Dave Sohigian

1Jun/070

VC Gets mushy about environment

The 2007 TED conference talks are being released at TED.com and one of the first talks is from John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. If you have never heard of John or his company, then you probably have not be involved in Silicon Valley much. John is arguably the most famous Venture Capitalist of our age: he is quoted and mentioned in multiple books and has helped finance deals with Google, Amazon and Intuit, to name a few.
VC's are generally not known for being touchy-feely types: although they are often visionary in their approach, they are mostly focused on creating massive wealth for themselves and their organizations. They are not the group you turn to when you are considering how to make the world a better place. I do realize many of them would argue with me about that, but that's my opinion.
John's talk is focused on green technology and it is very emotional. There are some (unintentionally) funny moments, like when he talks about his realization about the CO2 crisis and the reaction of him and his partners: they got on planes and flew all over the world (spewing lots of CO2 in their wake). But it is clear that he is honestly concerned about the situation of the planet and he is a powerful voice amongst the sort of folks that attend TED. If he and VC's like him really put their money into green tech over the upcoming years it will have a huge effect on the industry.
So although it is easy to poke fun at folks like John for "Going Green" (it's not like he is adopting a life of voluntary simplicity or anything) it does demonstrate the amount of real focus that global warming is getting. And the fact that he showed true emotion at the end of the talk sets an example for leaders in our world that may have lost touch with their feelings along with the needs of humans on this planet.

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