This week, we speak with legendary venture capitalist John Doerr, chairman of Kleiner Perkins. His latest book is “Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now;” Doerr also authored 2018’s bestselling “Measure What Matters.”
Doerr’s firm KPCB operates 32 different venture funds with more than 675 investments. The firm’s early-stage investments are a who’s who in the world of technology: Google, Amazon, Twitter, Genentech, EA Sports, Netscape, Slack, Spotify, Ring, Beyond Meat, AOL, Sun, Intuit, Compaq, Sybase Citrix, Verisign, Peleton, and more. (Doerr still holds a 0.4% stake in Alphabet (GOOG) worth about $8 billion dollars).
We discuss how he became interested in Climate change and the science and technology opportunities associated with it. He emphasizes this is more than just a charity or do-gooder approach — it is one of the largest venture opportunities he has ever seen in his entire career. Kleiner Perkins set up an initial climate fund with a billion dollars, a decade later, it’s worth over $3 billion.
He notes that batteries alone are going to be a $400 billion annual industry for the next 20 years; a larger wave of innovation across the climate change sector will be enormous. He believes Investing & Innovation to be the easy part, the key challenge will be on the politics and policy. The ramification of not getting this right is “Unthinkable.”
A list of his favorite books is here; A transcript of our conversation is available here Monday.
You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Maureen Farrell, former Wall Street Journal reporter (now with the New York Times), and co-author (with Elliot Brown) of the book “The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion.”
John Doerr’s Books
Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now by John Doerr
Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr
John Doerr’s Current Reading
Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need by Bill Gates
The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson