Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen58 posts

Marc Andreessen is an American venture capitalist. He started his career as a software engineer and coauthored Mosaic, the first web browser. He co-founded Netscape Communications, which produced one of the first popular commercial browsers, Ning, a social networking service, and Opsware, which was sold to Hewlett Packard. He is a board member of Facebook, Ebay and Hewlett Packard. In 2009 he co-founded the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz with Ben Horowitz.

2 Sep, 2015

Recode podcast

Interview

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’.

11 May, 2015

New Yorker profile

Interview

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.

19 Oct, 2014

New York interview

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.

26 Sep, 2014

Warns cash-burning startups

Makes Statement

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.

29 Jun, 2014

Defends Facebook mood experiment

Makes Statement

In response to the revelation that Facebook attempted to manipulate user moods, Andreessen tweets:

Andreessen says that this type of testing helps improve websites.

26 Jun, 2014

‘The IPO is dying’

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.

25 Jun, 2014

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.

22 Jun, 2014

$90M investment

Fundraising

The investment firm announces a $90 million investment in the enterprise management, that helps IT professionals secure and manage devices.

20 Jun, 2014

Not sorry for Tweetstorms

Interview

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.

5 Jun, 2014

Snowden ‘Traitor’

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.

12 May, 2014

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.

5 Apr, 2014

Beware high-value out-of-towners

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.

31 Dec, 2011

Startup School

Interview

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

Marc Andreessen - Startup School 2011

19 Nov, 2009

Skype purchase

Acquisition

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.

7 Jul, 2009

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.

20 Feb, 2009

Andreessen Horowitz

Founding

Andreessen and Horowitz launch Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm. The two are well known investors, backing half a dozen startups each year, including social investing site kaChing, virtual worlds company Metaplace, mobile video company Qik, online publishing company Crowdfusion, dating site I’minlikewithyou, search company Blekko and media/technology company EQAL.

30 Sep, 2008

Joins eBay board

Board Change

Andreessen joins eBay’s board of directors while working on the Ning social networking platform. eBay President/CEO John Donahoe says:

Marc is a true visionary whose experience will be invaluable to eBay. We look forward to learning from Marc’s insights and expertise as we drive further innovation on our platform, invest in growth opportunities, and develop technology that will further benefit our customers, build powerful communities and enhance e-commerce.

30 Jun, 2008

Joins Facebook board

Board Change

After a period of speculation, Andreessen officially joins Facebook’s board of directors alongside Mark Zuckerberg, Jim Breyer, and Peter Thiel. The official press release calls Andreessen’s venture Ning, “a complementary platform to Facebook,” rather than a potential rival. Andressen says:

Facebook is one of the most innovative companies on the Web and it’s an honor to join the board. I’m looking forward to helping the team as Facebook continues to grow.

Jul 2007

Invests in Twitter

Twitter announces a round led by Union Square Ventures and including Conway, Andreessen, and others. It doesn’t disclose the funding amount or valuation. Twitter:

Twitter has had such an awesome start and now we’re even more excited to keep up the momentum. We’re very much looking forward to building a strong and sustainable company.

2006

Andreessen, Arrillaga marry

Marriage

Andreessen marries Laura Arrillaga, a philanthropy teacher at Stanford University and the daughter of Silicon Valley real estate developer John Arrillaga. The marriage spurs Andreessen to start considering new philanthropic options:

I am completely committed to philanthropy because if I’m not, I’m in a great deal of trouble. I can’t even tell you.

3 Oct, 2005

Ning

Product Release

Andreessen and Bianchini launch Ning, a free online service where users can build social applications. The service is a product of Palo Alto startup 24 Hour Laundry. Developers can use Ning’s tools to build new programs or work off of clones of existing services.

The difference between apps built on Ning and any of these other services is that we make it easy for developers to build whatever app they want for any topic, interest, group, language, location or product, without a lot of effort. As a user, you get to explore and take advantage of this wider variety of social apps.

2005

Introduced to Adelson

Andreessen introduces Conway and Adelson via email. Adelson meets Conway at his house:

I remember being really impressed with the questions he was asking. The other thing was Ron’s database in his brain of contacts around Silicon Valley was the most extensive and probably most top-of-mind database of people that I’ve ever run into in my career.

Oct 1999

Loudcloud launch

Founding

Andreessen announces the formation of Loudcloud, a company based in Menlo Park, California, that provides high-performance computing and software services to Internet and e-commerce companies. Loudcloud is later recognized as the first company to conceive of the “cloud” paradigm. Andreessen teams up with several ex-Netscape employees, including Loudcloud’s co-founder and CEO, Ben Horowitz. Andreessen is listed as the company’s co-founder and chairman. According to reports, Loudcloud is privately funded by Andreessen and other employees. 

1999

Young Innovators Under 35

Andreessen is named to MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 list for his work with Netscape and America Online.

Ultimately, his greatest influence on the future of technology could be the outcome of the Justice Department’s antitrust suit against Microsoft, in large part the result of Bill Gates’ business practices vis-à-vis Andreessen’s Netscape.

2 Jan, 1995

MicroTimes Man of the Year

Andreessen is selected as Man of the Year in the Silicon Valley-focused magazine. The interviewer focuses on Mosaic’s development and Andreessen’s reasoning behind its rapid adoption:

It was fun and easy to use. People could pull it down (from the Net), install it, and boom, it worked…The other part was, and this gets back to the server side, it was straightforward for people to do things specific to what they were doing. It was easy to build applications on top of it.

14 Nov, 1994

Netscape rename

Design Change

Andreessen and a founding team of five other members announce the name change from Mosaic Communications Corporation to Netscape Communications Corporation based on the popularity of the “Netscape” browser. Chairman and CEO Jim Clark says:

We are making this name change both as a gesture of good will to the University of Illinois and to more clearly differentiate our company from other companies marketing World Wide Web browsers. ‘Netscape Communications’ more fully conveys the nature and breadth of our business, which is much more comprehensive than a simple browser for the Internet. Our new name enables us to underscore our unique identity as a premier provider of complete, standards-based client/server solutions for communicating and conducting commerce on the Net.

9 Jul, 1971

Marc Andreessen born in Cedar Falls, Iowa

Birth

Marc Lowell Andreessen is born in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He grows up 10 miles outside New Lisbon, Wisconsin, a village of 1,500, on Castle Rock Lake. His mother, Pat, works in customer service at Lands’ End. His father, Lowell, is a sales manager for Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. On his father’s job:

It was an Amway kind of thing–farmers slowly going out of business on their family farms sell seed corn to other farmers slowly going out of business.

He has one brother, Jeff, a history major at the University of Wisconsin. Andreessen discovers programming at age 12. While recuperating from an operation he persuades his parents to buy him a Radio Shack computer.

Do you love news? Help us add and summarize the world's news. Find out more