Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz recently posted a job for an Editorial Partner. The ad was a reminder of how A16Z, as the firm is known, is re-shaping the landscape for financial content.
Financial firms have a long history of publishing research. But with a few exceptions (Barton Biggs from Morgan Stanley comes to mind), the content wasn’t distinguished for its creativity, writing quality or presentation.
The major Street firms hired copy editors to check grammar, but didn’t put much thought into production.
That’s changing and A16Z is one of the leaders among firms that look at content as a way to build their brand.
A16Z has hired professional journalists and invested in packaging, design and distribution.
The firm recently dropped a package of nine articles called “Social Strikes Back” that contained pieces written by partners at the firm and original art.
Anyone who works in media knows how hard it is to assign, coordinate, edit and publish nine articles on a given date.
The content bears little resemblance to typical Street research.
What does it take to do that? It takes a large investment in time, talent and money.
The job description reads like a role at a traditional media company, ie source, assign, develop and edit a diverse network of contributors.
And here is what that person does on a day-to-day basis.
A16Z partners are not independent in the same way as reporters at media companies such as Bloomberg, Reuters or the New York Times.
But with their depth of knowledge, the articles compete for the limited attention of financial professionals.