Andreessen: “I feel 50 pounds lighter” without Twitter

Speaking at a Strictly VC event in Palo Alto, noted venture capital investor Marc Andreessen talked about why he abruptly quit Twitter this week.

“I feel 50 pounds lighter” without it, he quipped. “I feel free as a bird,” Andreessen added, seemingly referencing Twitter’s logo.

His departure came as a surprise to some because for a time, he was extremely active on the social media platform. Known for his “tweetstorms,” Andreessen shared anything from his opinion on politics (he doesn’t like Trump) to his thoughts on the latest news impacting Silicon Valley.

But his candor occasionally got him into trouble. Earlier this year, he made controversial remarks about India, which elicited a harsh response from Facebook, where he sits on the board.

Andreessen also spoke of what he claimed is a more challenging environment for tech IPOs. It’s “much harder to be a public company today than it was 20 years ago,” he said pointing to increased investor scrutiny akin to a “treadmill.” When companies have to focus too much on quarterly earnings, “their long-term goals go out the window,” he griped.

But the investor remained very optimistic about his own portfolio, suggesting that many of A16z’s later stage companies are on the IPO path. “The ultimate fate is becoming a public company,” he said.

Andreessen also spoke of what has been a very active M&A environment. He talked about a “new phenomenon” with the “non-traditional buyer,” citing non-tech companies like Under Armour and GM, purchasing venture-backed startups.

He also addressed the recently published WSJ article, which compared the returns of Andreessen Horowitz’s in-progress funds to Sequoia’s completed funds. While he defended his investments, he acknowledged that even “the best venture capitalists in the world still strike out most of the time. That’s just the nature of the beast.”