Netscape co-founder Andreessen denies Internet bubble, advises New York Times to stop printing ASAP

“Far from experiencing a bubble, Silicon Valley has been in the throes of a ‘technology depression,'” Netscape co-founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said at the New York Times Dealbook conference on Wednesday,” Sarah McBride reports for Reuters. “To bolster his case, Andreessen said publicly held technology stocks were trading at the biggest discount to industrials since the 1970s. For example, he said, Google Inc’s stock price reflected valuations of zero for many of the company’s key businesses, such as video service YouTube and browser Chrome.”

“Part of the problem, he said, is a belief in some circles that old-line technology companies are ‘doomed,'” McBride reports. “But Andreessen pointed to Apple Inc as a company that many people had written off but which managed to pull off a stunning turnaround in the early 2000s.”

McBride reports, “In response to a question from the audience, Andreessen said the New York Times Co should shut down the print edition of its namesake newspaper ‘as soon as possible.’ While the newspaper’s potential audience is growing quickly due to factors such as the global rise of the middle class, he said the company should focus entirely on its digital offering. ‘It’s not that you can’t make money in print newspapers,’ he said. ‘It’s not that there aren’t people who love them.’ But successfully dealing with transformative technology requires going “‘on 100 percent offense,”‘ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

24 Comments

    1. an interesting observation I have noted is that if today you go to a young couple’s home and ask them for a pen or pencil and a piece of paper to write it on, they have to go dig for some. There are no magazines and newspapers on the coffee table or about..didn’t used to be that way. But there’s plenty of  iOS products.

    2. “almost the same could be said for all of publishing…paper is dead.”

      That may be true… until the power goes out. Then, paper comes alive again… along with the candles.

        1. Yeah, if the power does “go out” for an extended period of time, the last thing I’m going to be wishing I had was a paper magazine to read. If we experience a prolonged widespread power outage, than something pretty serious will be going on.

          1. Oh, believe me, I understand that scenario – I’m originally from New Orleans and everyone in my family that was still there when Katrina happened lost their homes and my old neighborhood (or what’s left of it) is STILL having regular brown outs.

    1. Netscape is pretty important in the history of public internet usage – you very well may not have been able to post your comment without it.

      SSL, JavaScript, and more all came to prominence thanks to Netscape.

      1. And they fucked up because they were kicking Microsoft’s ass! IE was able to overcome Netscape because of Mark Andreessen. His arrogance and poor management allowed that to happen. Idiot!

        1. That’s right. Andreessen’s an EXPERT.
          “…But successfully dealing with transformative technology requires going “‘on 100 percent offense,”‘ he said.” … okay, so maybe Andreessen can give Samsung some advice. 😉

    2. Ironically, Netscape was, among other things, one of those many ‘bubble’ companies that FAILed during the Silicon Valley BoomDotBust circa 1999-2000. Their, albeit innovative, web browser had no viable income stream and was infamous for bombing thanks to persistent memory leaks in its code. The company was eaten by another FAIL company, AOL, who were eaten by Time Warner. In 2003, Time Warner gave up on Netscape and gave away the code to what became the open source Mozilla project, who became the creators of Firefox, the web browser I am currently using to type this message. So Andreessen’s Netscape FAILed out, but other people fixed its mess and made it viable in the long term.

      Therefore, I can only laugh when Andreessen acts all prophetic and domineering, considering his own busted bubble experiences. The guy is bright and innovative. But business is NOT his forté. 😛

  1. There is a reason Andreessen is not in charge of the New York Times. While every paper in the country also publishes on the web and they have many readers, there is still little money that can be made from their web site. The vast amount of money that newspapers make is still from print. Their web site can pretend they make money only because they leach content from the print side.

  2. Actually, there is still a large, if aging, population that likes physical newspapers. And there is also an even larger group that will pick up a paper every now and then for nostalgia purposes (like people who go see a Broadway show once a year). The New York Times is well positioned to be the last man standing in print newspapers. As more and more local papers close, they could be the only remaining example of this old art form. Also, as the world shrinks in terms of communications, they have growth opportunities in other countries. Printing and transportation costs are coming down. It’s something they could continue to milk for at least a few more decades while also laying a digital foundation for the future.

    Someone buys all those piles of them at Starbucks.

  3. Plus when you personally know a story or read 3 or more versions online of a big story, then read the newspaper version. It’s real easy to see their lies and manipulation in their writing style.

    After dealing with that for years, many people are kicking them to the curb.

    I feel no pity for lying newspapers. Hope they all go out of business.

      1. Excellent point, well stated. There are truckloads of ignorant ‘Think’s wreaking havoc on reality every day.

        Yes, newspapers, famously MURDOCH newspapers, foist propaganda brain disease on people every day.

        But in a seriously free press environment, you get not just opposing opinion-as-news unformation. You also get some actual factual information along the way. That’s the kind of news I absolutely love! Feed me facts all day long and let me think for myself, dammit!

        Therefore, thinking that all newspapers lie and that they should all go out of business is incredibly self-destructive. How about starting your own, if you’re good at collecting and communicating factual information to others? My grandfather created and ran his own newspaper! The paper may be cast aside as unnecessary. But its a terrific endeavor that will live on as long as humanity.

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