One the biggest trends sweeping Silicon Valley is the glorification of design. Entrepreneurs used to sweat over the back-end technology that kept their sites running. Now following the example of design-obsessed Steve Jobs and others, they are equally anxious about the color and placement of each pixel on the screen or the slope of a bezel.
The latest sign of the trend comes from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The venture-capital firm will Tuesday announce two new initiatives around design. The first is a “Design Fellows” program that will recruit and place 35 to 40 interns at startups backed by the firm. The include One Kings Lane, Path and Zaarly. There is no age requirement, but Kleiner will focus its recruiting at universities.
The second is a roughly 12-person “Design Council” consisting of Silicon Valley designers. The group, which Kleiner and design council members select via referrals, aims to help up-and-coming designers meet and mentor others. Their events to date have included dinner with Apple’s senior vice president for industrial design Jonathan Ive.
The efforts come as venture capitalists across Silicon Valley are getting more hands on and helping young companies with specific tasks, like recruiting, marketing and in some cases, design…