20 Fascinating Stories About Marc Andreessen, Venture Capitalist

Marc Andreessen - Large - People With Impact

1) Marc Lowell Andreessen, an American entrepreneur, was born on Friday, July 9, 1971 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Marc is a multi-millionaire who was responsible for coming up with Mosaic (Web browser). He is the co-founder of Netscape, Silicon Valley venture capital firm and Ning (platform for creating social media websites).

2) 1994 was a special year for Marc Andreessen. In 1994, the first international conference on the World Wide Web was held in Geneva, Switzerland. During the conference, Marc Andreessen was not only presented with “Most Important Service Concept” award but he was also one of the inductees into the World Wide Web (WWW) Hall of Fame. He was one of the six inductees along with Tim Berners-Lee, Eric Bina, Kevin Hughes, Rob Hartill and Lou Montulli.


3) Andreessen was born to Patricia and Lowell Andreessen. His parents belonged to a working class and they were employed at a local seed company.

4) Do you know where the first meeting between the co-founders of Mosaic, Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina, took place? The two met at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). While Marc was at the University of Illinois, he started working at NCSA. Eric Bina was already a full time employee of NCSA when Marc joined. Together they worked and eventually came up with a Mosaic Web browser.

5) Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz are referred to as “Super Angel Investors”. This is due to their successful investments in 45 startups.


6) Marc Andreessen married his wife Laura Arrillaga in the year 2006. Laura Arrillaga is the daughter of John Arrillaga, a Silicon Valley real estate billionaire. Laura herself is the founder of donor network “Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund”. Laura and Marc have a lot in common such as yoga, watching movies, writing, reading and of course laughing which they do as much as possible.

7) Marc Andreessen was one of those famous faces who supported Democratic Party representative Barack Obama during the presidential elections of the year 2008. However, during the recent 2012 presidential elections, Marc pledged his support to Republican candidate Mitt Romney instead of President Barack Obama.

8) Do you know why Marc Andreessen selected Computer Science as his majors while studying at the University of Illinois in Champaign? The only reason was that he was not doing well in his already selected Bachelor in Electrical Engineering degree. He lost interest in electrical engineering and hence lost the will to study further. Therefore, he took computer science as his major. However even after this change, Marc used to skip classes and even fell asleep during lectures.


9) Marc Andreessen, during his youth years, was given a number of nicknames. The list included the likes of “Boy Wonder”, “Golden Geek”, “Internet Evangelist”, “Visionary” and “Geek”. Even as a kid, he had no interest in sports or other outdoor activities and preferred playing and experimenting with his computer. Marc’s parent got him his first computer when he was in 7th class. Due to his experimentation and love for computer, he eventually began designing video games in his free time.

10) The man who makes millions today started on a low scale. His first job was at his university’s supercomputer center NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications). It is a little known fact that he was paid only $6.85 for working an hour.

11) Marc Andreessen is a huge fan of the famous AMC’s TV drama Mad Men. Inspired by the drama, Marc owns a Victrola, which was featured on Mad Men. He bought this Victrola at an auction by paying $ 1,000 and he has placed it in his office. Not only that, his office has a collection of Vintage Bourbon, the whisky. This collection is also inspired by Mad Men.

12) Andreessen Horowitz, a firm founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, is one successful venture capital. The web address or the URL of firm is A16Z.com. It is interesting to note that A16Z is a code for Andreessen Horowitz with A and Z representing the first and last alphabets. 16 represents the number of alphabets that are between A and Z.


13) While working on Mosaic, both Eric and Marc used to spend hours in front of computers making every possible effort to produce the desired product. During that time, Eric used to eat Skittles all the time along with Mountain Dew.

14) Marc Andreessen’s mother in law was a famous philanthropist Frances Marion Cook Arrillaga who devoted her time and money to numerous charitable causes. She passed away after suffering from lung cancer for 18 months.

15) Wife of Marc Andreessen, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen has a New York Times bestselling book “Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World” and has a website www.giving2.com with the same name. She teaches at Stanford Graduate School of Business. She teaches courses such as Strategic Philanthropy, Philanthropy and Social Innovation, Business Strategy and Public Policy.

16) Marc Andreessen admits that the strategy he uses for his firm is influenced by ex-Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz’s Creative Arts Agency. By applying the strategy, Marc seeks to make Andreessen Horowitz a “unified high-service organization” and not just another firm which is running after money.


17) Andreessen Horowitz sure does give extreme importance to recruiting process of companies under its portfolio. No wonder the firm has six in-house recruiters under its belt. This certainly is a huge investment on the part of Andreessen Horowitz.

18) What does Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and the venture capitalists at Andreessen Horowitz have in common? They all have made a pledge that during their lifetime, they will be donating at least 50% of their incomes to charitable causes.

19) Marc Andreessen is also a famous blogger. His day isn’t complete without visiting the following blogs: AVC, Felix Salmon: Portfolio Market Movers, Grasping Reality with Both Hands, Infectious Greed, Kevin Maney: Portfolio Technology Observer, Kids Prefer Cheese, Marginal Revolution, Naked Capitalism, Silicon Alley Insider and TechCrunch. He goes through these blogs on a daily basis.

20) According to Marc Andreessen, the biggest challenge in being a venture capitalist is not making money but it is certainly finding time for the companies under your portfolio. As Andreessen said, “Being a VC you are constrained far more by time than money”.


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Marc Andreessen - Large - People With Impact