Billionaire Venture Capitalist Vinod Khosla always dared to dream and achieve big. Known for his differentiated thinking on technology and investment, the entrepreneur-turned-investor has been at the core of many startup journeys. He pursued his dreams when he co-founded Sun Microsystems in 1982.
At present, Vinod manages Khosla Ventures, which he founded in 2004. The firm invests in startups from sectors including the internet, computing, mobile, silicon technology, biotechnology, healthcare, and clean technology. Apart from Khosla Ventures, he has also been part of many other businesses. As the Co-founder of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), he also engages in training entrepreneurs.
One of the earliest tech-billionaire entrepreneurs, Vinod today turns 65. His go-to mantra for budding businesses is his optimistic approach. He always believed that only a willingness to fail will help us develop an ability to succeed.
In 2014, the Indian-American businessman was named among the 400 richest people in the world by Forbes.
After spending close to 40 years building companies and breaking monopolies, Vinod continues to be optimistic about entrepreneurship, especially about Indian startups whose ‘quality’, he believes, has improved ‘significantly’.
Some of his principles in entrepreneurship include taking risks, being innovative, brutal honesty, and a desire to make a difference. As one of the most influential figures not just in Silicon Valley, but the larger world of business and tech as well, Vinod Khosla has been a vocal proponent of the entrepreneurship spirit.
On his birthday, here are some of his inspiring quotes on entrepreneurship and technology.
I have probably failed more often than anybody else in Silicon Valley. Those don't matter. I don't remember the failures. You remember the big successes.
What an entrepreneur does is to build for the long run. If the market is great, you get all of the resources you can. You build to it. But a good entrepreneur is always prepared to throttle back, put on the brakes, and if the world changes, adapt to the world.
I am a fiscal hawk. I vote against all taxes, but I do believe the environment and climate change, is a bigger issue than fiscal deficits are as a risk to the nation.
Startups allow technologists and scientists to take risks and change plans in a way that would be frowned upon in a big company. Having said that, big companies will play a key role in certain areas and in partnerships with little companies. Each has its strengths.
Our focus is not on exit. In fact, if you talk to any of my entrepreneurs, I'm generally saying, 'Don't sell the company,' when other investors want to sell. I'd much rather focus on building long-term value in building companies rather than worrying about exits.
Hopefully, I can advise entrepreneurs to avoid mistakes. But you can never be sure if you're trying something new and unreasonable.
All the entrepreneurs we saw today were taking risks, and that is a good thing. Most countries do better when they (entrepreneurs) take risks, and I see that happening here in India.
The only way you multiply resources is with technology. To really affect poverty, energy, health, education, or anything else - there is no other way.
Any problem is an opportunity. The bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity.
Failure is a natural part of the cycle for startups because without taking risks you can’t have innovation. And, with risk, you will have failures. People just have to have the mindset of accepting failures.
(Edited by Suman Singh)