When legendary VC Tom Perkins opens his mouth, you never know what’s going to come out.
His latest interview was with The New Yorker about why so many Bay Area residents hate the rich people of the tech industry these days.
In it, he remembered the Bay Area’s wild ways back in 1957 when he first arrived:
“I was twenty-two, twenty-three,” he explained. “I lived in Sausalito, which back then had a functioning whorehouse — one of the last ones in the Bay Area. It was a loose town where anything went, and I loved it. San Francisco was that way. It was artistic, outrageous. The gays had a lot to do with that.” Perkins had brought his forehead to rest on his fingertips and closed his eyes, smiling. “I knew writers and artists. North Beach. The Beats. The jazz. It’s still a great city, but I think it was better then.”
Perkins, who is retired, is the Perkins in the powerful Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers venture firm. He put himself at the center of debate when he wrote an editorial in January that claimed today’s rich are persecuted like the Jews were in Nazi Germany. Perkins later apologized.
Then in February, he suggested that rich people should get more votes, saying “It should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes.”
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