Marc Andreessen

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Accelerationist
Marc Andreessen at Tech Crunch40

Name: Marc Andreessen
Twitter: @pmarca



'Marc Andreessen (born July 9, 1971) is an American entrepreneur, venture capital investor, software engineer, and notable accelerationist known for significantly impacting the early internet era and continually influencing the tech industry.

Early life

Marc Lowell Andreessen was born on July 9, 1971, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and raised in New Lisbon, Wisconsin by his parents Patricia and Lowell Andreessen, who worked at a seed company. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in December 1993. During his undergraduate years, he had internships at IBM in Austin, Texas, and worked at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois.

Early career and contributions

  • Co-authored Mosaic at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign alongside Eric Bina, pioneering user-friendly internet browsing. Andreessen maintained a near-constant presence on newsgroups discussing the Web, and actively sought feedback to improve Mosaic, making it more user-friendly.
  • Co-founded Netscape Communications Corporation with James Clark, advancing modern web browsing experiences. They initially dubbed their browser Mozilla (meaning Mosaic Killer), which was commercially launched as Netscape Navigator.
  • His efforts commercialized the internet, with Netscape dominating the early browser market before Microsoft's Internet Explorer victory in the Browser Wars.

Entrepreneurship and investments

  • Post-Netscape, co-founded Opsware, later sold to Hewlett-Packard, and Ning, a platform for creating social networking websites.
  • Established venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) with Ben Horowitz in 2009, backing numerous successful startups and tech companies.

Industry influence and wealth

  • Known for his "software is eating the world" thesis, emphasizing software companies' growing economic influence.
  • Andreessen Horowitz has been instrumental in funding and supporting new tech companies.
  • Estimated net worth of $1.8B reflects his success in tech ventures and investments.

Influence in AI

  • Listed among the 100 most influential people in AI in 2023 by TIME magazine.

Personal life

Legacy

  • Andreessen's innovative ventures like Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz have significantly influenced the internet and tech investment landscapes.
  • His foresight and active engagement in AI showcase his continuous impact on tech industry evolution, embodying a tech visionary propelling the industry forward while also contributing philanthropically alongside his spouse, Laura Arrillaga.

Awards and achievements

Published works and books

Quotes

  • "There are people who are wired to be skeptics and there are people who are wired to be optimists. And I can tell you, at least from the last 20 years, if you bet on the side of the optimists, generally you’re right.”
  • "My goal is not to fail fast. My goal is to succeed over the long run. They are not the same thing.”
  • "All’s fair in love, war, and ride-sharing.”
  • "Innovation accelerates and compounds. Each point in front of you is bigger than anything that ever happened.”
  • "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.”
  • "A lot of things you want to do as part of daily life can now be done over the Internet.”
  • "Most of the big breakthrough technologies/companies seem crazy at first: PCs, the internet, Bitcoin, Airbnb, Uber, 140 characters. 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."
  • "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.”
  • "At Microsoft, they all rock back and forth like Gates, they wear the same glasses, they have the same hairstyle. Maybe they grow them in tanks.”