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Marc Andreeson

Marc Andreeson, notable douche, was on CNBC this morning hyping Opsware, his latest venture.  It's basically a penny stock, but since Andreeson is attached to it CNBC decided to do an interview.

Has this guy done anything significant since Netscape?  It seems like every time I see him on TV he is being interviewed as the CEO of some crappy company.  It used to be Loudcloud and now its Opsware.

Why does he keep hyping these lousy companies when he could ride off into the sunset as the creator of Netscape with at least a smidgen of self-respect left?

muppet
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Why?

$$$$ - what else?

RocketJeff
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Supposedly it's okay to fail in Silicon Valley; even multiple failures don't seem to be an impediment to someone's career.

http://slate.msn.com/id/2712/

Marc
Thursday, August 26, 2004

"Has this guy done anything significant since Netscape?"

I could never figure out the significance of Netscape, to be honest.  Sure, he deserves a place in history for creating Netscape, but the "give away your main product for free" business model never made sense to me.

Wishful Thinker
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Uhhh, Opsware *is* Loudcloud, except with a new name and a somewhat revamped (but perhaps not still successful) business model.

Food for thought: VCs in the Valley will tell you that they are happy to have one home-run success for every 10 companies they fund. Failure as such is not considered a stigma, although not trying is.

How many times did Edison fail before succeeding with his inventions? I'm not comparing Andreessen to Edison -- just pointing out that some people feel compelled to keep trying new things and don't seem to have to worry about their egos. As for "riding off into the sunset", I can't imagine that personally -- no matter how successful I was. The challenge is too engaging.

John C.
Thursday, August 26, 2004

"Sure, he deserves a place in history for creating Netscape, but the "give away your main product for free" business model never made sense to me."

While Netscape was essentially free for home users (we were all academic users...), businesses did pony up the big dollars to use the browser. Furthermore, it legitimized them to the point that people would buy their webserver as well (similar to how people contribute to open source in hopes that it'll give them a name that they can eventually cash in on). They did make good money for a while.

To the other poster, seriously people need to stop with the anoop, err muppet, bashing - if you don't like his posts just move on. Our friend muppet is as subtle as a sledgehammer to the face, but his posts are usually hilarious and built on a foundation of truth.

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, August 26, 2004

"Our friend muppet is as subtle as a sledgehammer to the face, but his posts are usually hilarious and built on a foundation of truth."

I have to agree with Dennis.

Ewan's Dad
Thursday, August 26, 2004

"Why does he keep hyping these lousy companies when he could ride off into the sunset as the creator of Netscape with at least a smidgen of self-respect left?"

This reminds me of Paul Allen. He made a series of crappy investments through his Vulcan Ventures corp, took a basketball team from 21 straight years in the playoffs to "Jail Blazers, bakrupted an arena corp, and finally funded a private rocket venture that blew up (literally).

I mean, come on.  The guys owns 2 of the 5 largest yachts in the world.  He could just sit on deck in the Mediterrean drinking mint julips all day.

Wishful Thinker
Thursday, August 26, 2004

"businesses did pony up the big dollars to use the browser"

I didn't know that.  I didn't start paying attention to the "business side" of it until they were bought out by AOL.  By that time their web server was a bit player in the market, and AOL continued to use IE as the base for their browser.  So, none of it made any sense to me.

Wishful Thinker
Thursday, August 26, 2004

I didn't post this thread.  If anybody has followed my posting patterns, I generally couldn't care less about specific people in the programming industry, much less remember their names.  And I certainly don't watch CNBC.

muppet
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Clearly we're all going to have to start X509 signing our posts.

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, August 26, 2004

How does that help?  :)

Ward

X509
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Great topic.  I too wish he would just go away.  He was a one-hit wonder, and his 15 mins of fame were over long ago.

ScrewHim
Thursday, August 26, 2004

I have great achievements. Without me the internet would be nowhere. No it's opswhere, but remember it would be nowhere.

And check my name spelling you bastard.
Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Speaking of egos, is it just me or does that Mark Cuban guy have hair that makes Donald Trump's look pretty good? I'm a 31 year old male, and I'm sure all my hair is bound to fall out soon enough so I'm not making cheap shots, but damn do people look ridiculous when they try everything to keep the 20 year old coif. I remember being in a Tim Hortons once and a patron had a wisp of hair on the back of his head that he had combed up and over as if it was overgrown unruly bangs, and he was sitting there with his wife. Did she see him every morning and say "Honey, you look great!  You can hardly tell..." as he looked in the mirror admiring his chevaux facade?

Great, now Mr. Cuban is going to have me killed. This is actually muppet writing this!

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, August 26, 2004

It wasn't muppet, it was Steve Jones (UK), I saw him ;-)

Nemesis
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Ummm...  Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures founded Burt Rutan, who's rocket is notable for not blowing up and is the current favorite to win the X-prize.

Of course, he's still a little slimy in that most of "his" projects (experience music project, scifi museum) are mostly bankrolled by Seattle and not him, but that's another matter.

And all off-topic, really.

The whole point of Netscape was to sell the client at the beginning, then switch to giving the client away.  And make most of their money off of the server side of things.  So the client was there to create the market and be the eventual complement.

The problem is that Apache and IIS managed to comodititze Netscape's server business and Microsoft viewed comoditizing Netscape's client business as a business imperitive, lest it make the Windows platform less compelling.

So Netscape ended up fighting a two-front war with free products on both sides.  Microsoft waited a while, but they did end up reacting before Netscape could successfully manage to build a platform.

