During Laszlo Bock’s nine years as Google’s SVP of People Operations, the company has won more than 100 awards for its employment practices. Bock, who came to Google after stints at McKinsey and GE, recently collected his thoughts about management and culture into “Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead,” a New York Times best-seller. He expounded on some of his HR-related ideas in a conversation with Beth Seidenberg at KPCB’s recent CEO Workshop.
Most start-ups would be happy if they were responsible for one major industry disruption. But Netflix, under the leadership of Reed Hastings, can count already two to its name — how we watch movies and TV shows and how content is produced — and it’s not done yet. In a conversation with John Doerr at our recent CEO Workshop, Hastings discussed some of the things that make for great companies — and great leaders.
In this episode of “Ventured,” KPCB General Partner Randy Komisar interviews Priv Bradoo, Founder and CEO of e-waste recycling company BlueOak, and Lila Ibrahim, Chief Business Officer of online course provider Coursera, about what it is like to run a social mission-driven startup in today’s funding environment. Halfway through the interview, the interviewees turn the tables on Randy and ask him what it is like to invest in companies like theirs. Both sides agree that although it may be more difficult to find the right financing tools for these types of companies, the fight is ultimately worth it for the founders, investors, and society at large.
We just wrapped up our 2015 KPCB Fellows Program and it was an incredible summer! Our Fellows hacked together mobile products to support girls and women worldwide at the CHIMEHACK hackathon, discussed the state of the Internet with Mary Meeker, sailed the San Francisco Bay and learned from top executives from companies like Uber, Flipboard and Coursera.
Most start-ups would be happy if they were responsible for one major industry disruption. But Netflix, under the leadership of Reed Hastings, can count already two to its name — how we watch movies and TV shows and how content is produced — and it’s not done yet. In a conversation with John Doerr at KPCB’s recent CEO Workshop, Hastings discussed some of the things that make for great companies — and great leaders.
A storm is brewing. Slowly, but steadily, the trickle of entrepreneurs working on a slew of technologies to make immersive worlds a reality coming through our doors at Edge is turning into a healthy stream. Week by week, they are getting smarter, more ambitious, and more importantly, building experiences we’ve never seen before, which were just plain impossible to build even 24 months ago.
Farm Technology Catches Investor Attention
Farm Technology Catches Investor...
Ann and John Doerr Donate $50M to Develop New Leaders at Rice University
Ann and John Doerr Donate $50M t...
Victorious Launches Superfan Platform for the World's Biggest Digital Creators
Victorious Launches Superfan Pla...
Block chain technology is one of our core focus areas at KPCB Edge and an area we track closely. We’d like to talk about our learnings in the space and what we’re excited to see founders build.
Video games have always captured the minds and imaginations of multiple generations. I remember my first time playing (then cracking) Castle Wolfenstein, Alpine Encounter and Aztec – all a huge step up from the original game I played – Oregon Trail! These days I’ll find myself playing Minecraft pocket edition with my daughter and xbox one games which are amazing. What has been so intriguing about all of this is the way in which we learn and improve our game play is no different than it was years ago – we learn by watching others in the community.
We recently hosted a “Welcome to Silicon Valley” event for this summer’s KPCB Fellows during which Fellows alum Alex Moffit interviewed Hosain Rahman, CEO of Jawbone. In this video, Hosain shares what it was like to grow Jawbone over the past 16 years, how to embrace mistakes, and steps that entrepreneurs can take to enjoy the journey of building a company instead of getting bogged down by the inevitable failures.
Tesaro Launches Campaign to Raise Awareness of Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting Among Patients With Cancer
Tesaro Launches Campaign to Rais...
Shyp Raises $50 Million Series B Led By Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Shyp Raises $50 Million Series B...
Airware Releases the Aerial Information Platform
Airware Releases the Aerial Info...
Mobile devices have eclipsed desktops, laptops and other devices, becoming our primary method for engaging with the digital world. For the first time, smartphones in 2015 accounted for over half of all hours US adults spent viewing digital media. Not only have smartphones become central to our daily lives, they are our most intimate devices.
Ciara Peter leads product at BetterWorks, and is on a mission to make work processes more data-driven, engaging, insightful, and fun. Ciara has been recognized as a top inventor in the technology industry. She sat down with KPCB’s Chief Product Officer Bing Gordon for a Q&A on product management.
