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Who Said It: Gene Simmons From Kiss Or Tech Luminary Marc Andreessen?

Can you guess if this business advice is from the Kiss bassist's new book, Me, Inc., or from the prolific venture capitalist?

Posted on October 26, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. ET

Fred Prouser / Reuters
Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Kiss is as much a business as a rock band, leveraging its music into roughly 5,000 brand extensions ranging from action figures and lunch boxes to comic books and coffins and more. Much of the band's financial success has been masterminded by its bloody-tongued bassist Gene Simmons, who this week released a business advice book titled Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business (Dey St., 2014).

Over the course of 224 pages, Simmons, who has appeared on Celebrity Apprentice and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Forbes, doles out business advice that ranges from the banal (don't take vacations; pursue your vision relentlessly) to the offensive (don't get married, pick either career or family) to the xenophobic (speak English, don't bring your yarmulke to a business meeting).

But sandwiched between such misguided and ill-informed advice are also a lot of stunningly trenchant observations about business and entrepreneurship. In fact, much of what Simmons writes sounds like it could have come out of the mouth of a venture capitalist mentoring a budding startup entrepreneur. Someone like, say, Marc Andreessen. (Disclosure: Andreessen Horowitz is an investor in BuzzFeed.)

Below are 15 quotes, some pulled from Simmons' book and others from some of Andreessen's various interviews and speaking engagements over the years. Can you guess which ones come from the rock performance artist whose band has sold approximately 75 million albums worldwide over the course of four decades or from the co-founder of Netscape and tech luminary who has led investments in Facebook, Twitter, and more?

  1. 1. Who said this?

    You will have a string of failures so consistent that it will seem like the world is working against you ... But a crucial, learnable skill is having the ability to fail and pick yourself back up.

  2. 2. Who said this?

    It has to be something where, when people look at it, at first they say, "I don't get it, I don't understand it. I think it's too weird, I think it's too unusual."

  3. 3. Who said this?

    Look at half the heavy metal bands from, like, the 1980s that in the old days could sell 300,000 albums, they're touring all over the world and the money's pouring in. And even the bands that fall completely on hard times, they now go and play at people's birthday parties, or they play launch events for tech companies.

  4. 4. Who said this?

    Create your company. Control your company.

  5. 5. Who said this?

    Pick up the Wall Street Journal every day and read it. Read about the lives and careers of people such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett and others to see what you can learn. Whatever you do, just read.

  6. 6. Who said this?

    You want to have as much "prepared mind" as you possibly can. And learn as much as you can about as many things, as much as you can. You want to enter as close as you can to a zen-like blank slate of perfect humility at the beginning of the meeting saying "teach me."

  7. 7. Who said this?

    For the first time in my life, I was in a place where the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich have the same access to all information for free, on a level playing field.

  8. 8. Who said this?

    You are cruising along, and then technology changes. You have to adapt.

  9. 9. Who said this?

    The difference between vision and hallucination is others can see vision. It is critical to articulate a bright future with clarity that everyone can see.

  10. 10. Who said this?

    Choosing the right partner is a very important decision, and can be the difference between success and failure.

  11. 11. Who said this?

    If your company is successful ... we are talking about a ten- or fifteen- or twenty-year journey. Ten, fifteen, or twenty years, you may notice, is longer than the average American marriage.

  12. 12. Who said this?

    The best approach is to think like a 100% owner of your company with a long-term time horizon. Then you work backward to the present and see what makes sense and what remains.

  13. 13. Who said this?

    One of the real benefits of making big money is that you can be philanthropic and create new jobs for people. The problem you ultimately want to have, as an entrepreneur, is deciding who to help, not deciding who can help you.

  14. 14. Who said this?

    It seems like it’s going to be a life of glamour and excitement. It’s more of a life of struggle and misery. And if you are okay with that — because it’s part of the package — then the overall deal is pretty good.

  15. 15. Who said this?

    The same business model that a farmer uses is what's often recommended on Wall Street: Spread the risk. Invest in a few different things. Never just one.

Editor's Note: Sourcing for Andreessen's quotes came from his blog, a recent interview in New York magazine, and here, here, and here.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.