By David A. Kaplan
Tom Perkins had a dream. It wasn't to get wealthy, collect strength, or marry into popularity. because the guy so much accountable for developing Silicon Valley, he had performed all that. His venture-capital company, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is still the main celebrated cash desktop because the Medicis. He'd helped chanced on Genentech and fund Google. And in 2006 his resignation from the Hewlett-Packard board brought on the revelation of a spying scandal that ruled front pages. alongside the best way, he additionally controlled to get himself convicted of manslaughter in France and develop into Danielle Steel's Husband No. 5.
No, as he hit his seventies, Perkins desired to create the largest, quickest, riskiest, highest-tech, such a lot self-indulgent sailboat ever—the "perfect yacht." His fable will be a latest clipper ship—as lengthy as a soccer box, forty-two ft huge, with 3 masts each one emerging twenty tales towards the heavens. This $130 million square-rigger—The Maltese Falcon—would evoke the period of superb vessels that raced around the oceans within the 19th century. however the Falcon is greater than a tribute to the previous. long past are the entire deckhands to climb the yardarms. long past is the complex rigging that helped supply the square-riggers of yore their remarkable glance. as an alternative, the Falcon's enormous carbon-fiber masts are fullyyt freestanding and rotate through laptop. The bridge seems like anything out of superstar Trek. And the fifteen large sails unfurl on the contact of a reveal. briefly, this can be a innovative machine—the most vital strengthen in crusing in one hundred fifty years.
With willing storytelling and biting wit, Newsweek's David A. Kaplan takes us backstage of a rare venture and contained in the brain of a larger-than-life personality. we find why any sane guy might gamble a large bite of his internet worthy on a ship; we meet the solid of engineers who conspired with him; and we know about the opposite huge yachts simply equipped through gazillionaires that Perkins is ever eyeing. In a conflict of egos at the excessive seas, Perkins likes to preen, "Mine's higher! Mine's Bigger!" at the Falcon's climactic maiden voyage around the Mediterranean—sixteen hundred nautical miles from Istanbul to Malta to the Riviera—we revel with Perkins as his production surges alongside at record-breaking speeds.
This is the biography of a impressive boat and the fellow who outfitted it. greater than a story of expertise, Mine's Bigger is a profile of ambition, hubris, and the mind's eye of a mythical entrepreneur.
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Extra info for Mine's Bigger: Tom Perkins and the Making of the Greatest Sailing Machine Ever Built
Perkins said he could never understand his father’s refusal to look for a job that would make him happier and wealthier. To help with the family balance sheet, Perkins had a paper route, mowed lawns, and shoveled snow. For entertainment, he listened to lots of radio and collected wind-up model boats—and got his first taste of real sailing as crew for a friend on a seventeen-foot sloop they raced on Long Island Sound during summers. ” (It’s a funny line and Perkins intends it that way. But ever the nerd, he also explained that sixty years ago Long Island wasn’t heavily built up with highways and office parks and housing developments.
This was the heyday of maritime entrepreneurship and of the so-called “extreme clippers,” usually threemasted, more than several hundred of them in all. These imposing iterations of sailing technology featured bows that were more raked—or sharply angled—to knife smoothly through waves at significant speed. That architecture meant even less cargo space. Designers also were better able to calculate accurate weights for ships, and they better understood hydrodynamics—the effect of water resistance on solid objects.
Doriot asked the roomful of students what was the most important section of the paper. Stock tables, business headlines, editorials? No, it was the obituaries, suggested Perkins. He was right, said the general: that was the only section in which journalists couldn’t lie. Students in Doriot’s class were broken up into teams that had to find a Boston company to study. While most chose straightforward manufacturing concerns that had vice presidents all wearing repp ties, Perkins and his teammates picked something approximating a pajama factory.