20VC: John Doerr on Buying 12% of Google for $12M, His Biggest Investing Lesson from 30 Years in Venture & The Climate Crisis: Why Governments are The Biggest Problem and Where the Biggest Opportunities Are in Climate Investing?

John Doerr is an engineer, venture capitalist, the chairman of Kleiner Perkins, and the author of the #1 New York Times best-seller Measure What Matters. For over 40 years, John has helped build some of the most generational defining companies of our generation. He was an original investor and board member at Google and Amazon, helping to create more than a million jobs. A pioneer of Silicon Valley’s cleantech movement, John has invested in zero emissions technologies since 2006. Check out his latest book, Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now.

In Today’s Episode with John Doerr You Will Learn:

1.) What was John’s entry into climate change investing? Having backed the likes of Amazon and Google, why did John decide then was the right time to do a climate fund, a pandemic fund, an iPhone fund? How does John think about market timing risk today? How does John determine between risks he is vs is not willing to take?

2.) What was one of John’s biggest lessons on risk and upside from working alongside Tom Perkins? How did the Google deal come together? Where did John first meet Larry and Serge? What convinced John to write them a $12M check for 12% of the company? Why was it a contested deal within the partnership? How did the discussion go internally?

3.) Why and how is climate innovating and investing different today than it was in 2008? What are the core OKR’s laid out in the book, that we need to achieve as a society? Why does John believe that governments are the biggest problem to us achieving these objectives? What does John mean when he says, “I am hopeful but not optimistic”?

4.) What does truly great listening mean to John? How would John describe his style of board membership? What do the truly special board members do? What does John do that makes him often cited as one of the best at recruiting? What is John’s biggest investing miss? How did it change his mindset and approach? What investment is John most proud of, that no one knows? 

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with John Doerr

John’s Favourite Book: How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need

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