If serial entrepreneur and investor Marc Andreessen had a Wayback Machine—the one of cartoon fame about a time-traveling dog and his pet boy, Sherman, not the Web surfing tool that takes you only as far back as 1996—he would liked to have been an angel investor in Intel. "Under Andy Grove [it] was the best-run company we've yet seen in the Valley." Veteran venture capitalist Jeff Clavier, could he go back in time, would have joined other angel investors giving Reid Hoffman the money to start LinkedIn. "My No. 1 mistake as an investor is to have passed on LinkedIn." Looking toward the future, Peter Thiel (angel investor, hedge fund manager, and PayPal co-founder) is concerned about Silicon Valley’s ability to turn out "iconic companies."
These views—and some regrets—are just a smattering of the comments we received in e-mails and telephone interviews with some of the savviest angel investors in tech today. Bloomberg BusinessWeek asked researcher YouNoodle to analyze the investment track records of these well-known tech personalities, whose activity as angels has stayed largely hidden—until now. See how the smart money in tech is doing. For more data on this group, we put together a table of the top-ranked angel investors, as well as an explanation of the methodology behind the ranking.