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Season 2009 Episode 0211

Bill Joy in Conversation with Brent Schlender

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Bill Joy in Conversation with Brent Schlender
AIRED:
Bill Joy has been called, among other things, "The Edison of the Internet," for his role in inventing and perfecting some of the most important networking and software innovations upon which today's Web operates.Many of those creations predated his cofounding of Sun Microsystems, a company that reached the billion dollar sales mark quicker than any computer hardware company in history.But over the years, Joy also has acted as the intellectual conscience of Silicon Valley, warning of the excesses of the Dot Com Bubble long before others, cautioning proponents of bio-engineering not to race too far ahead of their understanding of the full consequences of their genetic tinkering, and raising early alarms of the dangers of computer viruses and other nefarious forms of software technology.And today, as a partner at the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Joy is playing a key role in reorienting much of Silicon Valley's capacity to invent toward "green" technologies.During this conversation at the Churchill Club, Joy and Schlender discuss how the process of technological innovation has morphed in good ways and bad during their three decades in Silicon Valley. They muse about how the primary unit of output of the Valley is no longer the transistor or the line of code, but the targeted advertisement.They explore Joy's notion that the driving force behind innovation in the future will not so much be the search for financial advantages from making digital technology better and faster and cheaper, but instead be a quest for solutions to the dire environmental and energy crises that loom before us.And, they look at how this new sense of urgency is driving Silicon Valley back to the basics of science and technology.moreless
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