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Bill Joy

Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Co-Founder , Sun Microsystems

Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Co-Founder , Sun Microsystems

Bill Joy is a well-known computer hardware+software architect, venture capitalist, and futurist.

Joy was born in Farmington Hills, Michigan on November 8, 1954 and received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, his M.S. in EECS from UC Berkeley in 1979, and a Ph.D. in Engineering, honoris causa, from the University of Michigan. As a Berkeley graduate student, Joy worked for Ph. D advisor Bob Fabry’s Computer Systems Research Group and was a seminal figure in the creation, support and rollout of BSD Unix, the open source operating system which was the first with built-in TCP/IP networking. Bill's many contributions were recognized in a Fortune cover story which dubbed him the "Edison of the Internet."

He was the co-founder, with Vinod Khosla, Scott McNealy, and Andreas Bectholsheim, of Sun Microsystems, one of the leading workstation and server companies of the 1980s and ‘90s and a key player in the Internet boom and the development of the web. While at Sun, Bill was a key designer involved with a number of Sun technologies, including the Solaris operating system, SPARC microprocessor architecture and several of its implementations, and the Java programming language. In 1995 he installed the first city-wide WiFi network at his “Aspen Smallworks” research laboratory in Colorado. As an inventor, Bill is named on more than 40 patents.

Joy left Sun Microsystems in 2003. He has been a partner at the Menlo Park California-based venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers since 2005, where he is a partner in the greentech investment practice.

Bill is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a lifetime trustee of the Aspen Institute.

“The best way to do research is to make a radical assumption and then assume it's true.” -- Bill Joy