Twitter lawyers: Musk destroyed Andreessen evidence
Twitter’s lawyers have accused Musk of destruction of evidence, citing a screenshot of a conversation between Musk and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen on Signal, a messaging app that includes a feature that deletes messages after some time.
Musk deleted these messages because he anticipated litigation and he knew that they would undermine his counterclaims and defenses.
The same court filing also showed that Musk exchanged multiple text messages with Oracle Corporation co-founder Larry Ellison, starting May 12 through 12:20 a.m. on May 13, which was just hours before he announced that he was pausing his attempt to acquire the social media company.
Twitter’s legal team has complained that despite a subpeona, the Tesla CEO has not really provided the relevant text messages between Musk and Ellison.
Both Ellison and Andreessen have backed Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter. Andreessen’s VC firm, Andreessen Horowitz, backed Musk with $400 million, while Ellison was one of 19 investors who committed a whopping $7.14 billion for the potential acquisition.
Andreessen talks with Swisher on Re/code Decode about bubbles, politics and parenting.
When I first came out here [Silicon Valley] I thought that I had missed all the excitement. I thought that the PC had happened and I thought that was it, and I thought that we were just going to play cleanup after the PC. And then the internet supernova happened and this new universe has opened up. For me that was a big shock. The opportunities for this industry are just so much bigger than they used to be. We see kids coming here in their early 20s and every now and then they’ll say ‘Boy, I wish I was here in the old days when everything was happening’ and I think they’re all going to be sitting in these chairs 20 years from now, saying the same thing, ‘Oh it was so crude an primitive back then’.
New Yorker profile
Andreessen and Andreessen Horowitz are profiled in an article in the New Yorker titled, Tomorrow’s Advance Man.
Entrepreneurs want to raise money from us, so the natural thing when we say ‘What if you did this?’ is to tell us what we want to hear. But we don’t want to hear what we want to hear. It’s a delight when they look at you with contempt—You idiot—and then walk you through the idea maze and explain why your idea won’t work. At the same time, we’re not funding Mother Teresa. We’re funding imperial, will-to-power people who want to crush their competition. Companies can only have a big impact on the world if they get big…Deal flow is everything. If you’re in a second-tier firm, you never get a chance at that great company.
Breakthrough ideas look crazy, nuts. It’s hard to think this way—I see it in other people’s body language, and I can feel it in my own, where I sometimes feel like I don’t even care if it’s going to work, I can’t take more change. O.K., Google, O.K., Twitter—but Airbnb? People staying in each other’s houses without there being a lot of axe murders?
Chris Dixon argues that we’re in the magical-products business—that we fool ourselves into thinking we’re building companies, but it doesn’t matter if we don’t have the magical products. Over twenty years, our returns are going to come down to two or three or four investments, and the rest of this [gestures at the building and staff] is the cost of getting the chance at those investments. There’s a sense in which all of this is math—you just don’t know which Tuesday Mark Zuckerberg is going to walk in.
How to Start a Startup 9: How to Raise Money
Altman interviews Andreesen, Conway and Parker in the ninth How to Start a Startup lecture, How to Raise Money, at Stanford University.
New York interview
In a wide-ranging and detailed interview with New York magazine, Andreessen talks about Silcon Valley culture, discrimination, his favorite TV shoe (Deadwood), and the ideal of meritocracy:
I believe the ideal is compromised by two things right now: One is educational skills development, and the other is access. This is the critique that I think is actually the most interesting, which is, yeah, the meritocracy works if you know the right people, if you have access to the networks. How do venture capitalists make investment decisions? Well, we get referrals based on people we already know. Well, what if you’re somebody who doesn’t already know anybody, right? What if you don’t know the recruiter at Facebook so you can’t get the job? What if you don’t know the venture capitalist so you can’t raise funding? We think access is broadening out the network so that everybody who could contribute can get access to the network. And that’s the one that we’re working on.
Warns cash-burning startups
Andreessen warns startups that if they spend money too fast, they can’t rely on a buyer to solve their problems:
When market turns, M&A mostly stops. Nobody will want to buy your cash-incinerating startup. There will be no Plan B. VAPORIZE.
Report: $5m funding at $20m valuation
TechCrunch reports that Twitter asked investors to keep the numbers quiet. It doesn’t state where it obtained the figures for funding and pre-money valuation, beyond hinting that an investor may have leaked them.
Defends Facebook mood experiment
In response to the revelation that Facebook attempted to manipulate user moods, Andreessen tweets:
Andreessen says that this type of testing helps improve websites.
