Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

“Something Ventured” Set to Air in January: The Risky Dudes Who Wrote the Checks That Made Silicon Valley


“Something Ventured: Risk, Reward, and the Original Venture Capitalists” is a documentary that celebrates — pretty much without a lot of criticism — the very first venture capitalists who were behind the tech giants launching companies like Apple, Intel, Cisco, Atari and Genentech.

Starting in January, “Something Ventured” is being aired on public television stations nationwide.

The film — which premiered at SXSW last year — focuses on the key VCs, including investor Arthur Rock, Kleiner Perkins’ Tom Perkins, Sequoia Capital’s Don Valentine and New Enterprise Associate’s Dick Kramlich. It’s full of great stories from them and others, such as remembering the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’s proclivity to not worry too much about showering.

And there are some tasty quotes, too:

Perkins: “I don’t know how to write a business plan. I can only tell you how we read them. We start at the back, and if the numbers are big, we look at the front to see what kind of business it is.”

Rock: “Steve Jobs is a national treasure. He is so visionary, and so bright. I had to fire him, though.”

Valentine: “I’m not interested in entrepreneurs who will do it our way. I’m not interested in entrepreneurs who think there’s a dress code. I’m interested in entrepreneurs who have a vision of doing something consequential –preferably that becomes big.”

And from Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, where Jobs once worked: “They (Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak) offered a third of Apple Computer for $50,000, and I said, ‘Gee, I don’t think so.’ I could have owned a third of Apple Computer for $50,000. Big mistake.”


Here’s the trailer.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald