Here’s the key message from Energy Secretary Steve Chu when he spoke at the National Press Club Monday: We’re screwed if we don’t boost our R&D investments in science and technology. The message isn’t new, but there’s a new sense of urgency.
Mary Meeker, the Queen of the Net is coming home, joining? Klenier Perkins Caufield Byers. In hiring her, KPCB is taking yet another step away from cleantech and back to the world of Internet investments. A workaholic, Meeker is what KPCB really needs.
Social, Mobile and New Commerce — that doesn’t addup to the third wave of anything. It is the natural evolution of the Internet. It was obvious in 2002 that with more broadband, more devices and more people, the Internet revolution, which began in 1995 would continue.
Bloom Energy’s gala unveiling last month has given the fuel cell industry more attention than it’s gotten since former President George W. Bush named it as the technology to replace the internal combustion engine for American cars . . . back in 2003. The way those plans fizzled in the intervening years, however, should give the industry pause as it contemplates Bloom’s latest recast of fuel cells as the next big thing — this time to replace dirty grid electricity with clean power at comparable costs.
Read More about 4 Lessons For Fuel Cell Makers, Amidst the Bloom Boom
At Apple’s iPad launch event last week, I spoke with uber venture capitalist John Doerr (of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers), The New York Times media critic David Carr and my former boss, Josh Quittner to get their thoughts on the device.
At VentureBeat’s GreenBeat conference last night, Kleiner Perkins leader John Doerr touched on a lot of the themes he usually does: the necessity of putting a price on carbon, greentech as “the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century,” and the smart grid being a massive opportunity. But Doerr did make one very interesting statement that stuck in my mind (see Doerr videos from EETimes and the live stream of the event today on FORA.tv): If Kleiner Perkins had seen how bad the market was going to crash it probably wouldn’t have started it’s green initiative:
Read More about John Doerr: If We’d Predicted the Market Crash, Probably No Green Fund
While everyone else has been waiting for Google Wave invites today, I’ve been pining for my custom license plate. It just arrived, although I haven’t yet attached it to the car. It looks pretty good on my MacBook, but it just kills productivity by blocking the screen. Guess I’ll have to hang it on the back of the car, after all.
Once I do that, I’ll be getting out and about much more often in hopes of meeting up with some of you! Normally when I hop around at Starbucks, Borders and other places to work, I tend to keep the locations to myself until I get there. That’s not very social in this day and age, is it? Nope. So I’m thinking of zig-zagging around the Philadelphia metropolitan area and sharing my whereabouts with you folks here. Watch for short update posts that I’ll put up at least a day in advance. If you can swing by, please do! There’s no guarantees that I’ll have the latest and greatest gear with me, but you never know. And I’d be happy to discuss your mobile technology needs, hot topics of the day or trends of tomorrow. Let’s keep it informal and have some fun. Oh and if you see this plate during any travels, be sure to honk!
John Doerr, the prominent cleantech venture capitalist for Kleiner Perkins, gave his standard earnest speech before a Senate Committee hearing on how greentech investing can spur the economy on Wednesday morning. As per usual, he first chided the U.S. for not doing enough to cut carbon emissions and invest in cleantech, and then laid out his broad plan on what to do next.
But for industry-watchers interested in Kleiner’s portfolio, it’s worth pointing out that Doerr mentioned a new “stealth mode” lithium-ion battery maker. He says the unnamed startup “creates stable, durable lithium ion batteries with higher effective storage capacity” that can power electric vehicles “twice as far, and eventually three times as far, to over 100 miles before recharging.”
Doerr also gave a few clues on the company’s origins and future plans — supposedly the startup was found “outside the U.S.,” but is building manufacturing plants in the Midwest and will ship batteries at the end of the year. Doerr positioned the company as no less than an automotive breakthrough and said: “This technology could be a key driver for the electrification and revitalization of our automotive industry, helping us retain and create many jobs.”
Read More about John Doerr Mentions Kleiner’s Stealthy Lithium Ion Battery Startup
Rocketboom is adding YouTube comedian Lisa Nova to its ranks as the popular web show expands to 7 episodes per week. Rocketboom anchor Joanne Colan is staying on, with Nova starting up the “west coast Rocketboom news desk.” Rocketboom creator Andrew Baron made the announcement today on his blog.
Nova will continue to post bits to her YouTube Channel and will create and host two Rocketboom news days per week. From Baron’s post, it looks like Rocketboom could be prepping Nova for a potential spin-off. Baron writes that he believes the way to build a multi-faceted new media empire is to launch new properties from existing ones (he cites Stephen Colbert coming out of The Daily Show). Nova’s popularity online could merit its own show.
In August of this year, Rocketboom signed a seven-figure distribution deal with Sony Pictures Television, and it looks like that move is paying off. Unlike Revision3, which has seen the amount of content it creates reduced, Rocketboom is expanding with projects like Know Your Meme and Human Wire and says its staple daily news offerings will double in 2009.
While the content is growing, Rocketboom distribution could soon be shrinking. I emailed Baron to get some updated viewership stats, which he declined to share, but he did include the following nugget, “There are many platforms that we distribute to (through Tubemogul for instance) that are not providing enough significant value to offset the watering down that may occur by being anywhere. Thus, we will likely begin to ween away from being everywhere to only being in the places where there is a substantial demand. “
At last week’s Web 2.0 Summit — the annual convention that has come to represent the new web boom –- a leading web industry journalist asked me if green technology was here to stay, or if it is just another fad that would die at the hands of dropping gas prices and a recession. Read More about Web Firms Step Into Green Shadow in the Valley