I sat down with legendary investor Marc Andreessen for an interview at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen.
Though he can't comment specifically about Facebook because of his role on the board, he ended up revealing quite a bit about his thoughts on the company's IPO and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's leadership, and controlling stake in the company.
Bottom line: it's a hard time to go public, and a hard time to be public, which is why "many of the most interesting companies are either not going public or going public a lot later," Andreessen says. Facebook, he says, will be a very successful public company, but it only went public after reaching a significant size and scale.
The company had no choice: Andreessen says companies need to be "fortresses" when they go public, to "sustain the assault from all over the place ... from regulators, hedge funds, from activists, from short sellers, from governance experts."