First Stage Investor

Startup Insider: (Don’t) Follow Your Passion

Startup Insider: (Don’t) Follow Your Passion

Venture capital legend Marc Andreessen — founder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of the earliest architects of the internet — has some advice for young people.

Don’t follow your passion.

“Your passion is likely more dumb and useless than anything else. Your passion should be your hobby, not your work. Do it in your spare time,” he told blogger Noah Smith.

It sounds pessimistic. But in the same interview, Andreessen goes on to say this:

It can sometimes feel that all the exciting things have already happened, that the frontier is closed, that we’re at the end of technological history and there’s nothing left to do but maintain what already exists. This is just a failure of imagination. In fact, the opposite is true.

In this episode of Startup Insider, Vin Narayanan and Andy Gordon unpack Andreessen’s advice. How does this apply to startups, where passionate founders are often seen as an advantage? And can disruption happen without passion?


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