Andreessen at the Tech Crunch40 conference in 2007
|Born||Marc Lowell Andreessen
July 9, 1971
Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States
|Alma mater||University of Illinois at Urbanaâ€“Champaign|
|Known for||Developer of Mosaic
Founder of Netscape
Founder of Opsware
Founder of Andreessen Horowitz
|Net worth||US$ 600 Million (est. 2015)|
|Spouse(s)||Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen (m. 2006)|
|Children||John (born in March 2015)|
Any successful company in the valley gets acquisition offers and has to decide whether or not to take them.
We are single-mindedly focused on partnering with the best innovators pursuing the biggest markets.
There's no such thing as median income; there's a curve, and it really matters what side of the curve you're on. There's no such thing as the middle class. It's absolutely vanishing.
People are so bad at driving cars that computers don't have to be that good to be much better. Any time you stand in line at the D.M.V. and look around, you're like, Oh, my God, I wish all these people were replaced by computer drivers.
Perhaps the single most dramatic example of this phenomenon of software eating a traditional business is the suicide of Borders and corresponding rise of Amazon.
A lot of things you want to do as part of daily life can now be done over the Internet.
First of all, every new company today is being built in the face of massive economic headwinds, making the challenge far greater than it was in the relatively benign '90s.
There was a point in the late '90s where all the graduating M.B.A.'s wanted to start companies in Silicon Valley, and for the most part they were not actually qualified to do it.
Any time you stand in line at the D.M.V. and look around, you're like, Oh, my God, I wish all these people were replaced by computer drivers.
Where I grew up, we had the three TV networks, maybe two radio stations, no cable TV. We still had a long-distance party line in our neighborhood, so you could listen to all your neighbors' phone calls. We had a very small public library, and the nearest bookstore was an hour away.
There is an enormous market demand for information. It just has to be fulfilled in a way that fits with the technology of our times.
I don't think objectively we are in a tech bubble when tech stocks are at a 30 year low.
There's always more demands than there's time to meet them, so it's constantly a matter of trying to balance them.
Nokia and Research in Motion needed a modern operating system. They could have bought Palm or Android before Google did, but they didn't. Today, it's probably too late, and at the time they would have been criticized for overpaying, but as they say – shift happens.
On the back end, software programming tools and Internet-based services make it easy to launch new global software-powered start-ups in many industries – without the need to invest in new infrastructure and train new employees.
Around '93, '94, the conventional wisdom about the Internet was that it was a toy for academics and researchers. So it was very, very underestimated for about two years.
Tech stocks are trading at a 30-year-low when compared to the multiples of industrials (companies). It's the weirdest bubble when everyone hates everything.
When you're dealing with machines or anything that you build, it either works or it doesn't, no matter how good of a salesman you are.
In the startup world, you're either a genius or an idiot. You're never just an ordinary guy trying to get through the day.
In 2000, when my partner Ben Horowitz was CEO of the first cloud computing company, Loudcloud, the cost of a customer running a basic Internet application was approximately $150,000 a month.
These days, you have the option of staying home, blogging in your underwear, and not having your words mangled. I think I like the direction things are headed.
In the next 10 years, I expect at least five billion people worldwide to own smartphones, giving every individual with such a phone instant access to the full power of the Internet, every moment of every day.
Over the next 10 years, I expect many more industries to be disrupted by software, with new world-beating Silicon Valley companies doing the disruption in more cases than not.
I always had the old-school model that I'm going to work for as long as I'm relevant and focus on for-profit activities and someday when I retire I'm going to learn about philanthropy.
TV and the press have always functioned according to the same sets of rules and technical standards. But the Internet is based on software. And anybody can write a new piece of software on the Internet that years later a billion people are using.
Ten to 20 years out, driving your car will be viewed as equivalently immoral as smoking cigarettes around other people is today.
Every kid coming out of Harvard, every kid coming out of school now thinks he can be the next Mark Zuckerberg, and with these new technologies like cloud computing, he actually has a shot.
People tend to think of the web as a way to get information or perhaps as a place to carry out ecommerce. But really, the web is about accessing applications. Think of each website as an application, and every single click, every single interaction with that site, is an opportunity to be on the very latest version of that application.
