Societal Reinvention with Technology: Mr. Vinod Khosla

Societal Reinvention with Technology: Vinod Khosla Alumni Affairs and International Programmes (AAIP) organized its flagship event with Mr. Vinod Khosla (B.Tech. in Electrical Engg., 1976), co-founder of Sun Microsystems and founder of Khosla Ventures, and one of the most distinguished alumni of IIT-Delhi. His talk, held on 9th August, was entitled: ‘Societal Reinvention through technology’. Mr. Khosla talked about how the world will change by technological innovations and interventions. Almost any problem in the world can be solved by technological innovation. In his view, the major and radical innovation will not come from any large company or enterprise but by unlikely sources: Innovators and Entrepreneurs. He advised innovators to not be afraid of failures. “If I am not failing, I am not taking enough risks”, said Mr. Khosla, and without risks, no major innovations would come. He talked about how innovations and entrepreneurs would bring a change in Transportation, Housing, Medical Care, Materials, AI, 3D Printing, Robotics, and ‘Densification & Dematerialization’. After the presentation, there was a very interesting fireside chat with Director, Prof Ramgopal Rao who asked him about the role IIT Delhi had in his life. ” The major learning at IIT was to learn how to learn”. Mr. Khosla explained how the IIT system, which looks so inflexible was indeed very flexible. Mr. Khosla along with Prof. Puri of Maths department were able to start hobby classes for programming for IITDstudents (In 1970s programming was not taught as a formal subject) and how he along with Prof. Guha was able to start biomedical engineering program with AIIMS which led to the foundation of CBME at IITD. However, despite enough prodding by Prof Rao, Mr. Khosla did not let the audience know of the ‘crazy’ thing she did at IITD. On being asked about the role of education in entrepreneurship, Mr Khosla said that for a good tech company higher education was an important ingredient. On the role of MBA, Mr. Khosla’s said that for entrepreneurs, MBA is not very relevant. In fact, working in a startup provides more relevant experience than MBA. On his belief of luck being an important ingredient, Mr. Khosla explained that when someone fails for a longer time and keeps on trying, then there is a bigger probability of success because one has been trying for a longer time. Further, he termed this probability of success as ‘Luck’.
The video recording of Mr. Vinod  Khosla’s speech is available at the link: