Photo: msquinn on Twitter
Can Kleiner Perkins get hip? The Valley’s once-preeminent venture-capital firm is fighting its stodgy image by hiring new partners straight out of hot startups—like Megan Quinn, Square’s director of products.Quinn has only been at Square a year. It seems like the payments startup has seen a lot of turnover, which an insider explains as partly due to hiring “big company people” who didn’t cotton to life at a startup.
Before Square, Quinn worked for seven years in product management at Google, and before that briefly at Genentech.
While Kleiner doesn’t have the same kind of mystique it enjoyed in the late ’90s, it’s had some recent scores in social and mobile startups—like Zynga and Ngmoco—that have revived its reputation.
A key reason for Kleiner to bring on people like Quinn as younger partners are their social and professional connections with developers and entrepreneurs.
We can’t help noting that Quinn is tight with the in crowd at Twitter, which could be a rich source of hires for the startups Kleiner wants to back.
She even has her very own parody account, @FunMeganQuinn—just like the cool kids at Twitter. Here’s a representative tweet:
DRINKING AND PARTYING AND DANCING AND WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
— Fun Megan Quinn (@FunMeganQuinn) December 18, 2011
That has to be a first for Kleiner Perkins.
(Kleiner, by the way, is fighting a sexual-harassment lawsuit filed by a junior partner, Ellen Pao. So it can’t hurt Kleiner to show that it’s offering opportunities to women by hiring Quinn.)