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Vinod Khosla reveals how he deals honestly with underwhelming gifts



Vinod Khosla
Vinod Khosla.
Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch

  • Tech billionaire Vinod Khosla has a preferred method
    for sending an honest thank you note to someone who gives him
    an underwhelming gift.
  • Khosla instructs his assistant to send a thank you note
    reading: “Thank you, that was very interesting.”
  • This is part of his philosophy of “brutal honesty,”
    according to The New York Times.

In an interview with the New York Times about
his fight to keep the public away from his private beach
billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla revealed his
philosophy on honesty.

His approach was best summed up in an anecdote he gave about
responding to underwhelming gifts. Khosla
told the Times
that he receives a lot of presents, and
prefers to be straight, rather than effusive in his replies.

“I ask Ruthie [Khosla’s assistant] to not say, ‘That was
wonderful,’ […] If it wasn’t, I have her send a nice note back
saying, ‘Thank you, that was very interesting,'” he said.

Khosla subscribes to a philosophy of brutal honesty, the
website of Khosla Ventures
even bears the maxim “We prefer
brutal honesty to hypocritical politeness.”

“Interesting” could be either brutal or polite, depending on how
it’s said. Considering that Khosla describes the notes as “nice,”
it seems he’s aiming for the latter.

His tech pedigree and iconoclastic pronouncements
about investing 
made Khosla Ventures one of the most
closely-watched venture firms in Silicon Valley. His portfolio
includes Square and Stripe.

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