My Heroes

I was honored to be invited to give a short talk at the 25th anniversary reception for what I believe to be Seattle’s oldest venture fund, originally Rainier Venture Partners, then Olympic VP, and now called OVP. 

Given all of the difficulties around the world, I thought it would be worth talking about something upbeat, and I easily found three subjects. 

The first: SNS Project Inkwell ( and a recent, successful trip made to Mexico (I’ll write a separate blog on this, with a few pictures);

The second: The difference in the economic roles between venture investing and Wall St.  While the vampire investors have been busy trying to extract money without adding value, it has been the venture community that has provided the greatest productivity to the U.S. economy.  In my world, IP is valuable, not only as Intellectual Property, but as the combined values of Intellectual Honesty and Productivity growth which the venture community has traditionally provided.

Finally, I listed some of my personal heroes, and how they represented these values added, focusing on a short list of Craig Venter, Larry Smarr, Elon Musk and the investor Vinod Khosla.

These are some of the people who, in the midst of corruption and tragedy, are providing the new tools for the next steps of our civilization.  Their work keeps me optimistic.