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Meeting Marc Andreessen

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In case you were wondering why the posting was lite, well I was down in the Valley catching up with sources, friends, and of course the stars of Silicon Valley. One of them – Marc Andreessen, the man behind Netscape. Ironic, because only yesterday, I was reading the Netscape retrospective in Fortune magazine. While most of our conversation was off the record, Marc discussed how the Valley had changed and how broadband has helped spread the innovation seed. In his opinion, as blogs, open source and connectivity expand, new minds and new (tech) talents will grow in places like we would have never looked before. (I did the hard sell on why he should blog!)

When I asked him about Web 2.0, he politely requested that one should wait for 24 Hour Laundry. He would not give me any skinny on the 24 Hour Laundry, except pointing out that the C/Net story was totally wrong. I tried, many different ways. Nada, Nothing! Anyway it was fun catching up with him, and while he has been subject of my ribbing often, I did find our little coffee break quite enjoyable. I came back, opened my to find a note from him about Netscape. Quite telling actually…

When noting the “failure” of Netscape, you might also note these facts:

  • $600 million in revenue when sold in 1998
  • Profitable and cash-generating when sold in 1998
  • $350 million in cash and no debt when sold in 1998
  • Sold in 1998 for $10 billion
  • Every private or public shareholder who ever bought a share of NSCP made money if they held through the acquisition and then sold — every one

Point taken!

Marc Canter says, whatever!

10 Responses to “Meeting Marc Andreessen”

  1. Chauka

    mememe — you sound like a bitter old hag. Fact is, Marc Andreesen did some good stuff at Univ. of Illinois, got sucked into the Valley courtesy of Clark, and out popped a billionaire (Clark) and a mega millionaire (Andreesen). Additionally, some good stuff came out of Netscape (e.g., Mozilla) so shut your jealous puss.

  2. mememe

    Marc Andreesen is a joke. He took credit for work done mostly by others and somehow became a technical wunderkind. Everything he has done has failed.

  3. I’m not sure I agree with Marc on EVERY shareholder. When the stock reached $170-odd at its peak, I don’t believe the acquisition price reflected that later. A friend of mine had a friend who joined Netscape on the $170 day–their vesting price. D’oh. (Oddly, I can’t find stock performance on any of the stock sites–they apparently can store indefinite information about trading stock, but not delisted or sold stocks.)

  4. While I am not a big fan of Marc Andreessen–well, at least not as big a fan as I am of Steve Jobs, David Filo, Linus Torvalds, etc.–I look forward to see what this “24 Hour Laundry” is. I sincerely hope it won’t be just another Loudcloud.

  5. A couple more points…
    – 850 people were laid off after the acquisition in April ’99
    – NSCP could be around today if it had bought into YHOO and focused on search earlier or one of several other business opportunities where we could’ve made serious money
    – thank God Netscape open sourced the browser and created
    – You sold us to AOL! They stopped with the free soda. That sucked! Big time.