John Doerr On Apple: “The Steve Jobs Way Of Thinking Goes On”

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Today at TechCrunch Disrupt, Michael Arrington sat down with Kleiner Perkins’ partner John Doerr. They kicked off the talk by discussing Doerr’s history. When he started at Kleiner in 1980, the personal computer revolution was just starting. Doerr noted that he dabbled with many of the early PCs, but “the Apple was way more compelling”.

Doerr recalled going to an early meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club on Sand Hill road. He saw a scruffy faced man guy there who showed up and held up a motherboard. It was the motherboard of the Apple I. That man was Steve Jobs.

Over time, Doerr has grown to know Jobs well. “He’s a good man,” Doerr said of him. And he noted his remarkable story of being someone who created the personal computer industry, was kicked out of his company, then came back to not only resurrect it from near-death, but also grow it to one of the largest companies in the world. “In the last three years, they have generated $50 billion a year in new business — and paid $4 billion to developers.”

But now that Jobs has stepped down as CEO of Apple, what does it mean for the company? “He’s put in Apple a kind of culture — like a curriculum for a university. The ‘Steve Jobs way of thinking’ goes on,” Doerr noted.

Doerr then pulled out his iPad. He noted how Jobs said this device was going to be “magical” and his “best work to date”. But Doerr said that now rumors have Apple thinking about re-inventing television, indicating the best may be yet to come.

Doerr was quick to note that he has no inside information about that. Mike didn’t believe him. “You must,” Mike said, again pointing out Doerr’s relationship with Jobs. “He’s a very secretive guy.”