Peter Levine, General Partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, says that technical founders are best equipped to lead a fledgling company.
“Technical co-founders are great at envisioning where the company’s going from a strategic standpoint,” Levine told GigaOm in a video interview. “They have what I call the gut-feel of building out their business.”
Levine said that Andreessen Horowitz, which has invested in the likes of Foursquare, Groupon, Instagram, and Digg, uses whether or not a tech company’s founder is actually leading the company as an initial screening for early stage investments.
“It’s easier to coach a technical founder how to be CEO and manage a business than it is to teach a professional CEO the nuances of that particular business,” said Levine, who joined Andreessen Horowitz last year and focuses on infrastructure companies.
“With the premise that we look for technical co-founders to run a company, I view myself as being a coach to that technical co-founder,” he said. “I can help them with their business issues, with the growth issues of taking a company from a very early stage to something much larger.”
He added, nothing beats a technical founder’s passion about “the business that they’re going to dominate.”
Levine also told GigaOm that he sees the cloud computing space as the next big industry for innovation and opportunity.