Super Cities №180 — One Break, Many Exits in Silicon Valley

It’s hard to imagine another industry — say, banking or healthcare — where a Master of the Universe bets cofounder-level time, reputation, and fortune on a kid half his age.

Super Cities №180 — One Break, Many Exits in Silicon Valley

One Big Thing

Marc Andreessen is the real deal

He believes that Silicon Valley is mission control for mankind, which is therefore on a steep trajectory toward perfection. And when he so argues, fire-hosing you with syllogisms and data points and pre-refuting every potential rebuttal, he’s very persuasive.

Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen changed modern computing when they started Netscape in 1994. The Netscape-as-disruptor story is legendary, but to me, the company’s most remarkable achievement was its founding team: co-founder Clark (50) was twice the age of co-founder Andreessen (23).

Already a giant in Silicon Valley, Jim Clark could have named his co-founders and team. Instead, Clark partnered with someone half his age. That takes some combination of guts, bravado, and instincts.

It worked. The Clark-Andreessen partnership resulted in the first widely-adopted internet browser and, within four years, a $4+ billion acquisition.

It’s hard to imagine another industry — say, banking or healthcare — where a Master of the Universe bets cofounder-level time, reputation, and fortune on a kid half his age. I’m no Silicon Valley fanboy, but Netscape’s story offers some validation for its historical ethos of creativity, risk-taking, and innovation.

Since Netscape, Andreessen has soared. His firm, the cleverly-branded a16z, backs many of this generation’s big winners.

If you have time, I’d recommend the linked profile.