Thoughts, ideas and observations from our Venrock team

author img 5.28.2020
by Bryan Roberts

2020 Healthcare Prognosis

As we all entered January 2020, many years into a historic bull run along (too?) many dimensions, few of us (well, maybe Stephon Marbury) had any idea what the next 4 months would bring. We have all had to adapt, finding resiliency and grace in the face of uncertainty and adversity. We have ha

author img 5.9.2020
by Ethan Batraski

Moving to an ‘everything as code’ world

Engineers are great at making hard things possible. Then repeatable. Then automatable. Then run on their own. Software development has repeated this cycle over and over. We build a new capability; we make it easier to repeat with scripts, we let it run on its own with fixed functions, and then we a

author img 4.27.2020
by Bob Kocher, MD

What If We Gave Hospitals Real Incentives To Prepare For The Next Pandemic?

This article first appeared on It is co-authored with Soleil Shah. The US response to COVID-19 makes it clear that hospitals in the United States are not adequately prepared to handle pandemics. Researchers have shown that hospitals will only have enough beds to meet demand in

author img 4.20.2020
by David Pakman

Music’s Live-Streaming Moment

Since 1995, many of us have dreamed of a world of live-streamed music events. It might finally be happening. In 1995, as co-founder of Apple’s nascent music group, I partnered with two innovative club-owners, Andrew Rasiej (Irving Plaza) and Michael Dorf (The Knitting Factory) who had resu

author img 4.16.2020
by Bob Kocher, MD

COVID-19 is Normalizing Telehealth, and That’s a Good Thing

This article first appeared on When the state of California enlisted my help working on our state’s coronavirus response, my goal was to address the enormous initial gap in testing. We’re ramping up testing to identify where the virus is spreading, how to contain i

author img 2.25.2020
by Bob Kocher, MD

To Fight Surprise Medical Bills, Create a Powerful United Patient Lobby

This article first appeared on It is co-authored with Soleil Shah. Physicians are taught to prioritize the interests of their patients, using their knowledge, preferences, and values to guide clinical decisions. Political decisions about the U.S. health care system tend to take the

author img 2.17.2020
by Ethan Batraski

Connecting the next four billion people, Venrock’s investment into Astranis

On January 1, 1983, a group of researchers at ARPA adopted the TCP/IP protocol for their ARPANET, and there began the birth of a network of networks that eventually formed into today's modern internet. In the following 36 years, over three billion people globally joined the internet. Today

author img 2.12.2020
by Venrock

Running Through Walls: Nature vs. Nurture

Venrock Partner Bob Kocher speaks with Ezekiel Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, about Emanuel’s upbringing and family, how to deliver better patient care and implications of data/AI for

author img 1.21.2020
by Bryan Roberts

An explosion of knowledge: Multiplexed interventional genomics

Discovery biology, pre-genomics, followed a linear path: develop a hypothesis, design an experiment and carefully control variables, one at a time, to prove or disprove the hypothesis.  The challenge with this “classical” approach is not only the “one step after another” pace, but t

author img 1.15.2020
by Venrock

Running Through Walls: Building a Genomics Unicorn

10x Genomics CEO and co-founder Serge Saxonov joins Venrock’s Bryan Roberts to discuss the founding of the company and its recent IPO. Saxonov shares his story of emigrating from Tajikistan to New York City as a teenager, learning English and becoming an entrepreneur. He talks candidly about how

author img 1.14.2020
by Bob Kocher, MD

The Downside of Strong Growth in Health Care Jobs: Higher Costs

This article first appeared on It is co-authored with Ezekiel J. Emanuel. Jobs growth soars (CNBC). November Job Growth Booms (USA Today). US economy smashes forecasts (Business Insider). That enthusiasm was the general reaction to the November jobs report tallying an

author img 1.13.2020
by Venrock

Ethan Batraski and Racquel Bracken Promoted to Partner

Todd Graham Joins with Focus on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure For over 40 years, Venrock has been committed to diversified, early stage investing – supporting entrepreneurs who will run through walls to create new products and services, surmounting obstacles that most think impossible. The