Khosla's Open Letter to 60 Minutes Is a Must-Read

Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures responded to the now widely aired CBS 60 Minutes TV segment titled "The Cleantech Crash" in a thought-provoking must-read open letter for anyone interested in investing in cleantech. The cleantech movement is alive and kicking, contrary to the 60 Minutes piece and Khosla eloquently points out the many discrepancies that were somehow allowed to be put on TV. The recent Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) acqusition of Nest only solidifies that cleantech is far from dead. In fact, with amazing progress and energy being generated by solar and wind, what was 60 Minutes thinking highlighting the bad investments and not giving the winners any attention?

Let's face it, cleantech has been plagued by much bad press post-Solyndra and Fisker, but surging investment in solar and wind, coupled with the early success of electric car maker Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) is helping get investors off the sidelines and into next generation energy opportunities in battery storage, software, and a variety of renewables. Collectively that truth should awaken 60 Minutes' "Rip Van Winkle" view on cleantech and force them to call "do-over" on the subject and run a follow-up piece that truly sets the record straight for the American people.

Pointing to sluggish growth in cleantech is unfair considering many sectors, not just cleantech, including retail, industrials, chemicals, and yes, oil sands, all experienced a downturn during the recent recession, a recession that was deemed one of the worst since the Great Depression. So I agree with Khosla that despite having a cleantech portfolio of companies that may not see the light of day, the one in the portfolio that is successful can be extraordinary, and that's worth the early investment, especially since I truly believe the next Facebook or Twitter will actually come from the energy sector. 

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  • Report this Comment On January 19, 2014, at 2:57 PM, gskinner75006 wrote:

    CBS cares?

  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 5:31 AM, smartfone wrote:

    60 Minutes is sponsored by the oil companies

  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 12:40 PM, ckgod wrote:

    smartfone I don't necessarily believe the conspiracy theory but I do believe they got some very ignorant people who're running the show there at CBS. I always believe people who're putting their own money at risk like Mr. Khosla more than those whose main concerns are rating and advertisement revenue.

  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 1:02 PM, RussellL wrote:

    There are people and companies out there trying to mislead others.

    Do your own due diligence when it comes to investing.

  • Report this Comment On January 20, 2014, at 1:12 PM, ffbj wrote:

    How dare those misguided people attack cbs who is known for accurate, deeply researched and unbiased stories. I can't wait for the next story on clean coal.

    This is just the latest basis for attacks against clean tech, which coincides oddly with polls that indicate that people buy ev's to be more eco-friendly. It is not, good for the environment, nor is it good for the economy, nor jobs, nor anything else,according to cbs. What cbs is apparently good for is airing fallacious stories that distort, obscure, and deny reality.

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John Licata

John Licata is the Founder & Chief Energy Strategist of Blue Phoenix Inc. You can follow John on Twitter @bluephoenixinc

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