Marc Andreessen: The Eternal Optimist

Marc Andreessen: The Eternal Optimist

Founding Netscape was just the start for Marc. He is that intangible ingredient that will accelerate the growth of your startup.

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I don’t think anyone is a bigger advocate for tech startups than Marc Andresson. Marc is co-founder and general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in Silicon Valley, California. Andreessen Horowitz invests in early to late-stage technology companies in a variety of categories. Some of their portfolio companies include Facebook, Slack, Instagram and Lyft.

You may also know Marc from the early days of the internet. He co-created the Mosaic browser and later co-founded Netscape, which became the leading Internet browser in the mid-1990s. During that time Microsoft was also keen on getting into the browser market with Internet Explorer, and that was the start of the browser wars. Both Netscape and Microsoft would compete on features with eventually Microsoft winning the battle as Internet Explorer was bundled with Windows.

Usage share as of Q2 2009 by percent of layout engines/web browsers

It’s that experience that makes Marc Andreessen so resilient and passionate for founders and their ideas. Watch any video on the internet and you can only get excited listening to Marc share his thoughts on what’s possible for the future through technology. His energy is so contagious.

I’ve collected some of my favourite content from Marc. This wisdom is timeless and there are gems all over these pieces. No better way to get excited about startups, entrepreneurship and the future of tech than getting inspired by Marc. Oh, and his tweetstorms are EPIC!

Why Software Is Eating the World This is a cornerstone piece of content which Marc outlines a thesis for why now is the best time to build a new business with software. The internet has made a low cost of entry in which anyone can launch a global software business without the need to buy on-prem infrastructure and train new employees.

Marc compared cloud costs with traditional technology spend and that it’s cheaper today to get started.

Marc provides many examples of how software businesses have disrupted traditional businesses. Borders conceded defeat to Amazon, which was a purely software play. He also talks about how Netflix outwitted Blockbuster and how traditional entertainment providers are trying to get into the streaming game now. There are many examples from Oil and Gas to financial services.

What Marc is doing is opening your eyes to the possibilities ahead and how someone with a good idea can disrupt the marketplace. These industries might be in the blind spot for some, but not for Marc. This article is 10 years old, and it still stands the test of time.

Invention and Timing Marc talks about timing and how ideas like the Apple Newton in 1989 were ahead of its time. The market was not ready for it. He contrasts the Newton with the iPad, which was essentially the same product but released 20 years later. He believes that invention happens over long periods of time. Invention and timing are key, most future ideas are already being built in labs today and will probably fail, then be resurrected years later to be winners.

On a Mission, A common theme Marc has seen in successful startups is that they are mission-driven vs mercenary-driven companies. Don’t think small, think about how you are going to change the world instead of just trying to capture short-term revenue. Mission-driven companies also have a better story to share with recruiting.

Think about this “How would you like to change the way people access to clean water? Oh, and by the way the role also pays $140,000,” Let mission drive your company.

Marc Andreessen On Productivity, Scheduling, Reading Habits, Work, and More Have you ever wanted to get a peek inside the brain of your favourite high achiever? How are they getting so much done in so little time? This post gives us the inside scoop on how Marc plans his days and weeks. Marc gives us a look at his calendar and how he schedules his time. You will certainly have a few takeaways after reading this.

Why You Should Be Optimistic About the Future

A great video where Marc talks with Kevin Kelly, the founding executive editor, WIRED magazine on Why You Should Be Optimistic About the Future. They cover a range of topics: the evolution of technology, key trends, and why it’s important to be optimistic and the importance of long-term thinking.

If you’ve been thinking about going full time with that side hustle or want to learn more about getting started in the world of startups, there is no better guide to help lead you than Marc.

Let me know what you think about this article, ping me on Twitter and I hope to hear from you.