Farewell, Tom Perkins, the VC’s VC

Thomas J. Perkins dies at 84. He played a huge part in creating the Silicon Valley we know today.

Tom Perkins RIP
Credit: TechCrunch (cc:by)

Tom Perkins, co-founder of Kleiner-Perkins, has died. He was 84.

Since the early 1970s, he’d been responsible for much of the creation and growth of venture-capital in the San Francisco bay area. He essentially created Sand Hill Road and its VC industry.

Without seeking to minimize the work of Sherman Fairchild, Fred Terman, Bill Hewlett, nor Dave Packard, Silicon Valley wouldn’t be what it is without him. In IT Blogwatch, may he rest in peace.

Your humble blogwatcher curated this for your information. Not to mention: Something Ventured


What’s the sad news? Pui-Wing Tam reports—Pioneering Venture Capitalist in Silicon Valley, Dies at 84:

Thomas J. Perkins, who nurtured Silicon Valley’s venture capital industry...died Tuesday night at his home...after a prolonged illness. ... He was 84.

[He] co-founded the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers...at a time when parts of Silicon Valley were...orchards. ... Over time...its home on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park...became a destination for other venture capitalists.

The firm’s success transformed Silicon Valley...leading to a proliferation of venture firms...and creating an ecosystem of investment [that] remains unrivaled.


He’d seen extraordinary change. Anthony Ha adds Tom Perkins dies at 84:

Before becoming an investor, Perkins founded...University Labs, and was the first general manager of Hewlett-Packard’s computer division. ... During his career, Perkins served on the boards of a number of well-known companies, including...the HP board, but [he] resigned in 2006 because of his objections to a board investigation of press leaks.


What do his early Kleiner-Perkins colleagues have to say? Here are Brook Byers and Frank Caufield:

Tom was a pioneer in the venture capital industry. He defined what we know of today as entrepreneurial venture capital by going beyond just funding to helping entrepreneurs realize their visions with operating expertise.


But he was a man of some contradiction—not to mention controversy. Alice Truong says, “A founding father of Silicon Valley,” has died:

Often referred to as “a founding father of Silicon Valley,” the legendary tech investor...played a major role in building up the venture capital industry. [He] credits Dave Packard as his mentor, whose style and ideas he studied.

When MIT profiled him...and his super yacht, the Maltese Falcon...he joked that he would fly flags [saying] “Rarely does one have the privilege to witness vulgar ostentation on such a grand scale.”


And Finally…

In his honor, here’s Something Ventured
[hat tip: Paul Kedrosky]


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk.
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
From CIO: 8 Free Online Courses to Grow Your Tech Skills
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.