John Doerr is the Eveready Bunny on steroids and hardwired to the Hoover Dam power plant. He burns brighter than mere mortals yet is one of the most human people I know. Everyone should have a friend like John.
Doerr: I'm an alumnus of Intel, possibly the best managed company in the country. A child of the microprocessor, a "refugee" from the semi-conductor industry. Before Intel I earned a degree in electrical engineering from Rice University in Houston Texas. Came to Silicon Valley in 1974 without a job -- rented half a garage apartment near Stanford for $55 a month from a professor. Wanted to start a company with some friends and fancied that I'd apprentice myself to a venture capital firm. (Heard that venture capital had something to do with starting companies). However, in 1974 there weren't any summer jobs in venture capital.
Fortunately, Bill Davidow and Jim Lally hired me at a small chip-maker called Intel. Intel had just invented the 8-bit microprocessor. It was exciting. I stayed there through the remainder of the decade.
In 1980 I joined the partnership Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB). Was lucky again, in the right place at the right time. In the early 80's the microprocessor was the common denominator for a whole industry of rapidly growing new companies. In fact from 1980 to 1990, the new companies based on the microprocessor helped create a hundred billion dollars a year revenues. And a hundred billion dollars of stock value. That's the largest single legal creation of wealth we've witnessed on the planet. In a decade. (In 1990 Microsoft was about a third of that value. KPCB sponsored new companies representing another third.)
This summer I became a part-time political activist, helping organize the defeat of California's proposition 211.