Doerr Cries.

I was really struck when my friend, R.C., told me about John Doerr’s public, tearful breakdown at the TED conference, where perhaps some of the smartest and most privileged individuals gather each year to talk about the future.
Doerr has an amazing biography, but here it is in a nutshell, taken from a comment on the New York Times: “John Doerr has an undergraduate degree in engineering and a M.B.A. from Harvard. Over the course of his career, he has earned several engineering patents, and has helped to fund, among others, Compaq, Netscape, Symantec, Sun Microsystems, Amazon, and Google.”
Anyway, here’s what happened, according to the same Times piece: “Much is being made of venture capitalist John Doerr breaking down into tears as he talked about global warming on Thursday during the TED conference in Monterey, Calif. But what may be more disturbing is what he actually said: ‘I’m scared. I don’t think we’re going to make it.'” He left the stage, weeping, and then hugged his teenage daughter.
Here is a man who, as a paid optimist focused on building wealth and opportunity and innovation, clearly sees something coming down the pike that is not all that good. I take his cry as not so much a plea, which is how some in the media are spinning it. Rather, I take his cry for what it is—a clear sign of despair about the future, delivered directly to his peers.