Company Growth Through Opportunity Maps

At a recent corporate retreat for Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, partner Bill Joy presented what he called "the map of grand challenges." This chart of multicolored squares tracked the progress of the venerable venture capital firm in identifying and investing in key categories of green technologies, including transportation, energy efficiency, electricity generation, energy storage, and more. Joy also left blank spots on this chart that hinted at technologies that should be possible in the near future. For Kleiner Perkins, this map has come to represent a rough outline of tomorrow's clean energy economy. The firm now uses it as its investment playbook to help identify promising startups and stimulate universities and laboratories to create technologies that don't exist yet. Basically, if a green tech idea could fill in one of the blanks on Kleiner's map, the partners are interested. If not, then no one need apply.

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