Sonal Chokshi

Sonal Chokshi is an American media producer. She is Editor in Chief at Andreessen Horowitz, aka a16z, which she joined in early 2014. Among other things, this includes building the editorial operation and producing and hosting the popular a16z Podcast, which she grew in listenership to more than 100X; it is consistently included in best-of lists and listed as one of the top podcasts in tech.

Beyond the podcast, Sonal directs editorial vision, voice, and strategy (including pivoting the firm in 2014 from reported to first-person approaches in content); conceived, assigned, edited, and or co-wrote many viral hits and special packages on tech trends, company building, and more.

She also established and grew various newsletters from zero to one, including a popular weekly edition of curated reads; and relaunched or launched the a16z website, social media, and other campaigns including ebooks.

The special editorial package “16 Things” that Sonal conceived of and produced, released in January 2015 was the longest viral hit and one-day all-time high (second only to It’s Time to Build, 5 years later). She also conceived of and led the a16z Crypto Canon, a simple but growing list of curated resources, and several other viral or evergreen pieces and explainers.

One of the pieces she co-wrote, on the case study of WeChat and China ("When One App Rules Them All" by Connie Chan) was selected in the New York Times' Sidney Awards 2015 as one of the best long-form essays for "brilliantly marrying psychology, intellect, and technology"; it was one of the only times a non-media outlet was featured there. The piece also directly contributed to the author becoming a general partner at the firm.

Before a16z, Sonal was a Senior Editor at Wired, where she built up the previously flailing expert opinion/ ideas attempts into one of the chart-leading sections there. She also managed a network of book publicists, later bringing authors on the a16z Podcast and leading book launches there.

At Wired, Sonal was one of the first mainstream editors to feature then-nascent trends such as Ethereum, e-sports, the sharing economy, doxxing, and many others that appeared in mainstream headlines for the first time. She coined and assigned pieces on the “mood graph”; napkin sketches and visual op-eds; and other experiments.

Her work also started or shaped important conversations around the future of the internet (including advocating for internet freedom), in some cases even influencing tech policy such as software patent reform.

The work she’s most proud of at Wired is finding and highlighting emerging talent and fresh voices, some of whom went on to become NYT columnists, write bestselling books based on op-eds, and more.

Before Wired, Sonal was responsible for content and community at the
innovation center Xerox PARC, where she briefly covered bitcoin in early 2011 (including posting one of the earliest videos about it on the internet).

She dove deep into several domains such as automation, bioinformatics, cleantech, flexible electronics, natural language, networking, optoelectronics, security, ubiquitous computing, and more. She also wrote all the materials for the living history museum of innovation there; and fought with The New Yorker on the process and true stories of innovation.

Before moving back to California from NYC, Sonal was doing graduate work in developmental and cognitive psychology at Columbia University's school of education, where she also worked as a researcher/"ethnographer" on NSF grants around early numeracy and teacher professional development in school districts in New Jersey and New York as well as the Japanese school of Connecticut.

Sonal studied English and Psychology at UCLA, where she also briefly worked in a pioneering lab for autistic children and later worked in classrooms.

She can be found on Twitter at @smc90 and on Instagram at @smc_90.
years of life: 10 October 1973 present


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