AUSTIN, TEX — Ben Horowitz, partner at legendary VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, spoke at the South By Southwest Interactive conference Sunday in a fireside chat with rap star Nas to go over some entrepreneurship advice in his new book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things.”
(Horowitz and Nas are actually close friends and made quite the duo on stage.)
The pair plucked out a lot of tidbits from Horowitz’s book, but one stuck out to us in particular: the number one thing Horowitz looks for when he considers investing in an entrepreneur’s company.
“The number one thing we look for in an entrepreneur is the willingness to think for yourself,” Horowitz said. “Do you have an idea? And by nature is that an idea no one else believes?” Those are the kinds of things Horowitz likes to invest in.
Later in the talk, Horowitz explained why his firm has invested in a bunch of startups involved in Bitcoin, which seemed to play into the same theme. He sees Bitcoin as a gateway to the digitization of everything from money to car keys to door locks.
“As a venture capitalist, you can’t afford not to go after ideas that big,” he said.
Disclosure: Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, is an investor in Business Insider.