01 Jun 2010
How Green Was My (Silicon) ValleyTopics:
“A boyish billionaire in glasses,” John Doerr (MBA ’76) began to shift his focus from bits and bytes to batteries and biofuels about four years ago, according to Time magazine (March 15, 2010). Doerr, one of the corporate leaders President Obama says he most admires, has become an influential policy and economic adviser to the Obama administration. He has contributed to the campaigns of Obama and other politicians, and some observers have noted that green energy companies and technologies in which Doerr’s VC firm, Kleiner Perkins, has invested have received government tax credits, contracts, and loan guarantees.
But Doerr distinguishes himself from past practitioners of the energy influence game in Washington. “I have referred to prior energy policies as really the sum of all lobbyists,” he said. “My lesson about policy is not to argue about your self-interest. Make an argument that is bigger, about jobs or competitiveness, and you are going to change some minds.”
Class of MBA 1976, Section C