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Ben Horowitz on Anti-Social Startup Geniuses

Internet And Technology Leaders Address Web 2.0 Summit 2011

While it takes a team player, perhaps, to be employed at a startup, the best startup innovators tend to be lone wolves. That is the opinion of venture capitalist Ben Horowitz, who developed Opsware which he sold to Hewlett Packard in 2007 for $1.6 billion. He teamed up with Marc Andreesen of Netscape and Mosaic to start a venture capital firm that saw success investing in Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter and many others.

Ben Horowitz told Wired magazine that the great minds behind start ups “think for themselves to an astonishingly antisocial degree They have a very strong belief in something of their own creation and really no regard as to whether people like it or not.”

Steve Jobs rejected the notion of focus groups and market surveys, and instead, trusted his instincts. Mark Zuckerberg in 2007 nearly faced a mutiny among his executive team and nearly tried to sell the company. The then 23 year old said, “I’m not going to do that. In fact, I’m going to replace all of you who want to sell the company.”

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