Every business that sells a product or service has to master the art of pricing. But, as you think about pricing your own product, remember that pricing is not a point; it’s a range. Between the lowest price at which you are willing to sell and the highest price at which the customer is willing to buy, what will determine the final figure?
Silicon Valley is increasingly focused on the gender diversity issues that affect technology businesses and venture capital firms. The data paint a disturbing picture. Women in leadership can barely be found. According to a recent Babson College study, only 15% of VC-backed companies have even a single woman serving in an executive role; fewer than 3% have a female CEO; and just 6% of venture capital firm partners are women.
I’m excited to announce Edge, a new seed stage initiative backed by KPCB that is launching today. At its core, Edge is attempting to redefine seed investing through software, where product, engineering and design have the same status as investing. It’s the way i wish my early investors had approached venture capital when I founded Composite and Passenger, and i can’t think of a team better suited to tackling this problem.
Founders are like pilots. Where pilots steer the lives of their trusting passengers, founders carry with them their employees and users, bringing them through wind and turbulence. Whether it be fueling for the journey, recruiting the right crew, or navigating to the destination, the difference between success and failure at each of these points is often the difference between life and death.
In the wake of the e-commerce revolution, the consumer value system has shifted. Consumers want brands that support a “social good” and products manufactured in the US. But the great brands we grew up with have gotten lost in their cost structure, focusing on sales, real estate, and big marketing spends. In the latest “Voices of KPCB” episode, KPCB’s Randy Komisar and American Giant’s Bayard Winthrop discuss how today’s brands navigate this new environment.
Understanding how users interact with your product is essential to successful product development. It benefits not only design and production, but also marketing, selling and support. In the world of enterprise software, Software as a Service (SaaS) has become the default delivery method for new applications over the last decade. The SaaS market is huge and rapidly growing. It accounts for nearly $90B in revenue and nearly 20% of all enterprise applications.
At a recent event held at Uber, design partner John Maeda presented his “Design in Tech” report and convened designers to discuss the role of the creative class in Silicon Valley. The event featured two panels: KPCB partner Creighton Hicks spoke with Andrew Crow, Head of Design at Uber, and Catherine Courage, SVP of Customer Experience at Citrix, about being a designer at an enterprise company. And KPCB talent partner Jackie Xu discussed actionable tips on Silicon Valley career paths in design with Bob Baxley, Head of Product Design at Pinterest, and Sarah Oppelt, Head of Design at Zumper.
Under Armour Acquires Endomondo And MyFitnessPal To Establish The World's Largest Digital Health And Fitness Community
Under Armour Acquires Endomondo ...
Qumulo Raises $40M in Funding Round Led By Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Qumulo Raises $40M in Funding Ro...
RedBrick Health Earns NCQA Certification for Health Appraisal and Self-Management Tools
RedBrick Health Earns NCQA Certi...
Think of the vehicle that will change urban transportation. If the image in your mind is not an electric bus, you’re thinking of the wrong vehicle. The electrification of the passenger vehicle has made headlines for good reason. Vehicles like the Tesla Model S and BMW i8 are beautiful and fast, and cars like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf offer compelling value to commuters. But we’d be lucky if plug-in vehicles represent more than 5 percent of passenger vehicles sold in the United States over the next five years.
KPCB’s Mary Meeker presents the 2015 Internet Trends report, 20 years after the inaugural “The Internet Report” was first published in 1995. Since then, the number of Internet users has risen from 35 million in 1995 to more than 2.8 billion today. The 2015 report looks at key Internet trends globally – while still healthy Internet user and smartphone subscription growth continue to slow, Internet engagement continues to rise led by consumers spending more time on their mobile devices, where they can be connected 24/7. Mobile advertising still has headroom to expand and new innovations around ad formats and buy buttons should prove compelling for consumers and businesses.
From the beginning of the semiconductor industry a half-century ago, Moore’s Law has propelled Silicon Valley into the future. The impact of Gordon Moore’s observation that engineers learn how to double the number of transistors in an integrated circuit chip every 18 months without doubling the cost is astonishing. Today, however, with all of the computing power already at our fingertips, we’re discovering that ever-faster technology may matter far less than beautiful, intuitive, easy-to-use products and services. In short, we’re learning that design may matter more than Moore.
