Social psychologist Amy Cuddy of Harvard Business School recently produced some interesting research suggesting that people are highly likely to see someone as competent if they’ve demonstrated expertise in just one area, even if they later display incompetence elsewhere. Think of the star attorney who sails his boat into some rocks.
It’s not hard to draw a line from Cuddy’s research to the media frenzy surrounding Andreessen Horowitz, the year-and-a-half old Sand Hill Road firm that almost always garners glowing reviews from the media. When Andreessen Horowitz announced last week that it had just raised a $650 million second fund — in three weeks, no less — dozens of news outlets published splashy features about the young firm, which is now managing nearly one billion dollars. One property, VentureBeat, has already anointed Andreessen “the King of Silicon Valley.”