TechCrunch interview about his new 300 million VC fund lead to a few predictions…
1. Twitter and Facebook’s investors aren’t worried about monetization, but “it’s sweet” of you to. Twitter has spent about $15 million acquiring 30 million users. It’d be a no-brainer to recoup that if need be. Meanwhile, Facebook will generate more than $500 million in revenues this year—it’s spent far less than that to build the company to date. In other words, these are pretty fiscally conservatively run businesses with huge growth potential and no trouble raising additional cash.
2. Digg isn’t done. Andreessen is still bullish on Digg, citing the fact that Kevin Rose is no longer distracted with Pownce and Jay Adelson is moving to San Francisco to manage the company full-time. He thinks having both guys focused on the company will make a huge difference in the next twelve months.
3. The venture capital market should stop whining about Sarbox and other factors that are hurting their ability to take companies public. Says Andreessen, “Build Companies More Valuable and You Won’t Have this Problem.” That said, he sees a conceivable scenario where public markets are no longer how investors get returns at all. Instead, the same institutional names that used to buy the bulk of the shares at an issue, will just buy out VCs at premiums in private deals. That’ll essentially mean everyday Joes can no longer invest in high growth companies. That’s a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how many scars you have from the dot com bust.
4. At least 300 venture firms will go out of business in the next five-to-ten years.
5. Innovation and opportunities to build businesses on the Web aren’t done. They won’t be done for a long time because the Web is one of the only inventions that’s pure software, compared to computers, the television or even the railroads. That means it can completely change without having to fit into set molds. Anyone—Andreessen included—is deluding themselves if they think they know where it’s going. (In other words, don’t listen to anyone making Web 3.0 predictions.)