My take on some notable PE and VC-related events and news in the past week.
Questioning the Fanboy Fascination with Andreessen Horowitz
In the last few weeks, I’ve friended an employee at Andreessen Horowitz, who I consider a smart guy and someone worth knowing and who always has smart tweets. By no fault of his own, he may be working at an overhyped firm. Or, at the very least, it’s a firm that has not yet generated the cash-on-cash returns that justify the amount of attention it has been getting.
At least that was my takeaway from reading a story about the firm from my colleague Connie Loizos, who took a look at the media frenzy surrounding Andreessen Horowitz since it was launched in mid-2009 with a $300 million fund. Connie talked to social psychologist Amy Cuddy of Harvard Business School, who recently produced research suggesting that people are likely to see someone as competent if they’ve demonstrated expertise in just one area, even if they later display incompetence elsewhere.
So whereas Andreessen and Horowitz are great technologists, the jury is still out on whether they’re investment geniuses. You be the judge on whether they’re overhyped.
The post drew 17 responses, most of them in agreement with Connie’s assessment. Reader Eric wrote: “Nice balanced article, Connie. It’s good to have at least one rational voice out there willing to do their own thinking, rather than simply serving up the pre-packaged PR flak that we seem to be getting from others. Kudos to Andreessen Horowitz for the savvy to tap the LP’s while they are enthusiastic for the unproven product, rather than waiting for the (possibly good, possibly bad) performance to manifest itself.”