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How Marc Andreessen Stays Ruthlessly Open-Minded

Marc Andreessen invented the internet.

Well... not exactly, but he did invent the modern internet browser. On top of that, he has built one of the most successful venture capital firms ever and a podcast network to boot. It's safe to say he knows a thing or two about ideas.

Giving Away Secrets

Marc has never been afraid of putting his ideas out there. When he penned his famous Why Software Is Eating the World investment thesis he put his chips on the table and told everyone where he was placing his bets.

On the A16Z podcast he has his firm and the companies they invest in share their ideas with the public - he has them give away their secrets!

Why would he do this?

Intellectual Rigor.

When you share your ideas with the world, you open them up to being critiqued. Suddenly, everyone who reads them can poke holes in all the weak spots.

While this may sound like an masochistic exercise, it’s actually quite useful. It forces you to think ahead to the arguments other people may come up with and refine your ideas against them.

Marc even likes to have imaginary arguments against people. He constructs models of how other people think and runs his thinking by imaginary versions of them. He once joked, “I have a little simulation of Peter Thiel. He lives on my shoulder right here. I argue with him all day long.”

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Be Ruthlessly Open-Minded

The intellectual rigor Marc’s imaginary arguments create aren’t just for fun. They help force him to stay ruthlessly open-minded as an investor in order to see all possible angles.“

Just because MySpace didn’t reach Facebook levels of scale didn’t mean Facebook wouldn’t be able to. So you have to be ruthlessly open-minded and constantly willing to reexamine your assumptions,” Andreessen says.

Putting their ideas out to the public helps Marc and Andreessen Horowitz fight their internal biases and stay open-minded to every idea out there.

Can putting your ideas out there on Daily Idea help you stay ruthlessly open-minded?

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