How Silicon Valley VCs would react to a pitch from the greatest geek ever, Nikola Tesla

teslavc123GeekWire’s Greatest Geek of All Time is making headlines again, and this time it relates directly to the startup world.

Palo Alto-based Northern Imagination produced the parody video above to help promote its Kickstarter campaign for a Wi-Fi-enabled Nikola Tesla statue in Silicon Valley.

It’s a comical clip that sheds light on the short-attention span of impatient, distracted Valley venture capitalists who are concerned more about the “hot” markets and don’t even allow the modern day Tesla to show them his invention for wireless charging.

“If this guy thinks he can go after three markets at once, he’s crazy,” says one VC.

“If you had to pick one market, which would you pick?” another VC asks Tesla, who invented incredible things like alternating current, X-rays, robotics, wireless communication, particle beam weapons and the electric motor.

Nikola Tesla.

Nikola Tesla.

“Energy is the simplest way to think about it,” Tesla responds.

“Energy is not as hot as it used to be,” the VC says.

“Maybe you can keep things simple,” another VC offers. “What about some kind of tie-in to Facebook? Or a Kickstarter campaign.”

The video is pretty funny and you’ll get a kick out of the last few seconds. But, just as GigaOM founder Om Malik wrote in this insightful post, the video also bring up some important questions: Are investors today less interested in groundbreaking inventions that are often more risky? Do they prefer “softer aspects of technology,” as Malik puts it, that provide quick exits?

From Malik’s post:

That’s the trend that all investors, in some respects are, moving toward. They’re all looking for the next Facebook or the next Twitter, but no one wants to look for the next Juniper or the next Intel or even the next ARM. I am not saying Facebook and Twitter are not great companies and have not scaled dramatically and impacted the world. What I am pointing to is the fact that Silicon Valley funds fewer and fewer silicon companies.

Why are we assuming that we are all done with developing new kinds of chips for uses that we are not even imagining yet? Are we done inventing the routing technologies of the future?

What do you think? Is the way VCs invest nowadays stunting our growth in a technology sense?

Previously on GeekWire: Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek ever

  • http://fearmyblog.com/ tacanderson

    That’s 4 minutes of my life I won’t get back.

  • T

    Brilliant.

  • BenSlivka

    An instant classic. Every stock VC phrase in one place.

  • Allison Rae Hannigan

    I just interviewed a famous VC, Steve Jurvetson, and he’s not like the rest. He would listen to Tesla. He owns the very first Tesla off the line, in fact. Here’s what I wrote about him: http://acuriousguy.blogspot.com/2013/07/from-newspace-2013-interview-with-giver.html

  • Sandy

    Loved it. Keep em comings