Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Radical Optimist

Image source: pbs.twimg.com

I’m a big fan of Marc Andreessen, and not just because his head is an identikit for mine. From an “incredibly practical and hardworking” farm family in small-town Wisconsin, he graduated as an engineer from the University of Illinois, one of four sites with supercomputers in the mid-1980s. He burst into prominence in 1995 a lead programmer of the first commercial web browser Netscape. At age 24 his net worth was $58M.

Now, as co-principal of Andreessen Horowitz, a leading Silicon Valley VC firm (investments include Facebook, Skype, Airbnb and Twitter), he is voluble and evangelical about the buoyancy of the technology sector and the recalibration of economic and cultural power stemming from its innovation.

Happily, he watches “an unbelievable amount of TV or movies. In a ‘Lunch with the FT’ interview, Caroline Daniel writes: “He attributes the creative renaissance of television to its expanding internet audience. “Today, you’re selling to Netflix and Amazon and Microsoft and Sony and Yahoo.”

“He likes television, he says, because it puts the writer in charge, and compares it to the best tech companies which are also built when you put founders in charge for long periods.” “By the way,” says Andreessen, “writers are often crazy; they’re unpredictable, they don’t necessarily operate on a budget or a timetable you might want. They argue a lot. But you get the magic.”

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