‘The IPO is dying’0 Comments
In an interview on Vox, Andreessen claims that laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Regulation Fair Disclosure are placing such burdens on successful startups that they are wating longer to go public, depriving the public markets of growth.
The compliance and reporting requirements are extremely burdensome for a small company. It requires fleets of lawyers and accountants who come in and do years of work. It’s this idea that if you control everything down to the nth detail, nothing will go wrong
The loop we’re in now is that people are getting upset and disappointed by the stock market. There are no growth stocks, which means there’s no growth. Stock market returns have been flat for 15 years, which is exactly what you’d expect if you took all the growth out. Everyone is upset the stock market isn’t performing. The worse the results get, the more regulation you get. It’s in its own kind of doom loop. Unless something happens to shock the system a lot, our assumption is it gets worse, not better.
He also criticizes Tomas Piketty’s book, Capital, saying that the investment results that Piketty says drive inequality are exaggerated:
The funny thing about Piketty is that he has a lot more faith in returns on invested capital than any professional investor I’ve ever met. It’s actually very interesting about his book. This is exactly what you’d expect form a French socialist economist. He assumes it’s really easy to put money in the market for 40 years or 80 years or 100 years and have it compound at these amazing rates. He never explains how that’s supposed to happen.
Competing for first Bitcoin exchange
Sources tell the Post that Andreessen is competing with Nasdaq to create the first regulated Bitcoin exchange. Andreessen has reportedly reached out to the NY Department of Financial Exchange for more information on the upcoming rules. Andreessen declines to comment on the reports.
The investment firm announces a $90 million investment in the enterprise management, that helps IT professionals secure and manage devices.
Not sorry for Tweetstorms
Andreessen says that he wants to remain inclusive on Twitter, but doesn’t apologize for his unique use of the platform.
I am a true believer…I think we have a fantastic story to tell out here. I don’t think the negative story should go unchallenged.
Snowden ‘Traitor’0 Comments
Andreessen calls Snowden a traitor, a viewpoint he claims is a minority view in Silicon Valley:
For me obviously he’s a traitor. If you look up in the encyclopedia ‘traitor,’ there’s a picture of Ed Snowden. He stole national security secrets and gave them to everyone on the planet.
Andreessen also continuies his criticism of President Obams response to the NSA revelations, noting there is no plan to help American companies that do business overseas:
As far as I can tell there’s no plan, there’s no strategy, there’s no tactics, there’s nothing. The Snowden reveals keep coming out. The [Obama] administration is letting the NSA out to dry. They’re letting the American tech industry out to dry.
Pinterest raises $200M at $5B valuation
The company announces Series F funding from its existing roster including SV Angel, Bessemer, Fidelity, Andreessen Horowitz, FirstMark Capital, and Valiant Capital Partners. Total financing is $764 million, and the company is working on building out its ad monetization system and its search functions.
Promoted Pins add revenue
Pinterest starts Promoted Pins to add revenue, appearing in users’ search and category feeds. The mix of brands reflects activity on the site. Fashion features heavily, with Gap, Banana Republic, Lululemon Athletica, and Old Navy participating. Food makers Nestle , Kraft, and General Mills are also participating, along with Expedia.com and Walt Disney resorts in the travel category.
Beware high-value out-of-towners0 Comments
Andreessen says he is warning portfolio companies to be skeptical of early-stage investments with high valuations as investors from outside Silicon Valley, who he doesn’t name, are acting unethically. He says they are often presenting term sheets as a start to negotiations rather than an end-point, and pushing valuations sky-high to get exclusivity on deals, increasing the risk for the startup if the investor walks, and making it harder for the investor to get future deals.
Graham interviews Andreessen about Netscape and how the tech industry has changed. Andreessen:
All of us who were lucky enough to be involved back then were completely unaware of what was going to happen
Business Insider reports that among the investors in the fund are AOL, Conway, Milner, Benchmark Capital, Horowitz, Andreessen, Redpoint, and Sequoia.
Ebay sells Skype at a value of $2.75 billion to Silver Lake Partners, which includes Joltid, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Andreessen Horowitz. SLP acquires a 70 percent stake in the Internet communication company. Andreesen notes:
Skype is gigantic and yet still a relatively small percentage of international call volume. This is, and ought to be, one of the most important companies on the Internet.
TPM Media investment
Andreessen invests in the media company that operates the TalkingPointsMemo blog. With contributions from other angel investors, the round of financing is estimated between $500,000 and $1 million. TalkingPointsMemo is recognized as one of a small number of blogging sites that does original journalism.