76: CEOs are Made Not Born
Meet Ben Horowitz:
Ben Horowitz is Co-founder and General Partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). He is the author of “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” and “What You Do Is Who You Are.” Prior to a16z, Ben was Co-founder and CEO of Opsware (formerly Loudcloud). When Opsware was acquired by Hewlett-Packard, he became their Vice President and General Manager of Business Technology Optimization for Software. Ben received a Bachelor’s in Computer Science from Columbia University and a Masters in Computer Science from UCLA.
The vision for Andreessen-Horowitz derives from Ben’s own experience as a software founder.
- Lessons For CEOs. Ben has two main leadership lessons. One is to seek the truth: about the product, company, and everything you do. Two is to remember you are always talking to the whole company. Every brainstorming session, conversation, and raise can impact the politics and culture of your organization because you speak for and as the company.
- Are CEOs Made? Ben posits that CEOs are more made than born. Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos are so different from each other, yet are the CEO-founders of successful companies. Truth starts with being true to yourself and your own leadership style.
- What a16z Does Different. Andreessen Horowitz is a venture capital firm designed to help the founder become an effective CEO, rather than replacing them. This is done by providing founder-CEOs with a network of powerful industry experts, executives, and advisors. Additionally, a16z is transparent about their investing decisions by publishing articles on their website.