January 14, 2006
Venture Capitalist Turned Romance Novelist
Posted by Gordon Smith

Zillionaire Tom Perkins is one of the founders of the well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He is also the ex-husband of Danielle Steel. (They were married 17 months.) Soon, he hopes to be competing with his former wife for book sales. Perkins has written a novel entitled, "Sex and the Single Zillionaire." According to the W$J, Perkins'  partners at KP were thrilled:

The idea of Mr. Perkins penning a romance flabbergasted his colleagues at work. Some asked if he would actually put his name on it. Frank Caufield, a Kleiner Perkins co-founder, says he said, "You're kidding" when he found out what Mr. Perkins was doing. John Doerr, another Kleiner Perkins partner, says Mr. Perkins didn't ask the firm's permission to write the book. "To seek permission here is to seek denial," says Mr. Doerr.

The W$J article has some brief passages from the book, which are stomach churning. ("He could feel arousal beginning to stir in his loins. Hand in hand they returned to the stateroom.") Here is the official description from Harper Collins:

Much to his surprise, and the chagrin of his Wall Street partners, Steven Hudson, a very wealthy middle-aged widower, agrees to appear on the new reality TV show Trophy Bride. Plucked from his lonely Central Park–view penthouse and dropped into a frothy mix of stunning models, actresses, and athletes, Steven's sober life quickly veers out of control.

Lured from his self-imposed solitary existence by Jessica James, the smart and sexy producer of Trophy Bride, Steven is encouraged by the enthusiastic response of Helen, his serious-minded daughter, and Henry, his trust-fund-spoiled son. And if Henry can lend his father a hand with the TV show, and ingratiate himself with some of the gorgeous contestants to boot, how can that hurt?

Steven plays along with the TV madness to stay close to Jessie, taping "dates" on his fabulous private jet, the breathtaking slopes of Vail, and his incredible yacht -- but try as he might to stay focused on this most unusual venture, he only has eyes for her. While Jessie struggles to keep the dazzling trophy brides in line, Steven struggles to show Jessie that he's more than just a zillionaire. But with an engagement ring on her finger from her hot young fiancé, is Steven too late?

Funny, sexy, and at times deeply moving, this debut novel is sure to be read in bedrooms and boardrooms all across the nation.

There is so much that is so wrong here, it's tough to know where to focus. How about this: "this debut novel is sure to be read in ...  boardrooms"?!?

Forget the new executive compensation rules. I hereby propose that the SEC adopt a new disclosure rule, requiring any company that allows this book to be read in its boardroom to disclose that fact in an 8-K.

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