Lessons from Segway: Why John Doerr no longer makes $1 billion predictions

By Sarah Lacy , written on May 24, 2013

From The News Desk

At PandoMonthly last night, John Doerr talked a lot about the massive successes he's been associated with like Amazon and Google. But he also talked about some of the great whiffs of his venture career. One of the most high profile was Segway. Created by rock star inventor Dean Kamen and backed by Doerr at the peak of his power as a VC, the press endlessly speculated about what it could be. Doerr famously predicted that it would get to $1 billion in revenue faster than any other company.

Last night he explained why he made that claim and what happened. It's a little-told story that underlies why hardware is such a risky category, why Silicon Valley is largely opposed to unions, the fine line between success and failure, and how even the greatest dream teams with a bold idea can be humbled.

We'll be posting the full video our sit down with Doerr later today. It was one of our very best PandoMonthly talks to date. Huge thanks to Doerr for his time and candor and for staying to talk to seemingly every last attendee. And another thanks to our sponsors TriNet and last minute hosts Atlassian.

[Image Credit: pacbat on Flickr]