Kleiner Perkins Leads $30 Million Investment in Tradesy, a Clothing Resale Site
Kleiner Perkins Leads $30 Millio...
Shazam Announces $30 Million Investment at $1 Billion Valuation
Shazam Announces $30 Million Inv...
Foundation Medicine Enters Strategic Collaboration with Roche in the Field of Molecular Information in Oncology
Foundation Medicine Enters Strat...
In the latest episode of the “Voices of KPCB” podcast, KPCB design partner John Maeda and talent partner Andy Chen speak to Elaine Zhoe and Viraj Bindra, on how they successfully navigated between engineering and design disciplines, which are seeing increasing overlap in the tech industry.
I loved my time in school but it wasn’t until I left graduate school at the University of Washington that my real education began (beyond having learned how to learn). Looking back at it, I’ve had a great career working on Microsoft’s early cloud-computing efforts, founding and then selling my own company, leading software development of webOS at Palm, then engineering at Twitter, and now, investing and advising young start-ups. In each and every experience, I made mistakes, fixed them, and made some more. I may have even notched a few wins along the way.
In a prior era, some considered it best practice to bring in “professional managers” to run the businesses started by creative and hard-working entrepreneurs once those business began to scale and appeared to need “adult supervision.” The term “upgrade management” is still occasionally heard among investors but never in front of founders.
At the age of 22, I had just graduated from college in the United Kingdom and I was beginning my career at a Fortune 50 company. I had everything that I could ever want: I was on a track toward leadership at the company, I had just bought a new car, I was earning money and my parents were proud. But surprise, I hated it.
For business leaders today, no task is more important than ensuring confidence and trust in the organizations they lead. The boardroom has woken up to the importance of security – and to the enormity of what it will take to protect company and consumer data from attacks.
In this edition of the “Voices of KPCB” podcast series, KPCB partner Creighton Hicks sits down with Alex Polvi, CEO of CoreOS, to discuss the computing and infrastructure behind the next generation of applications. They highlight the latest trends and techniques in the industry – including virtualization, containers, warehouse scale computing and security – and what to expect in the years to come.
Push the boundaries: join a board. I strongly recommend that all professionals get involved with work outside of their day job and, when they can, join a board – the right board – as a way to keep highly motivated at work. A few years into my career at KPCB–just when I was starting to really hit my stride (and probably my comfort zone)–my KP partner John Doerr came to me with a completely out-of-the-box request: Would I be willing to speak with Bono and Bobby Shriver about the “Product RED” initiative they recently launched in the U.K.?
KPCB Partner John Doerr hosts a behind the scenes conversation with Laszlo Bock, SVP of People Operations at Google, on Work Rules!, which Doerr calls “the Best Business Book of the Year.” They cover topics ranging from the secret to Google’s success, to why you should take power away from your managers and pay less, and how work really can “suck less” for everyone.
Every day, we create 2.5 billion gigabytes of data. New developments in data storage, ranging from Hadoop to object-oriented approaches, have enabled us to store that data more efficiently, and advances in visualization technology turn the data into actionable business intelligence. Still, so much of the data is untouched, awaiting the development of new analytic methods that will generate the insights that business leaders need.
When I went to Silicon Valley at the end of 2013, I had that feeling that comes every so often in one’s life: of not being too early, and not being too late. I had listened to the co-founder of Airbnb, Joe Gebbia, as he visited the Rhode Island School of Design each year as an alumnus and later as a trustee, and he would tell me that Silicon Valley was amazing. Frankly, I didn’t believe him. I had spent twelve years of my life at the MIT Media Lab, ubiquitously known in the tech world for being “amazing,” and by the mid-2000s “the cloud” was getting boring for me. I wanted to be closer to creation — “the dirt” of the physical world.
In this edition of the “Voices of KPCB” podcast series, KPCB partners Creighton Hicks and Wen Hsieh talk to Peter Godman, CEO of Qumulo, about the new era of data storage we’re in. In fact, they agree that “data storage” is no longer what consumers and enterprises most urgently need – instead, we’ve moved on to an age in which data analytics and searchability are of paramount importance to the ever-expanding mass of big data.
