February 24th, 2009
by Pamela Sherman
During a recent late work night, before falling asleep, I caught Marc Andreessen on TV being interviewed by host Charlie Rose (who I believe is still one of the best interviewers out there). So, instead of calling it a night, I just had to stay up and watch because I knew it would be something I’d want to share… and, I was right!
Although Marc Andreessen is best known as a software engineer and a founder of Netscape, he is also an amazingly insightful (and for some, semi-controversial) entrepreneur, start-up coach, investor, and blogger. He is a co-founder of Ning, a company which provides a platform for social-networking. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors for companies like eBay and Facebook (he’s also very involved with Twitter).
Marc Andreessen is basically an integral part of what’s really happening today!
Within his interview on the Charlie Rose Show, he announced the launch of his new venture capital investment fund, a collaboration with Ben Horowitz (a former Opsware executive). Andreessen’s insights are valuable for the future of business… and as Rose said of new technology and innovation, “It’s the Hope of Our Country.”
For the full transcript and/or the hour-long TV interview, click: TechCrunch
Stimulated by the in-depth interview with Andreessen, the following are some of my distilled thoughts and overall reminder points that we can apply for achieving greater success, now and in the future:
* Internet social media networks are distribution channels for businesses.
* You can test-market products based on internet research/outreach BEFORE the products exist!
* Web growth and innovation is abounding and astounding (eg: Twitter has gone vertical after just one year)
* Many discoveries of “magic markets” and “innovations” were created as a result of going “bust” (or failing) and then redirecting their efforts; YouTube, Facebook and Google are examples of this.
* The iPhone and similar technologies present new opportunities and possibilities (like “The Kindle” with larger screens for books, newspapers, etc.)
* Companies in trouble, who are becoming obsolete due to changes in technology and financial crisis, etc., would benefit from playing more “offense” –In other words, courageously engaging in and developing products/services in the Internet world.
* The functional, “it works” feature (as described by Andreessen) is critically important for internet innovation (as well as for website design)
* The internet is a “tool.” When used well, it’s in support of the human values and interaction that will always be important to us, while adding new efficiencies and outreach for real relationships building.
* Games are growing massively… and those games with internet connection are especially valuable for business innovation (including distribution channels).