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Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen, born on July 9, 1971, is an American businessman and software engineer. He co-authored Mosaic, the first widely used web browser with a graphical user interface, and co-founded Netscape. He is a Co-founder and General Partner at , a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. Andreesen also founded Opsware, later sold to Hewlett-Packard, and co-founded Ning, a platform for social networking websites. [1][2]

Background

Andreessen was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and raised in New Lisbon, Wisconsin. During grammar school, Andreessen taught himself BASIC programming to create computer games and even attempted to design a program for math homework. His career trajectory shifted when he joined the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and secured a part-time position at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).

There, along with peers, he developed Mosaic, a user-friendly browser integrating graphics and point-and-click simplicity for easier web navigation by non-technical users. Mosaic achieved immense success, with over two million downloads within a year of its release by NCSA over the Internet.

After earning a bachelor's degree in computer science in 1993, Andreessen relocated to Silicon Valley, California, where he joined a small company specializing in security products for electronic commerce. He was later approached by James Clark, founder and former president of Silicon Graphics, Inc., who sought a new venture.

Together, they founded Mosaic Communications Corporation in April 1994 (later renamed Netscape Communications). Andreessen enlisted the original creators of Mosaic and embarked on developing a powerful software initially named Mozilla (Mosaic Killer). This software launched commercially as Netscape Navigator, dominated the web browser market, capturing over 75% of the market share by mid-1996.

Netscape's primary goal was to facilitate global information exchange for individuals and businesses. As vice president of technology, Andreessen played a pivotal role in shaping the company's technical direction, anticipating the transformative impact of the impending "bandwidth tidal wave" on the wireless communications industry. In 1996, Netscape reported revenues of $55 million, coinciding with Andreessen's appearance on the cover of Time magazine.

Subsequently, on February 18, 1999, Andreessen assumed the position of chief technology officer (CTO) at America Online, Inc. (AOL), following its acquisition of Netscape the previous year. However, he departed AOL after seven months, founding LoudCloud, Inc. (later Opsware), in October 1999. This venture was subsequently acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2007.

In October 2004, Andreessen and Gina Bianchini established Ning, a social networking platform allowing users to create personalized networks based on their interests, with Andreessen serving as chairman of the company. [3]

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Marc Andreessen

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April 3, 2024

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