Marc Andreessen Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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At the age of 10 years, Marc Andreessen's parents bought his first computer. Today, he is an engineer and investor in computer software. An acclaimed entrepreneur, he also offers advisory roles to the industry.
Marc Andreessen was born in 1971 in Iowa, as Marc Lowell Andreessen. His parents moved to Wisconsin, where Marc was brought up. At the age of 22 years, he graduated from college. At the University of Illinois, he got his Undergraduate degree in Computer Science.
Upon graduating, Marc worked as an intern in several computer firms. First, he went to the International Business Machine in Texas. Then, he worked at AIX graphics software development group. After AIX, he joined the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at his former university. It is here that he teamed up with his work colleague Eric Bina to create the Mosaic Web Browser.
Marc Andreessen left Illinois for California. In California, he met Jim Clark. Clark was the founder of Silicon Graphics. The two worked closely with each other. They co-founded a company named Mosaic Communication Corporation. Marc became its Vice President. His former university protested the use of the name Mosaic. This led to the changing of the name to Netscape Communications. They developed a new web browsing software called Netscape Navigator.
With his innovative skills, Marc was still unknown to the public. The initial Netscape shares were sold to the public in 1995. This put Marc Andreessen to the public limelight. He was featured in the Time Magazine. Other influential magazines followed suit. AOL bought over Netscape in 1999 at 4.2 billion US dollars. Marc Andreessen was then hired by AOL as the Chief Technology Officer. Later in the year, was named in the top 100 innovators in the world. MIT Technology Review magazine featured him in the list of innovators 35 years of age and below.
After the takeover of Netscape, Marc Andreessen teamed up with others to create another company. The new company was named Loudcloud. It offered software solution packages to the public and online companies. The other co-founders were Ben Horowitz, Tim Howes and In Sik Rhee. Loudcloud was also bought by EDSin 2003. It later changed its name to Opsware. Marc Andreessen became the chairman. In 2007, Opsware was sold for 1.6 billion US dollars to Hewlett-Packard.
Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz were better known as the super angel investors. Andreessen and his partner Ben Horowitz teamed up again. They announced the formation of Andreessen Horowitz in 2009. The company came under sharp criticism from the public. Its top management was majorly male-dominated. There was no ethnic diversity in the workforce. Majority of the workers were white. This was a charge the company vehemently denied.
The company started with a capital of 300 million US dollars. In three years, it had grown to over 2.7 billion US dollars. Among significant portfolio under the company were Facebook, Twitter, and Zynga. They bought Skype and sold it off to Microsoft. This deal gave them a profit margin of 5.75 billion US dollars. The company also invested heavily in earphone makers Jawbone, Facebook, Twitter, and Zynga.
Marc Andreessen joined eBay as a member of the board of directors in 2008. A position he held for six years before resigning. He announced his resignation in 2014. He differed with his colleague on the board over the sale of PayPal. Carl Icahn accused Andreessen of being self-centered, and Andreessen was not thinking of the interest of the shareholders first. The dispute in the boardroom spilled over to the public. Later, Icahn wrote a public letter accusing Andreessen over the sale of Skype.
Despite his parting with eBay, Marc Andreessen has had an impressive record. He is widely respected by the industry leaders. Leaders like Mark Zuckerburg and Mark Pincus still seek his advisory role. He has been featured in the top magazines as one of the influential people. Vanity Fair in 2011, CNET in 2011 Most influential list, 2012 Forbes Midas List.
These are but a few of the magazine's listings. He also works with charity organizations. In 2012, he and others pledged to give away to charity half of their lifetime earnings. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering in 2013. This was in recognition of his pioneering efforts in computer science.
Marc Andreessen has had his fair share of controversy. He came under sharp criticism from the social media. This was after his remark on Twitter about India. He also supported journalist Milo Yiannopoulos, a British journalist considered racist and abusive. In 2016, He was accused of secretly helping Mark Zuckerberg get the Facebook board approval. This was against the ethics of the board. The coaching to Zuckerburg led to a lawsuit against Andreessen.
Marc Andreessen's parents are Lowell and Patricia Andreessen. In 2006, he got married to Laura Arilllaga. Laura has a company called Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund. They have a son. Andreessen’s father in law is John Arillaga. John Arillaga is a billionaire real estate businessman in Silicon Valley.
His passion for politics made him support Mitt Romney in 2012. Romney was the Republican presidential candidate running against President Obama. In 2016, he left the Republicans. He had initially endorsed a Republican during the primaries. He changed camp after his candidate quit the race. He supported Democrats Hillary Clinton. Andreessen did not agree with Donald Trump's view on immigration.
From early childhood, Marc Andreessen had a love of innovation. His parents discovered his talent and gave him a computer at ten years. With the right partners, he managed to pioneer the computer world. He created web applications that changed lives. From e-commerce to social media, Andreessen’s influence is seen.
The world has become a global village due to his inventions. His entrepreneurial skills are a right path for those willing to excel. Andreessen made risks where no one dared. He was a thinker, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist. These are attributes that make him a step above his peers.