- John Doerr Facts | # 50 Facts
- John Doerr: Early Years
- Professional Life of John Doerr
- Other Investments and Ventures: John Doerr
- John Doerr: Accolades
- John Doerr: Social Responsibility
- Charitable Work of John Doerr
- Family Life of John Doerr
- Problems: John Doerr
- Politics & John Doerr
- John Doerr: Inspirational
John Doerr Facts | # 50 Facts
John Doerr: Early Years
1. John Doerr: Born in 1951
John Doerr, an American venture capitalist, is born on Friday, June 29, 1951 in St. Louis, Missouri.
2. Academic Background of John Doerr
John Doerr has a remarkable academic background.
He is a graduate of Chaminade College Preparatory, St. Louis.
After this, he obtains his Bachelor’s degree as well as a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Rice University.
In the year 1976, he receives his MBA degree from the prestigious Harvard University.
Professional Life of John Doerr
3. Investment in Successful Ventures
John Doerr invests in many successful ventures.
However, this man also invests and backs many of America’s leading entrepreneurs.
The list of these entrepreneurs notably includes Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Amazon.com creator Jeff Bezos, INTU’s Scott Cook, Bill Campbell and Andy Bechtolsheim, Scott McNealy, Bill Joy, Vinod Khosla from Sun Microsystems.
4. Success at Intel
John Doerr not only excels at the university but he does the same at one of his earliest jobs as well.
In 1974, John Doerr was employed at Intel Corporation.
Through his constant efforts and hard work, he ranks as the top and most successful salesperson at Intel.
5. Contribution to iFund
John Doerr’s Kleiner Perkins contributes $100 million to iFund in 2008.
iFund is a $200 million capital fund which seeks to develop applications for iPhones, an Apple product.
According to John Doerr, the iPhone is “more important than the personal computer” because “it knows who you are” and “where you are.”
He contributes another $100 million to iFund in 2010 making it the largest investment in cell phone application development.
6. Investment in Zynga
Zygna’s Mark Pinus should certainly be thankful to John Doerr’s daughter Mary Doerr.
Why is that? It is because Mary is the reason behind John’s investment in Zygna Games Network Inc. that is started by Mark Pinus.
When Mark Pinus meets John Doerr to pitch for Zygna, his daughter plays a Zygna game at that time which she really enjoys.
Looking at her daughter’s reaction, John decides to make an investment in Zygna though he usually makes an investment for startup ventures.
Today 33 million people daily play Zygna games with nearly 215 million users monthly.
7. Board of Members of Zynga
Doerr is a venture capitalist for Zynga, and is recently invited to sit on the gaming company’s board of members.
Zynga has experienced some issues lately and decides to up its game, literally, by adding a real-money online gambling service for users.
8. Joins the Board of Members of Zynga
Doerr joins the prestigious list of Zynga board members.
A fellow colleague of his from KPCB Wiliam ‘Bing’ Gordon is already part of the board.
Other board members include CEO Mark Pincus, Reid Hoffman and Owen Van Natta.
9. Supports Zynga
This is not the first time Doerr becomes involved with the gaming company, Zynga.
Before Zynga goes public in 2011, KPCB has been already a large supporter of the company.
It is Doerr’s main idea to invest in Zynga, and it is estimated that Doerr’s company owns roughly 10% of Zyng to date.
10. Helps Zynga Grow
Zynga’s recent issues with revenue and innovation are believed to be on the brink of change with Doerr as a board member.
His expertise helps in bringing significant change to the gaming company and helps Zynga get back on its feet.
11. Fond of Mark Pincus
Doerr is fond of Zynga’s CEO and founder, Mark Pincus.
In the early years of Zynga, Doerr appreciates Pincus for his work with Zynga, saying it was one of the “most rapidly growing” companies with the “most happiest customers” his company supports.
12. Pincus Praises Doerr
The feeling is apparently mutual, as Pincus also praises Doerr during a public statement regarding the joining of Doerr to Zynga’s board of members.
Pincus sates that he is excited to “work closely” with Doerr and sees him as a “trusted advisor” and a “true missionary”.
13. Inspires Pincus
The addition of Doerr to the company’s board of members inspires and motivates Mark Pincus.
He has decided to only receive an annual compensation of US$ 1.
Other Investments and Ventures: John Doerr
14. Funds Successful Entrepreneurs
As a successful venture capitalist, Doerr funds some of the most successful entrepreneurs today.
Doerr is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and is motivated to find the “Next Big Thing.”
15. His Investments Create 200,000 Jobs
Doerr’s investments with startup companies and budding entrepreneurs creates over 200,000 jobs.
He also sits on many boards of various companies, such as Amyris, Bloom Energy, Google and Quantumscape.
16. Supports Different Businesses
Doerr does work with other entrepreneurs who are not necessarily part of the e-commerce industry.
