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Correcting the record: Java Fund not a flop

java.jpgWe'd like to correct a reference we made here about the "RSS Investors" fund, raised to invest in companies based on the emerging Really Simple Syndication protocol. In that column, we quoted Canadian investor Paul Kedrosky saying that the Kleiner Perkins Java Fund of the 1990s "was a flop" -- the implication being that funds focused on very narrow investing theses are destined to fail.

Well, we've since checked with Kedrosky and he says his source has turned out to be less than reliable. And we've also since talked with two people who know exactly how the Java fund performed. Turns out, the fund had an Internal Rate of Return significantly greater than 50 percent, meaning that it returned well in excess of a net 50 percent on invested capital, year after year, for the life of the fund. By today's standards, that would be a home run. So, about that RSS fund -- can we invest please?


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