Marc Andreesen: Edison vs Tesla (“Whose fault was that?”)

Brian: How do you talk to people though who have that chip on their shoulder, like, they look at someone like Elon as like, “Well, hey, that guy’s just as a showman!” Do you know what I mean? Like, not him specifically, but they almost feel like it cheapens what they do; like…

Marc: Oh, this is actually interesting. Elon actually used to tell us, it’s the Edison vs. Tesla thing.

So actually, in Edison’s day — so, you know, Edison is credited for phonograph, indoor lighting, all this stuff; and then Tesla was this guy, had all these super genius, like, there’s this huge debate over AC vs DC electricity, and there’s an ultimate power grid that we could have that runs a DC that’s much better, and Tesla had that idea — and there’s this whole thing.

And so there’s this kind of engineer archetype of like Edison was the showman, he was a mediocre engineer but he was the showman. And Tesla was the unappreciated genius. And it’s a perfect example of this. It’s like, okay, well, whose fault was that?

Brian: Right. Right… you’re saying it was Tesla’s fault.

Marc: Like, what kept Nikola Tesla from like — I mean, the stuff Edison did to go promote his stuff, like, it wasn’t that — it’s the same thing; it wasn’t that hard to figure out. There were lots of people in that era that wanted to finance, you know, as an example, Edison raised all this money. There were lots of people who wanted to finance electricity. I mean, talk about like a growth market.

Marc Andreessen on The Moment with Brian Koppelman*

*Full transcript here.

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