News has just arrived that Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures will give keynote address at TiEcon 2011. Vinod Khosla became first known as one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems where he served as the first CEO and Chairman in 1980s. Sun was funded by Khosla’s longtime friend and board member, John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and in 1986, Khosla joined Kleiner Perkins. In 2004, Khosla Ventures was formed with a goal to focus on venture investments more specifically on Clean Technology.
Khosla dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur, very early on in his life. What is entrepreneurship? It may be defined as someone who takes a new idea and translates it into creating a new business model. Often it is incremental improvement of some aspect of life and sometimes it creates destruction of old model to replace it with a superior and vastly different model. What creates entrepreneurs like Khosla? I guess there are many factors. To begin with, entrepreneurs are often dreamers. They see possibilities where others may not. But they often fail. And that leads to the second point. There must exist a climate that has high tolerance of failures. In fact, Khosla once said, the secret of Silicon Valley is that it tolerates enormous amounts of failures. He said, this freedom to fail, gives entrepreneurs an eventual opportunity to succeed. So what exactly creates this climate of high tolerance of failures? That climate is created by angel investors, venture capitalists and other business partners who don’t hold past failures against you. Of course, past successes or failures may give a certain yardstick to speculate on the possibility of success or failure in future, but it does not completely determine future possibility of success. In fact, sometimes failures may be the best prediction of future success. So there needs to be a climate where people are willing to listen to the whole story, share the dream, see the context, and imagine the potential, for entrepreneurship to thrive. Silicon Valley provides these ingredients. TiEcon provides these ingredients. Every year, TiEcon attracts entrepreneurs brimming with ideas, professionals looking to partner with others with similar ideas, angel investors looking to support innovative ideas, and VCs in search of opportunities to fund path-breaking ideas. Sign up early at www.tiecon.org for competitive price, to attend the largest conference focusing on entrepreneurship, that energizes everyone, regardless of what stage they are at, in their professional journey.