Ochsner Innovation Stage

Netscape Communications Corp. is credited with launching the rapid growth of the Internet in the mid-1990s, as well as initiating the IPO and Internet stock-market boom during this period. Its founder, technology pioneer Jim Clark, also founded Shutterfly, WebMD, and most recently, CommandScape. He is also world-renowned for his work at his company, Silicon Graphics, which revolutionized desktop computing in 1982 by building high-performance workstations that could create and display 3-D images in real time; this tech is now used in practically every smart phone and computer. When Clark—in partnership with venture capitalist John Doerr—set out to hire Netscape's first true CEO, he knew a thing or two about success in the technology industry. And that’s how Jim Barksdale soon found himself at the top of the short list of candidates. While Barksdale, a career executive with IBM and Federal Express, knew little about running a start-up in Silicon Valley and had never even seen Netscape's browser in action, his sterling reputation as a businessman made him very attractive. "Every fast-growing start-up looks for a Jim Barksdale," Doerr once observed. "He's the gold standard." In this special conversation at NOEW 2019 moderated by Walter Isaacson, The Idea Village and Tulane University's Freeman School of Business are grateful to bring Clark and Barksdale back together to tell the story of how, along with Marc Andreessen and a core group of programmers, they turned an esoteric computer program into a visionary new technology used by millions—and to discuss how their experiences should change the way we think about new startups today.


Jim Clark Netscape Communications Corporation & Silicon Graphics
Jim Barksdale Netscape Communications Corporation
Former President & CEO
Walter Isaacson Tulane University
University Professor, Department of History