An interview with Ben Horowitz about how entrepreneurs should prepare for pitch meetings, what all successful entrepreneurs have in common, what he’s learned about leadership from historical figures, how to find the right career and his best career advice.
Welcome to the 66th episode of 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel. As your host, my goal is to curate the best advice from the world’s smartest and most interesting people by asking them just 5 questions.
This episodes guest:
My guest today is the co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, Ben Horowitz. Born in London, England, Ben was raised in California. He graduated from Columbia University with a BA in computer science then got his master’s in computer science from UCLA. From there, Ben had his first job at Silicon Graphics before joining Netscape founder Marc Andreessen as a product manager. When Netscape was acquired by AOL, Ben became AOL’s Vice President of eCommerce. He and Marc left Netscape to co-found Loudcloud eventually taking it public and transforming it into enterprise software company Opsware. Ben grew the company to over $100 million in annual revenue before selling it to HP for $1.6 billion. Once he left, he joined forces again with Marc to create venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which has invested in Box, Facebook, Slack, Instagram, and Airbnb. I caught up with Ben for this podcast to hear his perspectives on raising capital, leadership, choosing the right career and to learn about his new book “What You Do Is Who You Are”.
The 5 questions I ask in this episode:
- What should entrepreneurs do to prepare for a pitch meeting with you and what are your criteria for which companies you invest in?
- What do all successful entrepreneurs have in common?
- What have you learned from studying successful leaders of the past and present on how to create a highly engaging and productive organization that lasts?
- How do you align what you do, and who you are with the right company?
- What is your best piece of career advice?
Follow Ben’s journey: