Khosla feels that an MBA is not the only way to gain experience, it is a way to gain perspective. Real-world experience provides the depth of knowledge you need in a company.
Yes. So, the answer is - the first thing I'd say, degrees are important but really what's more important is how somebody thinks. If somebody's thinking deeply, it's very clear to me when I meet with them whether they have an MBA or not. An MBA is not the only way to gain experience. In fact, MBA really isn't the way to get gain experience, it's a way to gain perspective. Now after you get an MBA, I'll find you generally have to work a little a bit then gain the depth of knowledge. It's just that after an MBA if you work for three years or four years, you'll gain a lot more over those three years than if you didn't have an MBA. It's almost like preparatory. But there are lots of other ways to gain deep knowledge. You can be an architect for a product. You can be involved deeply in a market. There is no one answer to that.
An interview with Vinod Khosla on Entrepreneurship for Stanford University students, on April 24, 2002. Vinod Khosla, partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, was bitten by the entrepreneurship bug early in life when he heard about Intel starting up. He was enamored by the idea of being able to start your own company. Intel served as as a great role model, he says.
Vinod grew up dreaming of being an entrepreneur. He was raised in an Indian Army household with no business or technology connections. When, at age 16, he first heard about Intel, he dreamt of starting his own technology company.
Upon graduating with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, he tried to start a soy milk company to service the many people in India who did not have refrigerators. He then came to the US and got his Masters in Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie-Mellon University. His startup dreams attracted him to Silicon Valley where he got an MBA at Stanford University in 1980.
In 1982, Khosla started Sun Microsystems to build workstations for software developers. At Sun he pioneered "open systems" and RISC processors. Sun was funded by long time friend and board member John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
In 1986 he switched sides and joined Kleiner Perkins where he was a general partner. There, he worked with Nexgen/AMD, Juniper, Excite, and many other ventures.
In 2004, Khosla formed Khosla Ventures. Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of their ideas in both traditional venture areas like the Internet, computing, mobile, and silicon technology arenas but also supports breakthrough scientific work in clean technology areas such as bio-refineries for energy and bioplastics, solar, battery and other environmentally friendly technologies.
Related Links: khoslaventures.com
Last Updated: Thu, Oct 23, 2008
- Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture
- Stanford University's Entrepreneurship Corner (ecorner)
Original Course Name: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture.