‘Never repeat mistakes, commit new ones’

By : |November 8, 2011 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: Serial entrepreneur and renowned Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla launched the TiE Entrepreneurial Summit (TES) 2011 in Bangalore on Tuesday.

At the curtain-raiser event for the summit to be held December 15-16, Khosla went down memory lane about his Stanford days and his early career.

"Personally, I like the Stanford story a lot. As the university mandated two years experience, I took up two full-time jobs in one year when at Carnegie Mellon. After a lot of persistence, I was put on the wait list of Harvard… when one guy dropped out of the course, I told them that I would be his replacement and got in. It’s about your selling skills on why should someone bet on you," narrated Khosla.



He also said that since he started out early, he didn’t have anything to lose. "I am proud to have started a computer club at IIT, Delhi, though as a hobby."

The co-founder of Sun Microsystems exhorted entrepreneurs to make the consequences of failures small and try different versions of their mistakes to succeed. "Never repeat your mistakes, make something new."

More often than not, people’s gut instinct about what to to was right, only how they did it was not, said Khosla, adding, "Analyze which part of your plan failed and don’t be religious about what you think is right. Being passionate about what you do will help you face any adverse situation."

Failure, according to him, was never an option and it is important for entrepreneurs to think that they know more than what they actually did with an air of arrogance.


"The most difficult thing for an entrepreneur is to know whom to rely on what. One of my earliest mistakes is I gave a lot of respect to titles. Ask yourself whether somebody is really qualified to answer your questions. Ask questions not for an answer, but to know the causal reasons from what they reply… you can arrive at solutions yourself," he explained.

There is no bad reason to become an entrepreneur, observed Khosla, "It might be never having to balance your cheque book, not having to say sorry or just to make friends."

In his opinion, solar energy is not feasible as it is not economically viable. "According to me, the cheapest source of storage is compressed air battery. It is a silly idea to be able to get power only when the sun shines. Just because it is fashionable, I can’t do it; I have no solar cell on my roof."

"If you think that you would do good first and think about money next, you are going to fail. For profits reach more people, though some non-profits are also doing a good job," said Khosla.

In 10 years, people might not need teachers for teaching and doctors to administer medicines, he said.

It is after three years, the TES is returning to Bangalore. It would have five keynote addresses, 32 sessions and eight Gurutalk series. About 100 speakers are expected to participate in the event, which will also have an exhibition.

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