Marc Andreessen co-created Mosaic browser, the first widely-used web browser. He is incredibly influential in Silicon Valley as an entrepreneur and investor. He also co-founded Netscape and Loudcloud. He is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the modern internet and currently is co-founder and partner of his venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
When you hear about Mosaic, Microsoft Edge, and Safari and think about the people that created them, it’s very easy to put them on a pedestal. How could someone create this software from scratch that now over a billion people use?
Marc Andreessen talks about his thought processes in an interview with Tim Ferris, “Get inside the heads of the people who made things in the past and what they were actually like, and then realize that they're not that different from you”. You could be the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Marc really emphasizes how at the time they invented their life-changing thing, “they were kind of just like you…so there’s nothing stopping any of the rest of us from doing the same thing”.
This is so important to remember because a lot of us tend to put others on pedestals instead of remembering that they are human just like we are. While Marc created Mosaic, a software that now over a billion people use, he’s reminding us that the people that inspired him are great inventors who are actually just like us.
Steve Jobs also referenced this in an interview, “everything around you that you call ‘life’ was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use”. He is adamant that YOU can do this. You don’t have to be extra special or extra smart or anything else that you think these people are. You just have to realize that you can make a difference and then you have influence.
Ferriss, Timothy, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers HMH Books, 2016.