Marc Andreessen Andreessen Horowitz

What Marc Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz says about topics vital to entrepreneurs

Marc Andreessen Posts  – Titles  (3 posts)


Do Whatever is Required to get to Product/Market Fit

What Causes Success

The Most Important Attribute for Entrepreneurs is Courage

The Most Important Attribute for Entrepreneurs is Courage

Marc Andreessen Co-Founder and General Partner Andreessen Horowitz, investor and Co- Founder Netscape

Andreessen describes Chris Dixon’s courage. [Dixon is a General Partner Andreessen Horowitz, angel investor and former entrepreneur.]

“Chris started SiteAdvisor in 2005, during the height of the nuclear winter for startups following the dot com bust [] when only the most determined and bull-headed entrepreneurs were starting companies. As my partner Ben [Horowitz] often says, the most important attribute for entrepreneurs is courage, and the founding of SiteAdvisor showed that Chris has it in spades.”  Marc Andreessen blog post 11.19.12; http://blog.pmarca.com/2012/11/19/chris-dixon/

What Causes Success

Marc Andreessen Co-Founder and General Partner Andreessen Horowitz, investor and Co- Founder Netscape

“[] what correlates the most to success -- team, product, or market? Or, more bluntly, what causes success?

[] I'll assert that market is the most important factor in a startup's success or failure.

Why?   In a great market -- a market with lots of real potential customers -- the market pulls product out of the startup.

The market needs to be fulfilled and the market will be fulfilled, by the first viable product that comes along.

The product doesn't need to be great; it just has to basically work. And, the market doesn't care how good the team is, as long as the team can produce that viable product.

[] Conversely, in a terrible market, you can have the best product in the world and an absolutely killer team, and it doesn't matter -- you're going to fail.

[] You can obviously screw up a great market -- and that has been done, and not infrequently -- but assuming the team is baseline competent and the product is fundamentally acceptable, a great market will tend to equal success and a poor market will tend to equal failure. Market matters most.

And neither a stellar team nor a fantastic product will redeem a bad market.”  Marc Andreessen, “The Pmarca Guide to Startups, part 4: The only thing that matters, June 25, 2007; http://web.archive.org/web/20070701074943/http://blog.pmarca.com/2007/06/the-pmarca-gu-2.html

Do Whatever is Required to get to Product/Market Fit

Marc Andreessen Co-Founder and General Partner Andreessen Horowitz, investor and Co- Founder Netscape

“[Former Benchmark Capital General Partner Andy] Rachleff’s Corollary of Startup Success:  The only thing that matters is getting to product/market fit. Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.

[] Lots of startups fail before product/market fit ever happens.  My contention, in fact, is that they fail because they never get to product/market fit.

[The] life of any startup can be divided into two parts: before product/market fit (call this "BPMF") and after product/market fit ("APMF").

When you are BPMF, focus obsessively on getting to product/market fit.

Do whatever is required to get to product/market fit. Including changing out people, rewriting your product, moving into a different market, telling customers no when you don't want to, telling customers yes when you don't want to, raising that fourth round of highly dilutive venture capital -- whatever is required.

When you get right down to it, you can ignore almost everything else.”  Marc Andreessen, “The Pmarca Guide to Startups, part 4: The only thing that matters, June 25, 2007; http://web.archive.org/web/20070701074943/http://blog.pmarca.com/2007/06/the-pmarca-gu-2.html