That venerable pillar of old, very established business, the Wall Street Journal has gone public with the bitter resentment of old business and fossil fuel for those upstarts who are trying to shift the business model. The editorial attacking VC Vinod Khosla is just one volley in what will become a harsh economic battle for dominance of the world's enormous energy markets.
That business paper, let us recall it is owned by Rupert Murdoch, accused Khosla of lobbying for corn-ethanol subsidies. That is exactly 180-degrees away from Khosla's actual statements, of course. Why the mud-slinging? Could it be Khosla's brash prediction that within five years biofuels, not made from food products, will cost less than fossil fuels? Do the bastions of the status quo really fear Exxon and Chevron will go broke anytime soon, taking their profits and ad dollars with them? Anybody knows that the oil guys could own biofuels, too, if they cared to try, they already have the zillion service stations to distribute from. And I hear they make a tiny profit they could re-invest. Duh. But as with many old-line, hugely profitable businesses, they won't deign to invest in the next wave. Just like magazine and TV corporations were largely run down by Internet start-ups.
Khosla seems unabashed by the attack from on-high, as the WSJ must picture itself. After all, they've been the voice of the mainstream investment community for decades. Last night he was at it again: Khosla talking about the bright future and strong potential for biofuel from waste products and new bio-stock. And how it can change the old way of doing business. He's really saying Exxon could be the next Kodak or Polaroid or morning newspaper if they don't get with it. Oh maybe that's it, the WSJ is a little sensitive about the dwindling newspaper business, felled by digital technology where Khosla made his first billions.