I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz to the Venture Capital fold. In a time when venture investors are often criticized by the entrepreneurial community, it is a pleasure to have two of the greatest entrepreneurs of our day join the VC business. I am often asked by my business school and law school students what the best path is to becoming a Venture Capitalist. My answer has been pretty consistent over the last decade -- start or join a wildly successful startup and add a lot of value. It is hard to argue that Marc and Ben haven't done that in spades. They have touched some of the most important technology companies of the last decade and continue to play an influential role in Silicon Valley. As such, they have seen all sides of startup creation and financing. They bring perspective, intellect, integrity and energy to Venture investing and I couldn't be happier to have them join the industry.
As I understand it, the Andreessen Horowitz firm and August Capital share a number of the same Limited Partners. That doesn't surprise me. As I read Marc's blog post this morning about his new firm, I was struck by the similarity of our focus. He lays out a vision that is nearly identical to ours at August Capital. When we were out raising our current fund at the beginning of this year we articulated to our limited partners our continued belief in great technical founders who are building game changing technology and we made clear that we remain bullish on the future of technology and the ongoing capacity to make a lot of money investing in information technology startups.
I would urge you to read Marc's blog post about his new fund. As I said when Marc first started blogging, he is one of the most articulate voices in the technology industry. And he is now one of the most articulate voices in the Venture Capital industry. Just to hit on a few of the highlights of the Andreessen Horowitz philosophy:
- Technology and its advancement is absolutely central to human progress. Entrepreneurs who create new technologies and technology companies are improving the standard of living of people worldwide and unlocking amazing new levels of human potential.
- A technology startup is all about the entrepreneurial team and their vision. Our job as venture capitalists is primarily to support entrepreneurs by helping them build great companies around their ideas.
- And, while there are many extremely bright and capable entrepreneurs all over the world, there continues to be a special magic to Silicon Valley -- which is where we will focus.
- Above all else, we are looking for the brilliant and motivated entrepreneur or entrepreneurial team with a clear vision of what they want to build and how they will create or attack a big market. We cannot substitute for entrepreneurial vision and drive, but we can help such entrepreneurs build great companies around their ideas.
- We are hugely in favor of the founder who intends to be CEO. Not all founders can become great CEOs, but most of the great companies in our industry were run by a founder for a long period of time, often decades, and we believe that pattern will continue. We cannot guarantee that a founder can be a great CEO, but we can help that founder develop the skills necessary to reach his or her full CEO potential.