Marc Andreessen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Marc L. Andreessen
Marc Andreessen at the Tech Crunch40 conference, in 2007.
Marc Andreessen at the Tech Crunch40 conference, in 2007.
Born July 9, 1971 (1971-07-09) (age 37)
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Nationality Flag of the United StatesUnited States
Fields Computer Science
Known for Mosaic (web browser), founder of Netscape

Marc Andreessen (born July 9, 1971, in Cedar Falls, Iowa and raised in New Lisbon, Wisconsin, United States)[1] is known as an entrepreneur, investor, startup coach, blogger, and a multi-millionaire software engineer best known as co-author of Mosaic, the first widely-used web browser, and founder of Netscape Communications Corporation.[2] He was the chair of Opsware, a software company he founded originally as Loudcloud, when it was acquired by Hewlett-Packard. He is also a co-founder of Ning, a company which provides a platform for social-networking websites. As of June 30, 2008, he is said to be joining the Board of Directors of Facebook. On September 30, 2008, it was announced that he had joined the Board of Directors of eBay. Andreessen is a frequent keynote speaker and guest at Silicon Valley conferences.


[edit] Education

Andreessen (pronounced ann-DREES-sen) received his Bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As an undergraduate, he interned one summer at IBM in Austin, Texas, United States. He also worked at the university's National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), where he became familiar with Tim Berners-Lee's open standards for the World Wide Web. Andreessen and a full-time salaried co-worker Eric Bina worked on creating a user-friendly browser with integrated graphics that would work on a wide range of computers. The resulting code was the Mosaic web browser.

[edit] Netscape

Plaque commemorating the creation of Mosaic web browser by Bina and Andreessen, new NCSA building, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

After his graduation from the university in 1993, Andreessen moved to California to work at Enterprise Integration Technologies. Andreessen then met with Jim Clark, the recently-departed founder of Silicon Graphics. Clark believed that the Mosaic browser had great commercial possibilities and suggested starting an Internet software company. Soon Mosaic Communications Corporation was in business in Mountain View, California, with Andreessen as cofounder and vice president of technology. The University of Illinois was unhappy with the company's use of the Mosaic name, so Mosaic Communications changed its name to Netscape Communications, and its flagship web browser was the Netscape Navigator.

In the year between the formation of the company and its IPO, Andreessen engaged in extensive public outreach on behalf of his vision of the web browser's potential, something he had in fact done continuously since making the decision to distribute Mosaic for free via the Internet.

One of these events, hosted by Internet commercialization pioneer Ken McCarthy, was captured on video [3] and provides a unique look at the state of the web between the time Andreessen and his colleagues launched Mosaic and the time when web browsers and servers became mainstream commercial products. At the time of the recording, Andreessen was 23 years old.

Netscape's IPO in 1995 propelled Andreessen into the public's imagination. Featured on the cover of Time[4][5] and other publications,[6] Andreessen became the poster-boy wunderkind of the Internet bubble generation: young, twenty-something, high-tech, ambitious, and worth millions (or billions) of dollars practically overnight.

Netscape's success attracted the attention of Microsoft, which recognized the web's potential and wanted to put itself at the forefront of the rising Internet revolution. Microsoft licensed the Mosaic source code from Spyglass, Inc., an offshoot of the University of Illinois, and turned it into Internet Explorer. The resulting battle between the two companies became known as the Browser Wars.

Netscape was acquired in 1999 for $4.2 billion by AOL, which made Andreessen its Chief Technology Officer.

[edit] Loudcloud

However, he would soon leave to form Loudcloud, a services-based Web hosting company that underwent an IPO in 2001. Loudcloud sold its hosting business to EDS and changed its name to Opsware in 2003, where Andreessen served as chairman. Opsware was purchased by Hewlett-Packard in September 2007 for approximately $1.6 billion.

[edit] Current ventures

Andreessen is an investor in social news website Digg and several other early-stage technology startups, like Plazes, Netvibes and Twitter. His latest project is Ning, which launched in October 2004.[7] He serves on the board of Facebook[2], eBay and Open Media Network, a combined Kontiki (VeriSign) client and media player, launched in 2005. Andreessen is now active in the blogging community. His blog can be found at:

[edit] Personal life

Andreessen married Laura Arrillaga in 2006.[8] She is the chairwoman of the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund,[9] and the daughter of Silicon Valley real estate billionaire John Arrillaga.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Simone Payment, Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark: The Founders of Netscape, The Rosen Publishing Group, 2006, p. 15. ISBN 9781404207196.
  2. ^ a b Dan Frommer. "Marc Andreessen Joins Facebook Board". Retrieved on 2008-10-05. 
  3. ^ The First Internet Marketing Conference, San Francisco, 1994. Retrieved on 2008-10-05.
  4. ^ "Netscape's Marc Andreessen". Time magazine. 1996-02-19.,16641,1101960219,00.html. 
  5. ^ "At just 24, he appeared--barefoot and wearing a crown--on the cover of Time." Steve Hamm (1998-04-13). "The Education of Marc Andreessen". Businessweek. 
  6. ^ Alan Levenson (photo credit) (1998-04-13). "04/13/19 Cover Story". Businessweek. 
  7. ^ "Ning: About: Our Company". Retrieved on 2008-10-05. 
  8. ^ Michelle Quinn, "Andreessen Casts a Wide Net", Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2007, Business section.
  9. ^ "Laura Arrillaga". Retrieved on 2008-10-05. 

[edit] External links

  • MP3 / OGG audio interview with Marc on education, free and open source software, and social networking
Personal tools