He believes in supporting educational and environmental businesses as well and has funded organizations such as NewSchools.org and the Climate Reality Project.
17. Patent for Memory Devices
Doerr tinkers around with his own engineering techniques as well, and has the patent for many memory devices he creates for computers.
He also holds a position with the government as a member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
His intelligence and expertise knows no boundaries.
18. Active Participation in FIRST
The Doerr family is involved in engineering and technological missions.
Doerr’s father is a mechanical engineer.
Doerr’s sister, Susie Mathieu sits on the board of directors at FIRST and the family as a whole is active in contributing to the organization.
19. Poor Investment Decisions
There have been investments made by KPCB that may never pay off for the company, but Doerr is not concerned about this.
Once such company, MIasole experiences some issues, and Doerr very calmly states that it is going through a rough patch.
He deals with issues with a clear mind, and tries to salvage whatever he can.
Miasole is a solar panel company that KPCB invests in.
It faces some issues and is at risk of bankruptcy.
Doerr saves the company by paying the company’s outstanding payroll and then sells it to a Chinese company for US$ 30 million.
This reflects his commitment to his company and the companies he invests in.
21. Growth of KPCB
KPCB grows quite extensively over the years, but their main mission does not change.
Doerr says that they are still aiding entrepreneurs in creating new businesses.
Some of the company’s major investments help create the biggest companies in the world today, such as Google and Amazon.com.
John Doerr: Accolades
22. Wins an Online Poll
In an interesting poll conducted online that asked people: “Which PE or VC executive deserves a reality TV show?” John Doerr is a clear winner as gets the maximum percentage of votes, which is 37.3%.
Marc Leder of Sun Capital closely followed him with almost 31.3% votes.
23. Distinguished Alumni
Doerr has been acclaimed for his successes early on.
In 1997, Rice University makes him one of their Distinguished Alumni, due to his credited work in business.
In 2009, he becomes a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
A year later, Doerr receives the honor of being welcomed into the prestigious California Hall of Fame.
24. 527th Richest Billionaire
According to Forbes latest research on the richest people of America, Doerr ranks as the 527th richest billionaire in the world, with a net worth of US$ 2.7 billion.
He advanced from his previous listing as the 540th richest person in the world last year when he has a net worth of US$ 2.2 billion.
25. Family Legacy Award
Doerr receives the FIRST Family Legacy Award.
This award compliments individuals who work hard to strive for the advancement of science and technology.
Doerr has received the award for his commitment to a robotics organization for over ten years.
John Doerr: Social Responsibility
John Doerr is an environmentalist activist and helps to preserve the environment against climatic change.
He backs the utilization of clean energy for this purpose.
27. The Giving Pledge
John Doerr is also a part of “The Giving Pledge”.
The giving pledge is all about donating at least half of your wealth towards the prosperity of the community.
Until today, John Doerr ranks at no. 8 on the list of people giving the most wealth in charity.
28. Green Technology
John Doerr is a supporter of the fact that USA lags far behind when it comes to green technology and gives the USA’s effort, in this regard, a C grade.
29. Enthusiast of Education
Doerr believes in starting at the basics, and building a strong foundation.
That is why he is so interested in education and educating the strong minds of tomorrow.
Doerr says that in the new economy, if you are lacking in education, you will lag behind in success.
Charitable Work of John Doerr
30. Philanthropist / Charities
Doerr and wife Ann are clear-headed philanthropists.
The couple finds themselves among 40 of the richest US families who pledge more than half of their fortunes to charities.
31. Other Philanthropist Couples
Other rich American couples who join in on this pledge are Bill and Melinda Gates and the billionaire couple, Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg.
The Giving Pledge has America’s billionaires pledge that they will give a majority of their wealth to an organization or charitable cause.
32. Believes in Donating to Charities
Doerr is a strong believer in giving to charities.
He talks about how a real entrepreneur is not always concerned about making money, but also has to find a way to do mean something.
Doerr says, “Do not just strive to be successful but achieve a great measure of success and significance.”
33. Approach to Find Charities to Give Donations To
When finding a charity to donate funds to, Doerr says he takes the same approach he uses for when he is finding companies to invest in.
He wants to support an organization that has direction and passion, and knows where they are going with their funding.
Doerr is a fanatic of education and has spearheaded the New Schools Ventures Fund, which donates money to educational organizations.
34. Charity Work by His Wife
John Doerr’s wife, Ann Howland Doerr, is one of the top political donors in the state of California during 2001-2011.
She ranks at no. 20.
She widely contributes towards organizations that are concerned with environmental education and preservation.
So far, her total contribution accounts to $3,137,425.
Family Life of John Doerr
John Doerr marries Ann Howland Doerr.
Ann is also a graduate of Rice University.
She holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in electrical engineering.
John resides with his wife and two kids, Mary and Esther, in Woodside, California.
