Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Netscape Product Value {Re: Collabra, RSS}

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:9/11/1999; 11:28:03 AM
Topic:Marc Andreesen
Msg #:10921 (In response to 10920)
Prev/Next:10920 / 10922

Here's a question about Marc's experience for Dave Winer. Do you think that Marc's exit at this stage was part of AOL's plan? Couldn't it have been part of a strategy to retain critical elements of the Netscape staff through the transition?

I couldn't possibly know, I only know my own experience.

Staying thru a transition is a kind thing to do, and leaving, for a founder, is probably the right thing to do. You can't be relevant in the same way you used to be, and by staying you encourage the troops to believe in the past, which they must not do, they must look to the future if the organization is to survive.

It's kind to stay both for the acquirer, after all they're a big customer; and it's kind for the people in your organization, so they have someone to talk to as they're getting adjusted to life in a subsidiary, which is pretty different from life in a startup. Some of them want to go, and when the founder leaves, usually a bunch of people were waiting around for that, and they leave too.

But eventually they're on their own. You no longer own the company, you haven't got the power anymore. So no one knows how to relate to you. It's time to go. I think he stayed a good amount of time. He gave a few speeches on AOL's behalf, testified in Congress for AOL, gave it a good shot, and I never heard him say anything bad about AOL. That requires discipline!

Whatever, the key point is "Onward!"

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