There will be certain points of time when everything collides together and reaches critical mass around a new concept or a new thing that ends up being hugely relevant to a high percentage of people or businesses. But it's really really hard to predict those. I don't believe anyone can.
People tend to think of the web as a way to get information or perhaps as a place to carry out e-commerce. But really, the web is about accessing applications.
I'm really excited about anything that is able to address the really big markets, so anything that's universally appealing.
Amazon drove Borders out of business, and the vast majority of Borders employees are not qualified to work at Amazon. That's an actual, full-on problem. But should Amazon have been prevented from doing that? In my view, no.
Entrepreneurs say in an economic boom it's actually hard to build a company because everybody's too excited and there is too much money funding too many marginal companies.
Organizations spend hundreds of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars installing and implementing huge servers, new Web sites and applications. They have to continue to do that, but they also have to clean up the mess of the '90s.
The good news about building a company during times like this is that the companies that do succeed are going to be extremely strong and resilient.
Google is working on self-driving cars, and they seem to work. People are so bad at driving cars that computers don't have to be that good to be much better.
China is very entrepreneurial but has no rule of law. Europe has rule of law but isn't entrepreneurial. Combine rule of law, entrepreneurialism and a generally pro-business policy, and you have Apple.
If you're the village blacksmith and a model T comes along, you better become a mechanic. People's lives are better when they get news online versus having to wait for the morning paper. It's a lot more efficient, a lot more real time, a lot less waste.
I'm quite bullish. We're coming up on year 15 of a flat stock market. Historically that's a pretty good sign. So I'm not a hedge-fund manager but if I was I think I'd be feeling pretty good.
Our combination of great research universities, a pro-risk business culture, deep pools of innovation-seeking equity capital and reliable business and contract law is unprecedented and unparalleled in the world.
There's a new generation of entrepreneurs in the Valley who have arrived since 2000, after the dotcom bust. They're completely fearless.
In high school, I actually thought I was going to have to learn Japanese to work in technology. My big feeling was I just missed it, I missed the whole thing. It had happened in the '80s, and I got here too late. But then, I'm maybe the most optimistic person I know. I mean, I'm incredibly optimistic.
Today's leading real-world retailer, Wal-Mart, uses software to power its logistics and distribution capabilities, which it has used to crush its competition.
I think the tech stock, the public market is still completely traumatized by the dotcom crash. I think the investors and reporters and analysts and everybody is determined to not get taken advantage of again, and that is what everybody who lived through 2000, what they kind of remember.
If we're in a bubble, it's the weirdest bubble I've ever seen, where everybody hates everything.
I love what the Valley does. I love company building. I love startups. I love technology companies. I love new technology. I love this process of invention. Being able to participate in that as a founder and a product creator, or as an investor or a board member, I just find that hugely satisfying.
You know, magic markets don't appear all the time, so you take advantage of them.
One of the advantages of moving quickly is if you do something wrong you can change it. What technologies tend to do is they tend to make a lot of mistakes… but then we go back and aggressively attack those mistakes – and fix them. And you usually recover pretty quickly.
Companies in every industry need to assume that a software revolution is coming.
I love the 'Daily Show,' and I think Jon Stewart is hysterical. But literally, the answer to every single problem is, 'Congress should pass a new law.' It's this unbelievably optimistic view of, 'We can pass a law, and then everybody will get along.'
I need more raw experience. I've read and watched a lot of things, but I haven't done a lot of things.
No one should expect building a new high-growth, software-powered company in an established industry to be easy. It's brutally difficult.
So I came from an environment where I was starved for information, starved for connection.
An awful lot of successful technology companies ended up being in a slightly different market than they started out in. Microsoft started with programming tools, but came out with an operating system. Oracle started doing contracts for the CIA. AOL started out as an online video gaming network.
The smartphone revolution is under-hyped, more people have access to phones than access to running water. We've never had anything like this before since the beginning of the planet.
If there's been a crisis in a market, you don't tend to have a new crisis in that market until the people who went through the last crisis aren't in the system anymore.
Qualified software engineers, managers, marketers and salespeople in Silicon Valley can rack up dozens of high-paying, high-upside job offers any time they want, while national unemployment and underemployment is sky high.
I have yet to take capital losses on any company. Then again, it's still early.
