Vinod Khosla

In Conversations with John Battelle

Web 2.0 2005
34 minutes, 15.7mb, recorded 2005-10-07
Vinod Khosla
Web 2.0 is coming of age and facilitating collaboration, participation and communication between users. It has opened up opportunities in media distribution and what Vinod Khosla calls media mangling. Personalisation has also started to fulfil its potential on the web and new startups are using this opportunity to launch businesses by pursuing VC funding. However, startups need to use the capital raised judiciously to avoid making the same mistakes associated with the growth of Web 1.0.

Vinod Khosla points out that mobile phones are becoming ubiquitous globally. Mobile phones are being used to help people learn English in India, China and France. Taking the topic of education further, Khosla proposes that all textbooks should be open source and easily editable - like Wikipedia - so that children can look at different versions of the same topic depending on their level of comprehension. He believes that this will help imbue the virtue of critical thinking in children. Khosla thinks that the open source idea can be extended to many things outside its traditional scope, such as seeds. Seeds can be specifically engineered to suit a region's particular environment and population requirements. This is not feasible today, however, because of patent protection.

When asked during the short Q&A session at the end of the show whether Google's relevancy of search results can be improved, Khosla responds by saying that this can be achieved through the collaborative filtering of search results. In response to other questions he explains why he suspects that the successful companies of Web 2.0 will be those that can increase the size of their audiences rather than those which try to control content.

IT Conversations' publication of this program is underwritten by your donations and:

Vinod Khosla was a co-founder of Daisy Systems and founding Chief Executive Officer of Sun Microsystems where he pioneered open systems and commercial RISC processors. Vinod serves on the boards of Agami, eASIC, Indian School of Business, Infinera, Kovio, Metricstream, Spatial Photonics, Xsigo and Zettacore.

Vinod holds a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, a Master's in Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


This presentation is one of a series from the Web 2.0 Conference held October 5-7, 2005 at the Argent Hotel in San Francisco.

For Team ITC:

  • Description editor: Vinayak Hegde
  • Post-production audio engineer: George Hawthorne
  • Series Editor: Graham Stewart

This free podcast is from our Web 2.0 Conference series.