Design has become a game changer in Silicon Valley. Last year, John Maeda joined KPCB as the firm’s first Design Partner, joining from his role as the President of the Rhode Island School of Design. Now, in his inaugural #DesignInTech Report, Maeda highlights the rising importance of design in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Drawing on extensive research and his own conversations with hundreds of designers, Maeda examines the intersection of design, business, and technology. The report covers trends ranging from the record amounts of funding flowing into design-led startups to M&A activity with major tech corporations. Beyond designers and technologists, the report will appeal to a broad audience. For all of us who use a computer or mobile device, great design is changing how we live and work. This report helps explain why.
KPCB partner Mike Abbott recently hosted a panel discussion about the intersection of engineering and management in front of an audience of leaders of KPCB’s portfolio companies. The panelists included Mike Curtis, VP of Engineering at Airbnb, Jeff Huber, SVP at Google X, and Alex Roetter, VP of Engineering at Twitter. This podcast captures the highlights of their conversation, which focused on the excitement but also the challenges of successfully managing engineering teams at a fast-growing company.
The greatest companies have clear vision. It’s the north star — the big, timeless idea that frames every key decision made by the company. The people we hired to build Twitter could have built cool apps or services anywhere. But what really got everyone excited was the impact they’d have on building ‘the global town square’. Staying up late to fix a critical bug is much easier when you realize you’re giving people a voice.
The A. Richard Newton Distinguished Innovator Lecture Series hosted venture capitalist John Doerr at UC Berkeley in a question and answer session where he helped enlighten students on such topics as startups, healthcare, education, policy & politics, venture capital, the sharing economy, and jobs in emerging markets.
Interest in the Internet of Things has focused on the connected home, with attention to newly designed thermostats, lights, and security systems. Yet the connected home is just the first wave of a greater transition toward “smart, connected products” throughout the economy. The next wave, focusing on what is known as the Industrial Internet, may have an even more transformative effect on our lives.
We live in a world awash in media, from music to photos to home videos to TV to movies. We may download the media, or stream it, or create it ourselves. It’s a world of unparalleled choice, in our living room and on the go. But accessing and enjoying all of this media is not always easy. The amount of content keeps growing, stored in different formats and across devices. It’s difficult to remember where we’ve stored our media – and even if we do remember, often we have to take the time to move content from one device to another, especially when we share it with family and friends. We all want to access our content in a beautiful, elegant, intuitive way, at any time and on any screen.
In this edition of the Voices of KPCB podcast series, KPCB partner Randy Komisar speaks to Brook Porter, partner in KPCB’s Green Growth Fund, and Amol Deshpande, CEO and founder of Farmers Business Network, about innovations and advancements in agriculture. The three discuss new Ag Tech applications, approaches to big data, supply chain transparency, and other hot topics of interest to anyone looking to break into the space – or consumers who are interested in learning where their food comes from and what to expect in the future.
I had just finished my second year on the faculty at MIT, and one of my colleagues who had joined the academy at the time had just shared the fact that he was departing for industry. Naturally, I felt a bit like quitting too – as the second year of being a professor was proving harder than the first. And boy did my friend sound happy that he was leaving behind all the institutional politics he was just being indoctrinated into. It certainly sounded enticing, and when I told my mentor, Professor Whitman Richards, that I was thinking of leaving, he said something that stuck with me for years: “If you leave, the field that you represent leaves with you.”
Our latest “Voices of KPCB” podcast features a conversation between KPCB Partner John Doerr, SVP of People Operations at Google Laszlo Bock, and CEO and Co-Founder of BetterWorks Kris Duggan. They discuss how Millennials differ from previous generations of employees, how to optimize review processes for their needs, and what all of us – even those born before 1980 – can learn from their approach to work.
Everyone in tech acknowledges that we need more women working in our startups. Studies show that organizations are stronger when they are diverse. In the four years since our firm launched the KPCB Fellows program – which identifies the best college-age talent, pairs them with one of our portfolio companies, and connects them to our network – the two of us researched and carried out several approaches to increase the number of female engineers in the program. This year, we will welcome our largest percentage of female engineering Fellows, all while holding to the highest standards of excellence.