“An incisive history of the venture-capital industry.”
“An excellent and original economic history of venture capital.”
—Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution
“A detailed, fact-filled account of America’s most celebrated moneymen.”
“Extremely interesting, readable, and informative…Tom Nicholas tells you most everything you ever wanted to know about the history of venture capital, from the financing of the whaling industry to the present multibillion-dollar venture funds.”
“In principle, venture capital is where the ordinarily conservative, cynical domain of big money touches dreamy, long-shot enterprise. In practice, it has become the distinguishing big-business engine of our time…[A] first-rate history.”
VC tells the riveting story of how the venture capital industry arose from America’s longstanding identification with entrepreneurship and risk-taking. Whether the venture is a whaling voyage setting sail from New Bedford or the latest Silicon Valley startup, VC is a state of mind as much as a way of doing business, exemplified by an appetite for seeking extreme financial rewards, a tolerance for failure and experimentation, and a faith in the promise of innovation to generate new wealth.
Tom Nicholas’s authoritative history takes us on a roller coaster of entrepreneurial successes and setbacks. It describes how iconic firms like Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia invested in Genentech and Apple even as it tells the larger story of VC’s birth and evolution, revealing along the way why venture capital is such a quintessentially American institution—one that has proven difficult to recreate elsewhere.
[An] incisive history of the venture-capital industry.
A detailed, fact-filled account of America’s most celebrated moneymen…It provides a valuable look into their world…Nicholas is at his best when he is charting just how reliant venture capital has been on the government—and just how far the industry has gone to try and shape government policy in its favor.
An excellent and original economic history of venture capital.
Though it’s no secret that Pentagon money helped Silicon Valley to develop into a technology hub, Nicholas’s history sheds light on the less explored role of venture capital firms in bringing these new technologies to civilian markets.
Whatever your view of venture capitalists, it’s worth studying where they came from. I had a vague familiarity with the role of U.S. postwar policy in the creation of the species, but I learned a lot more from Nicholas. And I’d never thought about their precursors in the old whaling industry!
Not only an insightful study of an asset class but a fascinating history which touches on fundamental questions of political economy. VC is distinctive mainly because it offers such a long view of venture capital’s evolution…[It] offers many lessons for attentive readers, explaining not only the present features of the venture landscape but also how we might address some of the widely recognized problems facing the U.S. economy today.
A penetrating history of the industry…I enthusiastically recommend it.
In his extremely interesting, readable, and informative VC, Tom Nicholas tells you most everything you ever wanted to know about the history of venture capital, from the financing of the whaling industry to the present multibillion-dollar venture funds.
VC is a captivating book that casts a historical light on the contemporary landscape of venture capital. Nicholas brilliantly explains the surprising origins of the financial practices and organizational structures of the VC industry we know today.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once called America ‘the country of tomorrow,’ and Nicholas’s book does a great job of showing how venture capital, a rocket fuel for entrepreneurial risk, played a fundamental and unique role in proving Emerson right.
- 400 pages
- 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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