Vinod Khosla spoke at the Kresge Auditorium as a part of Stanford's Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders (ETL) Seminar Series. If you are an entrepreneur, I strongly recommend that you take time out to hear Vinod speak any chance you can. Vinod loves big problems. He believes that challenges are not limited by human capacity, but rather by a lack of imagination and effort.
At Sun, Vinod was trying to build the most important computer company in the world. At Kleiner Perkins, Vinod established himself as one of the most influential and successful VC's ever. So what is a 53-year old, billionaire with 4 kids do for an encore? Save the world, of course. With Kholsa Ventures, Vinod is building a huge portfolio of companies that he expects will lead the way towards a carbon neutral, oil-independent world. Many VC's including Kleiner Perkins are placing huge bets on green technology as well. Kholsa welcomes the competition. He believes that if he can use his influence to bring the brightest young minds into the green technology field, that there is no way we can fail in solving the world's energy problems.
Vinod's optimism is a great counter balance to Al Gore's doomsday predictions. No question, Al Gore deserves credit for sounding the alarm bells and getting the world to pay attention to global warming and the dire implications of continuing on our current path. Gore framed the problem, and Vinod is diligently working towards the solution. Vinod has immersed himself in scientific journals, white papers, and chemistry books (his son's) to better grasp the issues. He is interested in the science, business, and regulatory aspects of green industries. His formula - utilize novel scientific solutions to deliver cost effective solutions. Once a successful process is discovered, quickly add scale to deliver maximum impact. He is adamant that ONLY solutions which produce cost benefits over current products warrant serious consideration as viable substitutes. So if we are looking to reduce our oil dependence, we must use science to develop a superior green solution that actually costs less. Vinod believes that mass production of ethanol from bio-mass is one of the most promising solutions for reducing our reliance on oil.
Vinod is prolific is writing blogs, white-papers, and comments on a wide variety of environmental issues. He is one of a kind. Combine unparalleled passion, energy and brains with prolific writing, speaking, investing and evangelism and you are part of the way there. Add influence and funding and then you have a picture of what Kholsa offers to the green movement. Khosla moves with speed, determination and urgency that instills action in others. His words and actions scream - go big or go home. When we tell our grandchildren about the days when cars ran on oil, and global warming was a serious problem, we will be able to thank Vinod for his contribution.