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Showing posts from September, 2004

The Vinod Khosla difference

Some extracts from Joe Kraus, co-founder of search engine company Excite, recent 2-part blog post -
here and
here - on the importance of persistence gives a good idea about why Vinod Khosla of Kleiner Perkin's is concered "an entrepreneur's dream VC":

While we were still in the garage (literally), we met with at least 15 different venture capital firms. The meetings we're all the same. We showed them our search technology, showed them "concept-based" search, and showed them targeted advertising. To a firm, the first question they asked was a very reasonable one: 'great stuff guys, but what's your business plan? how are you going to make money?' Of course, being 22 years old and fresh out of college we replied, 'we thought you could help us out with that.' Apparently, that's the wrong answer. Who knew?

Rinse, lather, repeat.

Then we met Vinod...

By then, our deal had developed a certain "smell" -- smart guys with inte…

How Vinod Khosla created Sun Microsystems

While I knew the one line description "Vinod Khosla was the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems and was earlier part of the founding team at Daisy Systems", I hadn't come across a more detailed version of Khosla's pre-KPCB exploits before Joe Kraus talked about it on his blog.

Here are some extracts from the Harvard Business School case study (by Dr. Amir Bhide) that I found interesting:

How a Stanford secretary "linked up" SUN's co-founders:

I'm probably more of a conceptual engineer, and I can draw block diagrams for almost anything I can think of, but I can almost never implement them. So I started looking for someone who had done this kind of stuff before. I heard of a project at Stanford called the Stanford University Network, or Sun.workstation project. I called the computer science department, and some secretary who did not want to bother a professor gave me the uame of a graduate student from Germany, Andy Bechtolsheim.

Apparently, Andy, who w…

The importance of persistence

Joe Kraus, co-founder of search engine company Excite, has a very interesting 2-part blog post -
here and
here - on the importance of persistence for entrepreneurs.

He provides examples from Excite's experience as well as that of its investor, Vinod Khosla of Kleiner Perkins (during his Sun Microsystems days).

Do read.

"Bad employees do more damage than no employee"

"I always keep two things in mind when hiring, no matter how desperate I feel: 1. a bad employee does far more damage than no employee, no matter the issue, and 2. A players hire A players, B players hire C players, and C players hire losers," says Joe Kraus, a co-founder of Internet search engine firm Excite in his new blog. "Let your standards slip once and you're only two generations away from death," he adds.

Quoting from the book How Would You Move Mt Fuji, Kraus points out how Microsoft "seeks to avoid hiring the wrong person, even if this occasionally means missing out on some good people."

Google, the other great tech company of our times, has a similar hiring policy. The company's "hiring process is notoriously long and complicated". "A single no-vote of the hiring committee means you're not in. Why? Because they put the principle of 'no false positives' to work. They assume that there is a huge talent pool of g…