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Six Degrees of Tom Perkins

I hosted a book club meeting for the first time last night and the book I chose was a little different than the novels we’ve read in the past. The book club is for my (relatively new, as of a little over a year ago) neighborhood and the group is largely social, but also highly intelligent, well-read, well-traveled, and full of interesting people. I’d read some good reviews about Valley Boy, Tom Perkins’s autobiographical book, and had made it through a few chapters when I made the selection. Some of the neighbors who came to my home liked it; others didn’t, no big surprise, but nearly everyone had some kind of connection to the book either through people they knew, places they had traveled or worked.

Perkins, founder of Kleiner Perkins (later to become Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers), the most well-known venture capital firm in the world, wrote about everything from sailing to IPOs, and he wrote it well. Various people had their opinions of Perkins and his opinions after reading the book, of course, but everyone thought his take on the HP-Compaq merger was interesting as well as his philanthropic endeavors and what he wrote of his love life. (For those who don’t know, he was involved with the San Francisco Ballet board, he lost his wife of many years to cancer, and he was briefly wed to Danielle Steel.) He also helped build Tandem Computers and Genentech. He’s now on the board of News Corp.

Here is a bit of a bio and a recent photo of Perkins, here is the publisher’s info, and here is his Wikipedia entry. Even if you’re not a fan but you find these topics of interest, check the book out at the library – it’s an interesting read.