The trick, it seems, is to have a good reputation when you are on top.  People *know* who Marc Andresson is, so his name gives a startup a sense of legitimacy that they wouldn't otherwise have. 

Flamebait Sr.
Thursday, August 26, 2004

As a sidenote, I should have said "cheveux" above. I guess I don't pay enough attention to the bilingual shampoo bottles.

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, August 26, 2004

> Wishful Think says
> but the "give away your main product for free" business
> model never made sense to me.

That wasn't the way it started. Andreesen worked at NCSA where he first developed Mosaic. Since it's a government funded organization, all software from NCSA was in the public domain.

Then the venure capitalists took him aside and said we can make you a billionaire. We'll build Netscape around you. The first two versions were free as in beta versions, then at version 3.0 they tried to sell it for $50. And a few people did start to buy it.

Then Microsoft walked in (stomped, actually) with free IE and the game was up.

old_timer
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Kind a skizoid forum.


Thursday, August 26, 2004

My mistake on the rocket blow up.  I had the news on in the background when the story was covered. I heard "rocket blows up ... blah blah blah ... Paul Allen".  They must have been mentioning that he too was involved in the contest.

Wishful Thinker
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Yeah, I think Paul Allen is actually the one putting up the prize money, right?  He's not a participant.

Ian Olsen
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Uhh..

No.

Paul Allen is paying Burt Rutan to make his entry. In fact, Paul Allen is paying Burt Rutan more than the X-prize purse.  Maybe because he's a nice guy who really believes in something, but more likely because he figures that Rutan's the most likely to be able to make an acceptable space tourism vehicle later with which Paul Allen can make money.

Paul Allen + Burt Rutan already have flown their vehicle to space once, but ran into problems.  At the end o' the month, they are going for a real run.  At the same time, the Canadian team that's the farthest along will be making *their* run, financed by GoldenPalace.com (who have generally been known for making the news by bankrolling the other kind of streaker, heh heh) and are generally regarded as not being ready to fly but are doing it anyway.

The prize money is financed through an insurance bet that expires at the end of the year (same insurance bet that lets game shows like Who Wants To Be a Millionare go on the air without needing to have many millions of dollars handy for the prize money)  and has been progressively funded by a variety of folks other than Paul Allen over the years since it started (Hence why it's the Anasari X-Prize now)

The two folks who had explosions are John Carmack (of Doom 3 fame)'s Armadillo Aerospace and Space Transport Corporation.

Flamebait Sr.
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Carmak didn't have an explosion, actually. I think he just ran out of gas and crashed.

Miles Archer
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Wasn't the Netscape codebase a load of crap as well? Andreeson was a lucky puppy in the right place at the right time. Nothing more. Now the jerk thinks his ill-informed opinions mean something.

Anyone seen him sound off on offfshoring?


Thursday, August 26, 2004

(He thinks it's cool.)


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Whoa
All these posts to date, and only one mentions Mosaic. Which was, IMHO, a big step to popularizing the whole WWW stuff -- and Netscape just a smaller step further.

Interesting... Very interesting.

DEBEDb
Friday, August 27, 2004

So? Browsers are not rocket science.


Friday, August 27, 2004

Marc is overrated.

Also he is very fat.

Mr. Fancypants
Friday, August 27, 2004

Yeah, but Mosaic was the first with the graphical browser idea.

Hello
Friday, August 27, 2004

>> Clearly we're all going to have to start X509 signing our posts.

Muppet impersonation and world terrorism, that's what will bring RFID into out lives!

Alex
Friday, August 27, 2004

Dennis,

This has come up several times here on JoS and AFAIR the "Netscape was not free" stuff has never been substantiated here by any financial data. As it stands, I still believe Netscape did not bring in significant (in the sense of having substantial % of cost coverage) revenues from Navigator.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, August 27, 2004

I just picked a random year, 1996, and looked for Netscape financial results. This link gives some of the financials:

http://earthlink.com.com/2100-1001-265646.html

"Barksdale said sales of its Navigator software accounted for 51 percent of its revenues in the fourth quarter, versus 59 percent in the third quarter of 1996."

In that quarter they had revenue of $115 million, so about $59 million of it was from sales of Netscape Navigator. ~$240 million yearly of sales for a "free" product really isn't that bad.

Dennis Forbes
Friday, August 27, 2004

"I too wish he would just go away.  He was a one-hit wonder, and his 15 mins of fame were over long ago."

You're talking about muppet, right?

teppum
Friday, August 27, 2004

"If anybody has followed my posting patterns..."

Yep, the world revolves around you, muppet.

wheeeeeeeee!
Friday, August 27, 2004

Finally some numbers. Thanks Dennis.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, August 27, 2004

wheeeeeeeee!  -

actually, I figure I can pretty easily seperate a Dennis Forbes or a Dennis Atkins post from a copy cat post.  A Clay Whipkey, an Aussie Chick, etc..

if you haven't got that sort of memory/attention span, then hey, no skin off my nose.

muppet
Friday, August 27, 2004

Who the hell is "Marc Andresson" he only *CHANGED THE WORLD* once?  I give the guy a fair amount of credit, he had a vision of the world and technology pre-1994 and he made it happen. There were other players and the outcome wasn't everything everyone expected, but can we please not attack everyone?  He was there at an amazing time, did an interesting thing, and I don't begrudge him a few minutes on CNBC. 

Synder
Sunday, August 29, 2004

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