes, this podcast is all about emoji. But it's also about where emoji fits in the taxonomy of social communication, and why that matters -- from making emotions machine-readable to being able to add "limbic" visual expression to our world of text. And if emoji is a language, why can't we translate it; why so ambiguous?? How do emojis work, both technically underneath the hood... and in the (committee) Room Where It Happens?

Joining this episode are former VP of Data at Kickstarter Fred Benenson (and the man behind 'Emoji Dick'); and former New York Times reporter and current Unicode Emoji subcommittee vice-chair, Jennifer 8. Lee (and one of the women behind the dumpling emoji) -- in conversation with Sonal Chokshi.

image: Yiying Lu (@yiyinglu)