John Doerr's advice to Obama: Take Bill Joy
SAN FRANCISCO--In an interview with John Heilemann at the Web 2.0 Summit here today, Kleiner-Perkins VC John Doerr, formerly a Hilary Clinton supporter, relayed the technology advice he would have for President-elect Obama.
As Heilemann noted, Obama has announced that he will look at appointing a chief technology officer to the United States. He asked Doerr about that, and unsurprisingly, Doerr thought it was a "great idea, long overdue."
Doerr said the top three things this new CTO should focus on are energy, green technology, and "more basic research."
"The most important thing," Doerr said, that Obama needs to do is, "kick-start a huge amount of innovation and research in energy."
"We invest less than a billion dollars a year in energy, compared to $32 billion in health care." About energy, he said, "It's the challenge for the generation, it's the scourge of the economy."
Of course, a very big part of technology advancement is education. So, Doerr said, "I would create a specific program to double the number of engineers we graduate in the U.S. from 30,000 a year to 60,000." India, he said, graduates 300,000 engineers a year.
Also, regarding foreign students educated in the U.S., we should, "staple a green card to the diploma of anybody who graduates with a degree in the physical sciences in the U.S."
Finally, he'd like to see DARPA restored to pure research, and move its focus off of "mission-based" projects.
Doerr also relayed 11 things entrepreneurs need to do in this economy. It was the same list he gave at a Venture Beat conference last month, with this addition: Cut once. Cut deeper than you think you need to, but only do it once.