Some great insights below from Frank Chen, and generally speaks to me about the wisdom of picking quality people to collaborate with over anything else:
I got a piece of advice too late into my college career for me to use it in college. That advice was, “take classes from the great professors rather than classes whose description in the course bulletin sound interesting.” It turns out that the great professors will make their subject material fascinating, relevant, and engaging. I was a senior by the time I figured this out, so it was too late to re-take all my classes. So I’ve been making up for lost time with my career choices. And hanging around Marc and Ben has turned out the way you’d expect hanging around those two would turn out—it’s been the ride of a lifetime.
— Frank Chen on how he got recruited to work at Andreessen Horowitz.
Andreessen: My bet is that the positive effects will far outweigh the negatives. Think about Borders, the bookstore chain. Amazon drove Borders out of business, and the vast majority of Borders employees are not qualified to work at Amazon. That’s an actual, full-on problem. But should Amazon have been prevented from doing that? In my view, no. Because it’s so much better to live in a world where that happened, it’s so much better to live in a world where Amazon is ascendant. I told you that my childhood bookstore was something you had to drive an hour to get to. But it was a Waldenbooks, and it was, like, 800 square feet, and it sold almost nothing that you would actually want to read. It’s such a better world where we have Amazon, where everything is universally available. They’re a force for human progress and culture and economics in a way that Borders never was.
Anderson: So it’s creative destruction.
Andreessen: When Milton Friedman was asked about this kind of thing, he said: Human wants and needs are infinite, and so there will always be new industries, there will always be new professions. This is the great sweep of economic history. When the vast majority of the workforce was in agriculture, it was impossible to imagine what all those people would do if they didn’t have agricultural jobs. Then a hundred years later the vast majority of the workforce was in industrial jobs, and we were similarly blind: It was impossible to imagine what workers would do without those jobs. Now the majority are in information jobs. If the computers get smart enough, then what? I’ll tell you: The then what is whatever we invent next.
The Man Who Makes the Future: Wired Icon Marc Andreessen | Epicenter | Wired.com.