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Books Recommended by Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen is one of the most influential American serial tech entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley, and perhaps even in the world. He has a long successful entrepreneurial history and is one of the few who started several multiple billion-dollar companies.

Marc is the co-founder and general partner of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (also called a16z), one of the biggest VC firms in America, founded in 2009 together with Ben Horowitz.

He co-created Mosaic, the first widely used web browser, that popularized the World Wide Web – it’s why he’s considered one of the founding fathers of the modern Internet. Marc co-founded Netscape and sold in 1998 to AOL in a $4.2 billion deal. He then co-founded Loudcloud, which sold as Opsware to Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion.

Ben Horowitz, his business partner, is the author of “The Hard Thing About Hard Things“, one of those must-read books for entrepreneurs.

Marc and Ben have invested together, but also separately in around 45 tech startups, including Twitter, before starting a16z together.

Marc currently serves on the board of the following companies that are part of a16z portfolio: Applied Intuition, Dialpad, Honor, OpenGov, and Samsara. He is also on the board of Facebook.

When he was invited as a guest in Tim Ferriss’ show, Marc talked about how he builds “Red Teams”, a useful exercise that helps his team look for blind spots and make better decisions. Here’s how he explains it:

“We’ll create sort of the counter force and designate some set of people to counter argue the other side. […] Whenever he [Ben Horowitz – Marc’s business partner] brings in a deal, I just beat the shit out of it. And I might think it’s the best idea I’ve ever heard of, and I’ll just trash the crap out of it and try to get everybody else to pile on. And then, at the end of it, if he’s still pounding the table saying no, no, this is the thing, then, we all say we’re all in. We’re all behind you. […] So it’s the torture test.”

On his blog, Marc has a series of incredible essays on startups, productivity, making money, that should be mandatory reading for any wantrepreneur.

Other interesting articles about Marc Andreessen and a16z:

– New Yorker, 2015: The Mind of Marc Andreessen
– Wired, 2016: Silicon Valley’s secrets are hiding in Marc Andreessen’s library
– Wired, 2018: How to win friends and influence everybody
– Forbes, 2019: Andreessen Horowitz Is Blowing Up The Venture Capital Model (Again)

All books recommended by Marc Andreessen:

The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium

by Martin Gurri

Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society

by Nicholas Christakis

Who Is Michael Ovitz?

by Michael Ovitz

Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet

by Jesse Itzler

Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling

by Amy Chozick

When the Wolves Bite: Two Billionaires, One Company, and an Epic Wall Street Battle

by Scott Wapner

All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class

by Tim Shipman

The Courage To Be Disliked: How to free yourself, change your life and achieve real happiness

by Ichiro Kishimi, Fumitake Koga

The Spider Network: The Wild Story of a Maths Genius and One of the Greatest Scams in Financial History

by David Enrich

Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?

by Philip E. Tetlock