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The Midas Touch – Forbes Annoints Top VCs

February 14, 2005

Forbes recently released its Midas List, an annual ranking of technology’s top 100 dealmakers. Below we’ve given you the highly subjective a:c take on the top ten selections:
The Top Ten
1. L. John Doerr
He is the high priest of tech investing. On any given year, he’s a top 3 contender, but with the Google IPO, he’s a clear choice for top dog.
2. Michael Moritz
Moritz gets Google cred, too. He got into a prickly situation last year with founders at former investment, RedEnvelope, but Moritz is something of a Teflon Don in the valley.
3. Lawrence Sonsini
He just stepped down from the top position in his law firm, but we suspect that’s just because he wants to go on a victory lap.
4. Andreas von Bechtolsheim
Andy is a geek’s geek with a great track record of making smart infrastructure investments. When he says “Death to ATM,” people listen, even if they have no idea what he’s talking about.
5. Michael Grimes
We’re both surprised and not at all surprised to see Grimes on the list. We remember him from his days as a loyal foot soldier in the constantly shifting regimes within Morgan Stanley. He’s the quintessential investment banking corporate tool – and his patience has paid off.
6. Ram Shriram
He was first brought to our attention when he made his mark at Netscape. This guy is scary smart, we were told. That’s probably an understatement. He’s since killed it at AMZN and with GOOG.
7. David Cheriton
This Canuck prof is not well-known to us. Looks like he had a good year given his association with Google.
8. Promod Haque
We had occasion to speak with Haque a few years ago when one of his investments, NetObjects, underwent a management shake-up. He played straight with us, describing a pretty awkward situation with reasonable candor. That’s more than you’ll get from most VCs.
9. Vinod Khosla
He’s a top tenner on any VC list.
10. J. Peter Wagner
Hails from Accel Partners, a firm with middling performance of late (relative to its usually high standards). Check out our post on Accel from last November. We wondered if Accel front man Jim Breyer had lost his touch – according to this ranking, he has.
Read: The Midas List – []


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