Will Technology Eventually Replace Marc Andreessen?

Photo by JD Lasica.

One challenge for Andreessen is whether venture itself has a skills problem. If software is truly eating the world, wouldn’t venture capital be on the menu? The AngelList platform now allows investors to fund startups online. Its co-founder Naval Ravikant said that “future companies will require more two-hundred-thousand-dollar checks and way fewer guys on Sand Hill Road.” Jeff Fagnan, of Atlas Venture, which is the largest investor in AngelList, said, “Software is already squeezing out other intermediaries—travel agents, financial advisers—and, at the end of the day, V.C.s are intermediaries. We’re all just selling cash.”

Andreessen sometimes wonders if Ravikant is onto something. He’s asked Horowitz, “What if we’re the most evolved dinosaur, and Naval is a bird?” Already, more than half the tech companies that reached a billion-dollar valuation in the past decade were based outside Silicon Valley. And as Andreessen himself wrote in 2007, before he became a V.C., “Odds are, nothing your V.C. does, no matter how helpful or well-intentioned, is going to tip the balance between success and failure.”

Tad Friend, in The New Yorker, on Netscape cofounder and Andreessen Horowitz venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.

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