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Vinod Khosla's Brainchild Comes of Age

Monday, August 31, 2020
Vinod Khosla is an Indian American billionaire businessman and venture capitalist. He is the founder of Khosla Ventures and the co-founder of Sun Microsystems. Establishing Intel, inspired Vinod at his young age to pursue technology as a career. After completing his education, Vinod initially worked for a startup Daisy Systems. Within two years he Co-Found Sun Microsystems along with his Stanford classmates. Until 1984, Vinod served as the first chairman and CEO and left the company to become a venture capitalist.

It's late 1998 and three men are working overtime to define the initial technical plan for a startup. They're jammed into an office space no bigger than the average bedroom. The scene has a familiar ring to it. '98 is still the heart of the dot-com craze, and similar setups are in place all over the valley-in San Francisco lofts, Palo Alto apartments, Stanford dorm rooms, and the like. These are days when everyone thinks they have a shot at being the next Yahoo!

But this particular setup is a little different. The three men in the tiny office are not really traditional "dot-comers." They have all just left senior positions at Oracle, and, to make things more interesting, the Oracle stock that they left on the table is on its way to quadrupling in value since their departure. The three men are, no doubt, a little uneasy about their decision to start out on their own. It seems they have put their careers on the line.

Yet are they really taking a big risk? Because the other unique thing about this scene is that the office that the three men are working from--though small--is the furthest thing from a loft, dorm room, or out-of-the-way office building. Here, the parking lot looks like it might be a combined Mercedes and BMW dealership, with sparkling new examples of German auto engineering on all sides. This is no ordinary setting for a startup. We're on peaceful Sand Hill road and the sign on the door of the building reads "Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers."

VC Incubation

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