A very large percentage of economic activity is shifting online and it makes sense that there are more services that are going to charge. It also means there are going to be more people willing to pay.
I think the American system is incredibly well developed. I think the founding fathers were geniuses.
Consumers are freeing up an enormous amount of time that they were spending with stereotypical old media, and clearly, that time is going primarily two places: videogames and online.
The joke about SAP has always been, it's making '50s German manufacturing methodology, implemented in 1960s software technology, delivered to 1970-style manufacturing organizations, like, it's really – yeah, the incumbency – they are still the lingering hangover from the dot-com crash.
It's really rare for people to have a successful start-up in this industry without a breakthrough product. I'll take it a step further. It has to be a radical product. It has to be something where, when people look at it, at first they say, 'I don't get it, I don't understand it. I think it's too weird, I think it's too unusual.'
One of the big first computers was called SAGE, which was a missile defense, the first missile-defense computer, which was, like, one of the first computers in the history of the world which got sold to the Department of Defense for, I don't know, tens and tens of millions of dollars at the time.
If the Net becomes the center of the universe, which is what seems to be happening, then the dizzying array of machines that will be plugged into it will virtually guarantee that the specifics of which chip and which operating system you've got will be irrelevant.
With lower start-up costs and a vastly expanded market for online services, the result is a global economy that for the first time will be fully digitally wired-the dream of every cyber-visionary of the early 1990s, finally delivered, a full generation later.
My own theory is that we are in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software companies are poised to take over large swathes of the economy.
And once you get instantaneous communication with everybody, you have economic activity that's far more advanced, far more liquid, far more distributed than ever before.
We worked personally with a lot of great VCs. They just work incredibly hard at supporting entrepreneurs and their companies.
Once you understand that everybody's going to get connected, a lot of things follow from that. If everybody gets the Internet, they end up with a browser, so they look at web pages – but they can also leave comments, create web pages. They can even host their own server! So not only is everybody consuming, they can also produce.
Innovation accelerates and compounds. Each point in front of you is bigger than anything that ever happened.
Newspapers with declining circulations can complain all they want about their readers and even say they have no taste. But you will still go out of business over time. A newspaper is not a public trust – it has a business model that either works or it doesn't.
It's hard to do that with people who think emotionally. A lot of people think in terms of people, emotions, and feelings. That's more complicated. Engineering mentality makes it, in theory, a little easier.
I think 2012 is the year when consumers all around the world start saying no to feature phones and start saying yes to smartphones.
Technology is like water; it wants to find its level. So if you hook up your computer to a billion other computers, it just makes sense that a tremendous share of the resources you want to use – not only text or media but processing power too – will be located remotely.
More and more major businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as online services – from movies to agriculture to national defense.
Aaron Sorkin was completely unable to understand the actual psychology of Mark or of Facebook. He can't conceive of a world where social status or getting laid or, for that matter, doing drugs, is not the most important thing.
The spread of computers and the Internet will put jobs in two categories. People who tell computers what to do, and people who are told by computers what to do.
Health care and education, in my view, are next up for fundamental software-based transformation.
I've been a customer of the top venture capital firms, so I know exactly what they do and don't do.
Google is working on self-driving cars, and they seem to work. People are so bad at driving cars that computers don't have to be that good to be much better. Any time you stand in line at the DMV and look around, you're like, 'Oh, my God, I wish all these people were replaced by computer drivers.'
Practically everyone is going to have a general purpose computer in their pocket, it's so easy to underestimate that, that has got to be the really, really big one.
The days when a car aficionado could repair his or her own car are long past, due primarily to the high software content.
An awful lot of successful technology companies ended up being in a slightly different market than they started out in.
The big advantage that we have as a venture capital firm over a hedge fund or a mutual fund is we have a 13-year lockup on our money. And so enterprise can go in and out of fashion four different times, and we can go and invest in one of these companies, and it's okay, because we can stay the course.
Over two billion people now use the broadband Internet, up from perhaps 50 million a decade ago, when I was at Netscape, the company I co-founded.
When I started Netscape I was brand new out of college and all the aspects of building a business, like balance sheets and hiring people, were new to me.
We have never lived in a time with the opportunity to put a computer in the pocket of 5 billion people.
Today's stock market actually hates technology, as shown by all-time low price/earnings ratios for major public technology companies.