Back when he was still running Netscape in the 1990s, Marc Andreessen hired an executive named Ben Horowitz. After Microsoft announced that it would bundle its browser with Windows 95, Andreessen, Horowitz, and another guy named Mike Homer spent months coming up with a counter-move. The plan, according to Horowitz's new book: "If they were going to give our products away, then we were going to offer a dirt-cheap, open alternative to the highly expensive and proprietary Microsoft BackOffice product line." The launch date for Netscape's new products would be March 5, 1996. But then, two weeks before that date, a publication called Computer Reseller News published an interview with Andreessen in which he spilled all the secret plans. Horowitz was mad. He sent an email to Andreessen that said, "I guess we're not going to wait until the 5th to launch the strategy." Andreessen's response was nuclear. "Apparently you do not understand how serious the situation is," he wrote. "We are getting killed killed killed out there. Our current product is radically worse than the competition. We've had nothing to say for months. As a result, we've lost over $US3 billion in market capitalisation. We are now in danger of losing the entire company and it's all server product management's fault." "Next time," Andreessen concluded, "do the f---ing interview yourself." He signed off: "F--- you, Marc." You might imagine that Horowitz responded to that email the way most people would: by quitting Netscape and never working with Andreessen again. Nope. In fact, Horowitz would go on to become CEO of Andreessen's second company, Loudcould, which eventually became Opsware and sold to Hewlett Packard for $US1.65 billion. Now Horowitz and Andreessen are working together again as partners in a venture capital firm. It's called: Andreessen Horowitz. We had Horowitz into the office the other day to talk about his new book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things. We asked him how his relationship with Andreessen su rived that email. Watch the clip to hear his answer. Produced by Justin Gmoser Disclosure: Marc Andreessen is an investor in Business Insider.
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