It's hard to be more impressive than Gina Bianchini. She has a stellar resume: her undergraduate and MBA degrees are from Stanford, she's worked at Goldman Sachs and she has launched multiple successful companies. But if anyone can measure up, it's her former co-founder Marc Andreessen — the billionaire and leading Silicon Valley venture capitalist whose Andreessen Horowitz portfolio includes billion-dollar companies like Airbnb, Facebook and Box.
Bianchini and Andreessen hit it off when he sat on the board of one of Bianchini's early start-ups, and in July 2004, the two started working on Ning, a platform for people to build custom social networks. They launched in 2005 and ran the company together until Bianchini left Ning in 2010 to become the entrepreneur-in-residence at Andreessen's then-new VC firm.
Here's what Bianchini learned from her years spent alongside industry titan Andreessen.
Be informed and be forward-thinking
Andreessen "is one of the best people in Silicon Valley in terms of articulating a vision of where the world is going," says Bianchini.
"I have never seen somebody able to process inputs from very different places into market ideas and a picture and a vision of the future the way Marc is able to do it," she says, speaking at the Vanity Fair Founders Fair in New York City recently.