SAN FRANCISCO — When one of the biggest names in venture capital says, “The largest new opportunities in technologies are in … ,” you listen.
John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins fame took the stage today at TechCrunch Disrupt to talk about his top three picks for verticals ripe for innovation.
They are, in order, healthcare, education, and revolutionary hardware.
Insurance companies are telling doctors what to do. If we put the doctors in charge and paid them for value, we could transform the economy.” Obamacare, he said, “helps enormously” with this drive toward a better healthcare system.
This also crosses over into consumer applications, he revealed.
“The most recent investment I made was in MyFitnessPal,” Doerr said. “They built a profitable business on their own savings. They’ve got 45 million users around the world, and their users last year lost 100 million pounds.”
As far as education goes, Doerr pointed to free, online platforms that add to and enhance traditional education experiences. Khan Academy, Coursera, and other online education platforms have impressed Doerr significantly.
When asked about the value of traditional higher education, Doerr responded, “I think [young people] should go to college if they have the opportunity,” but he agreed that most degree programs are prohibitively expensive.
Then, there’s hardware at an enterprise scale. Moore’s Law is running out of time, Doerr said. “At some point, you don’t have enough atoms. The price of the next-gen facility is increasing at a rate more than Moore’s Law.”
In response to that trend, KPCB has created an initiative called Low-Power Everywhere. This includes research and investment in companies that promote battery efficiency, display energy efficiency, and all kinds of initiatives for greener devices and better use of energy resources.
“The game changer would be to … triple the energy density in batteries. We’ve got a venture working on that.” With lighter, more powerful batteries, Doerr said, “My dream is that we could make electric vehicles as cheap or cheaper than internal combustion.”