The greening of Silicon Valley


By Justin Mullins “IF THE best way to create the future is to invent it, we say the second-best way is to finance it.” John Doerr is only half joking. He is one of the most influential venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, and he knows a thing or two about financing the future. As a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), one of the Valley’s best-known venture-capital firms, Doerr has enjoyed a phenomenal run of success, backing technology companies such as Sun Microsystems, Google and Amazon (as well as the odd failure, such as computing start-up GO Corporation, which famously burned through $75 million of venture funding). In the process, he has made himself a personal fortune in excess of $1 billion. But ask him what he’s focused on now and you won’t hear venture-capital buzz-phrases such as “Web 2.0”. These days, Doerr is firmly focused on clean technology – and in particular, energy technologies that can save the planet from global warming. This month his firm set up a $500 million fund for investment in green technology, on top of the $200 million it has already invested. This doesn’t mean Doerr has ditched capitalism for more worthy goals; his new direction is still driven by an instinct for profit. “Remember the internet? Green tech is bigger,” he told TED,
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