There is a shocking element to this advice by Andreessen, often touted as one of the smartest VCs in the Valley.
But one cannot deny the humourous dimension in which it is delivered.
Readers of his “pmarca guide to startups” (Andreessen’s handle on Twitter is @pmarca) will find great advice on a range of topics such as “Why Not To Do A Startup” to “The Only Thing That Matters”.
The last post, Part 9, reads: “How To Hire A Professional CEO”. But when you click on it, you get to the following page:
It is hard to be more concise.
If you know about Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), the VC firm founded by Andreessen and his ex-colleague Ben Horowitz on the back of prior entrepreneurial successes, you won’t be surprised.
Founded in 2009, a16z differentiated itself early on by its focus on the “Founder-CEO”, i.e., making early bets on Founders who had the potential to become CEOs of their company even when it grew larger.
Part of a movement spearheaded by Sean Parker, the attention and loyalty derived from such a stance was quite novel in Silicon Valley at the time. Historically, VC firms tended to take Founders out of C-Suite jobs and replace them with grey-haired executives more apt to reassure financial markets ahead of an I.P.O.
It is hard to believe now that the Founder-friendly market we’ve known for the past decade was not always there.
No doubt a16z’s success — it is often ranked within the Top 3 early-stage VC firms by its peers — is a powerful motivator.
🗣 Do you agree with Andreessen? What does it take for Founders to become CEOs?
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