Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Andreessen to Facebook Board?

marcandreessen

Silicon Valley luminary Marc Andreessen (pictured here) has been asked to join the board of Facebook, according to several sources with knowledge of the situation.

While the arrangement is not completed yet, sources said the longtime entrepreneur has verbally agreed to accept the post to become the fourth member of the board of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based social-networking site.

Other board members include Accel Partners Jim Breyer, Founders Fund’s Peter Thiel and Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg. Greylock Partners David Sze also has observer status on the board.

Since he co-founded browser pioneer Netscape in the 1990s and helped usher in the Internet age, Andreessen has been an active investor and has created several successful start-ups.

His most current effort has been Ning, also based in Palo Alto, which is a white-label social-networking company that recently raised another $60 million in funding.

If Andreessen joins Facebook’s board, the move is yet another sign that the much-hyped start-up, which has undergone some growing pains over the last year, as well as garnering a $15 billion valuation, is growing up by bringing some major high-profile tech figures into its ranks.

marcandreessentime

Last night, for example, BoomTown broke the news that Google PR head Elliot Schrage had accepted a similiar job at Facebook.

That comes after Facebook hired another top Google (GOOG) exec, Sheryl Sandberg, as its COO, in March.

A while back, BoomTown suggested that Web 1.0 golden boy Andreessen–pictured here on the iconic Time magazine cover in 1996–would be a good mentor for current golden boy Zuckerberg, in a piece I did about potential execs for Facebook.

As I wrote in February:

But why not go for the man who was Zuckerberg before Zuckerberg was cool. Yes, the shiniest of Golden Geeks himself, Marc Andreessen.

I could go on and on about the similarities I find between the two, if you compared today’s Zuckerberg with the Netscape founder in the mid-1990s.

From their arrogant innocence to their visionary qualities to their enfant-terrible charm, it is almost as if they were separated at birth.

But now Andreessen is all grown up and much, much matured from when I covered him. He has become all calm and sage and he even does a very decent blog.

Plus, he has also started and run a number of start-ups after Netscape, giving him deeper managerial experience over the last dozen years.

And, best of all, Andreessen knows the pressure of being the best-thing-since-sliced-bread in the tech sector, and its inevitable downside too.

Overall, a real mentor and partner for Zuckerberg, making a perfect pair of Golden Geeks.”


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work