How do you follow up a gig as leader of the free world?
If you're not going to go the George W. Bush route and simply kick back and paint away your days, it has to be hard to find something as exciting to fill your time after you exit the Oval Office. But according to an in-depth recent Bloomberg Businessweek interview, President Obama has found at least one possibility.
And it might not be what you'd expect from a president that's sometimes been viewed as less than incredibly business-friendly.
From Pennsylvania Avenue to Silicon Valley?
"Had I not gone into politics, I'd probably be starting some kind of business," the president mused in the interview. "The skill set of starting my presidential campaigns--and building the kinds of teams that we did and marketing ideas--I think would be the same kinds of skills that I would enjoy exercising in the private sector."
"The conversations I have with Silicon Valley and with venture capital pull together my interests in science and organization in a way I find really satisfying," he added, elaborating:
"You think about something like precision medicine: the work we've done to try to build off of breakthroughs in the human genome; the fact that now you can have your personal genome mapped for a thousand bucks instead of $100,000; and the potential for us to identify what your tendencies are, and to sculpt medicines that are uniquely effective for you. That's just an example of something I can sit and listen and talk to folks for hours about."
Would he be any good at the gig?
So, how would a former politician do in Silicon Valley? According to Quartz, other VC's are pretty optimistic about the idea. After all, there's precedent for making such a move successfully. "Former secretary of defense Colin Powell joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers in 2005, followed by former vice president Al Gore in 2007. Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state under George W. Bush, teamed up with Khosla Ventures in 2012," the publication's Michael J. Coren points out.
But what about Obama specifically? The prospects are great, according to Coren's contacts. "We asked prominent venture capitalists if the president had what it takes to do well in the hyper-competitive venture world. Without exception, every firm said Obama would be a natural fit (several extended job offers and invites to 'grab coffee')," he reports.
What do you think, would the President make a good venture capitalist?