“In most cases, the innovation came from somebody who had never worked in that area,” he said. “Like Elon Musk (co-founder and chief executive at Tesla) hadn’t worked in cars and the automakers sort of laughed at his Silicon Valley start-up with no experience in automotives. He made lots of mistakes but fixed these quickly, figured out a better way than they would have by applying conventional wisdom.”
After a degree in electrical engineering from IIT-Delhi, Khosla failed at starting a soymilk company and came to the US to study further. He co-founded Sun Microsystems in 1982 and helped incubate the idea and business plan for Juniper Networks. He has invested in companies
focusing on a range of areas — solar, biofuel-to-energy storage and even makers of wearable devices to increase energy and lower stress.
One venture is Impossible Foods, which develops plant-based substitutes for meat and dairy products. “It makes a vegetarian burger that tastes the same as meat. Most people cannot distinguish between this and the real meat burger,” says Khosla.
“Plant proteins are the best way to save the planet. It’s healthier than meat proteins for humans, (as the latter) come with cholesterol and other negative things.”
Khosla also sees AI replacing doctors, such as radiologists. He said looking at the population of India and the number of doctors here, one won’t be able to train enough of the latter in the next 30 years to achieve the present doctor-patient ratio in the West. Also, doctors have limitations, as in, for instance, keeping up with the last 5,000 articles published on prostate cancer. Or remembering a certain type of treatment for every new mutation that regularly keeps emerging.
“These are not things for human beings to do. A normal blood test should result in 30,000 data points. We don’t do 30,000 or 3,000 or even 300 data points because humans can’t look at it,” Khosla said. “Whether it’s food, buildings, construction, transportation, education or health care, they are all open to radical innovation with technology. That is optimistic me and that is why I have too many problems for the remaining part of my life,” he added.