The founders of one of the most famous VC firms in the world 'fight like cats and dogs, then forget about it'

Marc andreessen ben horowitzREUTERS/Brendan McDermidMarc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz.

Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz run what is arguably the most famous venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. 

Andreessen Horowitz has put its money behind some of the biggest names in tech, including Airbnb, Box, and Facebook.

Its founders couldn’t be more different: Ben Horowitz is a people person, and Marc Andreessen is the ideas guy. Naturally, this leads to occasional work-related conflicts.

In a profile of Marc Andreessen in the New Yorker, Tad Friend tells a story about how, back in 1996, Horowitz accused Andreessen of telling a reporter about Netscape’s new strategy prematurely.

In response, Andreessen said that if the company failed, it’d be Horowitz’s fault. “Next time do the f—— interview yourself. F— you,” Andreessen wrote.

This kind of incendiary conflict could bring other friendships to a grinding halt. But a close friend of Andreessen told Friend in The New Yorker: “When he feels disrespected, Marc can cut you out of his life like a cancer. But Ben and Marc fight like cats and dogs, then forget about it.”

The relationship between the two founders is conflict-ridden, but it seems to be working: to date, Andreessen Horowitz has made 373 investments in 251 companies. The firm has had five of its portfolio companies IPO and 40 get acquired.

From the New Yorker:

Two years later, when Netscape was floundering and forty per cent of its employees left, Horowitz announced that he was staying no matter what. Andreessen had never trusted anyone before, but he began to consider it. Their teamwork at a16z is complementary: Horowitz is the people-person C.E.O., and Andreessen is the farsighted theorist, the chairman. Yet Horowitz noted that “Marc is much more sensitive than I am, actually. He’ll get upset about my body language — ‘God damn it, Ben, you look like you’re going to throw up when I’m talking about this!’ ”

You can check out the full New Yorker profile here.

Disclosure: Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, is an investor in Business Insider.

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at