36. Makes More Time for Family
When the doctor diagnoses Doerr’s wife with cancer over eight years ago, Doerr does not think twice and begins making more time for his family.
He makes his family top priority, and realizes that this family is what his major accomplishment would be.
Doerr is committed to raising his daughters, and upholding a strong family bond.
37. Inconvenient Youth
John Doerr’s daughter Mary Doerr follows the footsteps of her father.
Mary has started a not-for-profit initiative named as “Inconvenient Youth”.
The initiative works towards making the environment a much safer place.
It deals with solving arising climatic problems.
The platform invites suggestions and discussions from the youth.
Mary utilizes social media to create awareness about this initiative and conducts training sessions and educational conferences in this regard.
Problems: John Doerr
John Doerr and other partners at Kleiner Perkins come under fire as an employee, Ellen Pao, files a lawsuit against the firm and its partners for sexual harassment and gender discrimination at work.
The partners including John Doerr deny the allegations and say that the allegations are without any concrete evidence.
39. Failures in Life
John Doerr also experiences some failures during his life.
He fails miserably when he works as a burger chef in one of his earliest jobs at a restaurant.
Later on in his life, his venture Silicon compilers (chip design venture) also fail and eventually Mentor Graphics acquires it.
40. Targeted by Guccfer
Recently, Doerr is targeted by an email hack, Guccfer.
The email hacker also accesses email accounts of political individuals such as the Bush family and the previous Secretary of State, Colin Powell.
Politics & John Doerr
41. Dinner at White House
Once during President Obama’s dinner with Silicon Valley capitalists at the White House, an announcement states that there will be 12 guests of honor at the dinner.
Later changes are done and number of guests increases to 14.
The two additions to the list include John Doerr’s wife Ann as one of them.
42. Close Friends with Hilary Clinton
John Doerr is a good friend of 67th US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton.
43. Dinner for President Obama
During 2011, John Doerr hosts a dinner for President Obama and other leaders of Silicon Valley.
The guests on the dinner own companies that are collectively worth $1 trillion.
John Doerr: Inspirational
44. 5 Features of Great Ventures
According to John Doerr, there are 5 main characteristics of a great venture that he looks for.
These companies are led by missionaries, not mercenaries.
They have passionate leaders.
They work within areas that have not been targeted adequately, have a good amount of financing and work with urgency.
Overall, a great venture is passionate and hard working, with a sense of direction and strong focus on accomplishing a mission.
45. His Father Inspires Him
Doerr’s father is a great inspiration to him.
His father is a mechanical engineer, and a devoted entrepreneur.
His parents are strong believers in educating their children, a right they believed no one should be able to take away from them.
They work hard to educate all five of their children.
Doerr understands the power of a strong education and is committed to spreading education to every corner of America.
46. Hardly Any Regrets
Doerr has little to regret, and he remembers the early days of his pioneering business fondly.
He also believes that he brought change to the company, as they were careful in their investments at the start.
He says when the company had just started, they would invest small amounts such as US$ 200, 000, in ventures.
When John Doerr joined, they invested US$ 1.5 million in Compaq.
47. Thinks about the Future
Doerr thinks about the future.
And not just about the future of technology and the online world, Doerr is concerned about the weather, and begins to focus more on renewable sources of energy and the current climate crises.
KPCB funds green technology to quite an extent, with a total of US$ 1.2 billion being invested into the industry.
Doerr believes that is the best investment for the 21st century, but he’s not only interested in the money.
He worries about climate change and wants to improve the environment, fast.
48. Works Hard to Promote Education
Doerr never gets tired of pushing for what he believes in.
Ten years ago, after he creates the NewSchoolsVenture Fund, he also encourages the Californian government to give US$ 23 billion to the state’s public schools.
Doerr also promotes a bill in the state of California that allows for an increase of US$ 3 billion in funding for stem cell research.
To this day, John Doerr is working hard to advocate education.
49. Advice to Business Students
John Doerr sure does know how to give advice.
While speaking at Stanford Graduate School of Business, he advises the students to maintain an active network.
He stresses on the importance of keeping business cards and advises them to be compassionate to mothers and call them on a daily basis even just for a few minutes.
He also focuses on the importance of taking the first job based on learning opportunities rather than on how much money you can make out of it.
50. Philosophy on Great Entrepreneurs
While speaking to a class of business students, John Doerr presents his philosophy on what makes a great entrepreneur. According to John:
“The best ones are missionaries, not mercenaries.
Mercenaries have a lot of drive, they are opportunistic and always pitching their latest deal, whereas missionaries are more passionate and strategic.
Mercenaries are sprinting and often have in their organizations an aristocracy of founders, whereas the missionaries are in it for the long run, obsessing on customers, not competition.
They try to build a meritocracy – a loud, noisy place where the best ideas can get on the table.”