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Doerr and KPCB: Tennessee ties may be growing
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John Doerr

In VNC's accompanying story on CEO Gary Ferguson's launch of ClearPractice LLC, Chairman Frank Ingari seemed to echo themes expressed years earlier by the company's chief investor, John Doerr.

Ingari emphasized Ferguson's responsibility for integrating and growing the company, as well as Ferguson's overall "fit" for the job and his 'fun' personality.

Doerr sounded similar themes during an interview with Fast Company, published 13 years ago, in 1997.

At one point in that piece, titled "John Doerr's Startup Manual," Doerr observed that in a startup everyone onboard must be selling, because sales is "the difference between life and death."

"And make sure," Doerr added, "that the group has a sense of humor. You're going to be spending a lot of time living together as a team. Of course, everyone you'll need for a great startup isn't going to be there at that first meeting. Teams always need to grow, to get stronger and better. But be sure to answer the question, 'Is this a group I wouldn't mind getting in trouble with?'"

Tennessee's ties to KPCB may be growing: As reported earlier by VNC, a year ago there was speculation that State Economic Development Commissioner Matt Kisber may have been in talks about 'Green Industries' development with Doerr and-or former Vice President Al Gore, who is both a KPCB partner and a member of the board of directors of KPCB iFund ally Apple Inc.

In addition, KPCB Affiliated Partner Vinod Khosla's Khosla Ventures has snared a private-equity investment allocation from Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS).

Of interest in the Nashville area, KPCB has invested in Nodality Inc., which has a laboratory in Franklin, near Nashville.

Although estimates published by observers vary considerably, KPCB is believed to have invested in more than 450 companies since 1972. About 150 of those have gone public and many others have been parties to mergers and acquisitions. KPCB portfolio companies are thought to employ more than 250,000 persons, and the companies' combined revenues probably exceed $80 billion.

On Wednesday, March 31, KPCB made more headlines from its Menlo Park headquarters, announcing the firm has doubled to $200 million its war chest for development of applications for Apple's iPhone, iTouch and iPad.

Doerr, himself, is widely credited with shaping the fates of Google, Amazon.com and Intuit and other companies, and has backed the individuals who founded Compaq, Macromedia, Symantec and other enterprises. ♦ 

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Tags: Al Gore, Apple, ClearPractice, Fast Company, Frank Ingari, Gary Ferguson, iFund, iPad, iPhone, iTouch, John Doerr, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Matt Kisber, private equity, Startups, TCRS, venture capital, Vinod Khosla

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