Marc Andreessen 5 Rules for StartupFounders and Entrepreneurs for Success in 2019
Marc Andreessen is a software engineer andentrepreneur who first came to fame when he created Netscape, one of the firstweb browsers in the world. At the same time, Marc is probably better known forinvesting nowadays and his venture capital firm – Andreessen Horowitz.
As you mightexpect, the entrepreneur is a prime example for startups and entrepreneurslooking to get ahead in an increasingly competitive landscape. In fact,Andreessen had a huge following on social media and was known for offering advicefor these startups on a regular basis. You see, Marc “quit” social mediarecently in controversial fashion and confines most of his advice tointerviews, events and major publications.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at five pieces of advice from Marc Andreessen for entrepreneurs and startup founders:
1. Adapt to Technology or Get Ready to Disappear
Needless to say,Marc is fully aware that technology is changing at an increasingly fast pace.After all, few people know about Netscape today in spite of the browser beingsuch a big deal when it first arrived on the scene.
As the tech gurupoints out, when technology changes, you need to adapt. At the same time, thisis not only true for tech businesses today but rather every business in everyindustry. You see, more and more major companies rely entirely on software.What’s more, just as many businesses are focused online as opposed to havingbrick and mortar stores, offices etc.
For example, Amazon is the prime example of how shopping has moved online but even Wal-Mart has illustrated the power of technology by using software to power distribution and logistics. What’s more, this revolutionary move has enabled them to completely outperform their competitors.
Takeaway – Every business needs to be willing toadapt and change to remain relevant.
2. Master a Modern Style of Leadership
When you take alook at the most successful businesses today, you should see that most of theseorganizations have a very fluid and flexible style of leadership. Morespecifically, these businesses are run by inspiring leaders who tend to giveout objectives and then leave their subordinates to choose how to reach thisgoals.
Needless to say,there are many intricacies and differences between all of these leaders.However, it’s clear that freedom is a major force in terms of motivating theworkforce. As it turns out, the associated creativity is just as important andoften how many top brands manage to come up with especially exciting and ideasen route to reaching a specific objective.
Takeaway – Avoid autocratic leadership and mastera modern style of leadership.
3. Build Your Passion Before You Start a Business
As a rule, Andreessen believes that too many businesses are started for the wrong reasons. In other words, startups are usually the result of a product that was created by passion whereas too many startups fail simply because the founder was motivated by becoming their own boss.
Instead, Marc believes that startup founders should focus on the product and ensure that passion is always the key motivator for what they do. When you think about it, this makes perfect sense for many of the best inventions are the result of the creator studying or focusing endlessly on their idea without any real reward.
For example,Apple and Google were both started in a garage. Facebook was created in acollege dorm room and when it comes to Andreessen, he built Netscape in a similarsetting twenty years ago.
Takeaway – Build for passion and not for the sakeof owning a business.
4. Concentrate on Niche
Development haschanged a lot in recent decades and startups tend to focus on creating fullservice setups as opposed to building particular tools or technology. Forexample, instead of building a useful niche software for a small business, thestartup might take on the role of creating multiple forms of software. What’smore, they will move to full-stack development in order to aim for a biggermarket share.
However, Marc isquick to say that these full stack organisations are much harder to operate andmanage. More specially, they require a much greater extent of experience whenit comes to management and this also includes the founder.
Takeaway – Try not to over extend the initialpurpose of the startup.
5. Introduce the Startup with Honesty
Marc gives great insight into venture capitalists and angel investors. In fact, as you may know, Andreessen is a well-known investors in startups and very familiar with this particular process.
When it comes tothe crunch, Marc says that he will only invest in a project when he finds aclear and effective introduction to the company. With this in mind, if theintroduction is thin or vague in any way, he moves on to the next project.Interestingly, Andreessen compares this to sales and believes that any failureto properly introduce the company is likely to mean that they will also havetrouble trying to sell the product or idea to potential customers later on.
On the otherhand, Marc insists that a company which makes an effort to be honest andtransparent shows willingness to change in order to progress. For example, ifthey acknowledge past failure, this shows confidence and willingness to adaptin order to succeed.
Takeaway – Create a clear introduction and behonest with investors.
6. But Beware and Be Patient with Investments
When MarcAndreessen started out with Netscape, he picked up some valuable lessonsrelating to investors. One of these lessons was rather unfortunate and leadshim on to saying that startup founders and entrepreneurs should be very carefulin terms of the credibility of investors.
Although financemay be needed, Marc emphasizes that the investor must be willing to disclose alist of people with whom they have worked in the past. On the other hand, ifthe venture capitalist is not willing to provide this contact information, it’soften best to decline the investment entirely.
Also, if waitingon confirmation or an application with a bank, you should expect that this isquite a drawn out process. In some cases, you might have approval within acouple of months but it will often take three to six months before the financeis available.
Takeaway – Research potential investors beforeaccepting any money.
When it comes to startups, MarcAndreessen is a prime example of how to get ahead. While his exit from socialmedia may seem a little unusual, it’s clear that success is something thatcontinues to follow him around and his sage advice is just as relevant – evenwithout social media.