MAY 15, 2000
COVER STORY -- E.BIZ -- THE E.BIZ 25

By: Jim Kerstetter


Vinod Khosla


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Perkins Caufield & Byers
----------
Position: General partner

Contribution: Khosla was among the first venture capitalists to spot the potential of companies that sell gear for high-speed optical networks.

Challenge: Can Khosla find the next big thing? He's betting on companies that provide software as a service delivered via the Net. He has two in the stable right now: BigVine.com, which provides e-commerce capabilities to small business, and FireDrop Inc., which helps people collaborate over the Net.

Vinod Khosla is, very simply, revolutionizing communications. The venture capitalist at Silicon Valley's Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers was among the first to understand that Internet technology and fiber optics could make communications so fast, cheap, and easy to install that it would unleash a tsunami of productivity growth. He placed his bets on a handful of now-hot telecom-gear companies.

Khosla doesn't just spread cash, though. He nurtures startups. Then good things happen. Khosla ducklings Cerent and Siara Systems, for instance, sold last year for $11.2 billion combined. ''He wants to win, and he wants to win big,'' says Bippy Siegal, CEO of BigVine.com, a startup Khosla backed.

Khosla is just as determined to get home for dinner. The father of four only misses a handful each month. Of course, it's easier to leave the office when you're one of the Valley's hottest VC hands.



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