The sound of serious money

This morning’s Observer column.

At this point, those of us who have been watching Mr Jobs strut his stuff for decades began to yawn. Then something happened that made your columnist sit up. On to the stage strode John Doerr, the driving force behind Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers of 2750 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, California – the world’s premier venture capital firm. Mr Doerr said that he was so taken by this apps store idea that he was setting up a $100m fund to invest in people who were interested in developing software for the iPhone.

In retrospect, it may have been a pivotal moment in the history of the computing industry. Doerr, you see, has great judgment and a long history of spotting winners before anyone else. Companies he backed in their early days, for example, include Amazon, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Google, Lotus, Macromedia and Sun Microsystems. So if he thought there was something in the apps store idea then perhaps Jobs’s hyperbole might be justified.

And so it has proved…