Valley Boy: The Education of Tom Perkins
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Valley Boy: The Education of Tom Perkins

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  115 ratings  ·  22 reviews
A revealing memoir from Tom Perkins—renowned venture capitalist, Silicon Valley and biotechnology pioneer, and one of America’s most successful businessmen

Known for his idiosyncratic ideas and golden touch, Tom Perkins has always been one of the business world’s most intriguing figures. But his legacy took an unexpected new turn when he resigned from Hewlett-Packard’s bo...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Gotham (first published 2007)
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Leonidas Kaplan
One of the original founders of the Silicon Valley venture capitalists phenomenon, pioneer and entrepreneur in biotechnology, and one of America's most well known and successful businessmen. Following no particular chronology, but rather written as the author pleased, Valley Boy covers many aspects to Tom Perkins personality, success stories, and personal life, with a few chapters here and there dedicated to him going from a modest upbringing to a multi-billion dollar empire.

Rating 3/5 - Althoug...more
Richard MacManus
I enjoyed reading this book from Kleiner Perkins co-founder Tom Perkins. It is a varied book, going from his love of yachting, the love of his life Gerd (his first wife), his marriage to romance novelist Danielle Steele, and some fascinating looks into his business life - e.g. he was an early employee at HP. Some quirky stories too, like the guy who invented a revolutionary chip that held megabytes of data, but who died the day after Perkins closed an investment deal and his 'secret sauce' was n...more
Herve
Tom Perkins is one of the icons of Silicon Valley. I have not read yet his new autobiography but Andre Mercanzini, a colleague at EPFL, just mentioned to me an interesting podcast from VentureVoice. Here is Perkins’ views about why Silicon Valley is unique:

The difference is in psychology: everybody in Silicon Valley knows somebody that is doing very well in high-tech small companies, start-ups; so they say to themselves “I am smarter than Joe. If he could make millions, I can make a billion”. So...more
Ellie E
I'm reading Valley Boy, a memoir by Tom Perkins. It's a very advanced read that I recommend to all people looking for a great memoir. This man mixes in lots of educational info about the stock market, but also mixes it in with funny stories about his childhood. All the "characters" each have a distinct voice. These people stay with the book the whole time making it easy to remember names and what's going on. I have to say, it is pretty hard to read but I know it will be worth it in the end.
Gerry
This book became a good escape from my normal Military History reading and it was a pleasure to read of a successful (though by no means perfect) entrepreneur. Mr. Perkins was both honest and sincere in his work and for those parts of his life he disclosed. I was especially touched by his account of his wife's death and points at her funeral. I hope he will commit to writing more about business and the expectation that success is often first met with failure.
Allen Price
This was a great swath of early Venture Capital in Silicon Valley told by one of the first. The education, experience, success, and ego of Tom Perkins makes a terrific subject. Entertaining, informative, chatty, and behind the scenes. His short marriage to Danielle Steele was a screamer yet revealing. All of us should be so smart and lucky as Tom Perkins. This man has accomplished so much regardless whether you love him or hate him. I loved it.
Jonathan
Perkins is a Valley Icon, but this memoir is not particularly substantive. There is some talk of the tumult at HP during the Fiorina reign and a few interesting anecdotes about the early days of HP and Kleiner Perkins. However, there are also random somewhat patronizing chapters about his love for sailboats and sports cars. Diverting at times but not the deepest of books.
Dot
If you LOVE silicon valley, you will like this book. I love the lure of technology and the many amazing minds that are the energy of the most amazing place on earth. Great stuff about the early days of Hewlett Packard. Some of the chapters are more personal and lend more toward an autobiography, less about the evolution of the valley. I enjoyed it.
Liz
So far, my take is that Tom Perkins is a better scientist than writer, but he has led a very interesting life. The book is at its best when he talks about board-room machinations, or scientific discovery.

I don't really care that he is so into cars or sailing, but good for him for finding something interesting to do with all that time and money.
E
omg the book starts out with the Compaq /HP merger and how he pushed for it (now known as one of the worst mergers of all time.) I passed that to then read about his big sailing race trying to get over the death of his wife from cancer. putting this down now. boring. just like silicon valley and the VC folks!
Doug
Lots of good stories, especially for events that occurred before my time, as well as the recent soap opera at HP. Perkins doesn't suffer from a lack of self-esteem, which might have been a problem for a longer book, but you can read this one in a single sitting. I think I'll skip his novel.
Chris
You have to appreciate what Tom Perkins has accomplished to enjoy this book. He's a Venture Capitalist that defined much of how venture capital firms work today, married for a short time to Danielle Steel, and the owner of the largest and most expensive yacht in the world.
Sarah
Excellent on so many levels. Read if you're curious about how to make it in Silicon Valley, want a glimpse of social mores in 1950s San Francisco, or need advice on how to behave in a French courtroom. This was a quick, engrossing read.
Bart
A fascinating story of a brilliant man who followed his gut and was right most of the time. He is cocky and brash but would not have succeeded as he has without that drive to be the best and always looking for the next great challenge.
Zack Urlocker
Interesting well-written autobiog of one of the pioneers in high tech venture capital. Great stories about the early days of HP, Genentech, Tandem. But I skipped the chapters on yachting and ballet.
Nic Brisbourne
An enjoyable and well written romp through Perkins' life. Nothing terribly inspiring or surprising though (beyond his remarkable achievements).

Hence three stars
Constantine
Interesting series of vignettes from one of the most important figures in venture capital. Mostly fun & frolicking, occasionally gets into business.
Douglas
Jan 16, 2008 Douglas is currently reading it
Loving it. Great man from humble beginnings to become one of the worlds most influential, powerful men.
Rasmus Groth
very enjoyable and suave - but not much depth
Steve
Got to love a guy with those kind of toys.
Scott Nelson
Success makes one run more and not less.
Tanmoy
Tanmoy added it
Jun 18, 2014
Charlotte
Charlotte marked it as to-read
May 05, 2014
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