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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik