Andrew Leonard on Al Gore joining Kleiner Perkins:
So Al Gore is now a partner at Kleiner-Perkins, the legendary venture-capital firm. And according to Fortune Magazine, he’s thinking big!
“What we are going to have to put in place is a combination of the Manhattan Project, the Apollo project, and the Marshall Plan, and scale it globally.”
But at another point in the same article, Gore says “We all believe that markets must play a central role.”
O.K. What do the Manhattan Project, Apollo project and the Marshall Plan all have in common?
The “market” was not the prime mover in their success. The federal government of the United States conceived these projects, funded them, and changed the world by executing them successfully.
Incidentally, in my work people fling about the Manhattan Project with considerable abandon. I’m increasingly of the view that it is one of those extraordinary occurrences that is unique. There was only one Manhattan Project and all attempts to recreate that scale and achievement in such a compressed period of time are doomed to failure. I’m not against all grand projects, but the work of Leslie Groves, Robert Oppenheimer and others is sui generis.