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VC

VC

An American History

Tom Nicholas

ISBN 9780674248267

Publication date: 09/22/2020

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“An incisive history of the venture-capital industry.”
New Yorker

“An excellent and original economic history of venture capital.”
—Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

“A detailed, fact-filled account of America’s most celebrated moneymen.”
New Republic

“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.”
—Arthur Rock

“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.”
New Yorker

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.

Praise

  • [An] incisive history of the venture-capital industry.

    —New Yorker

Author

  • Tom Nicholas is William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He holds a doctorate from Oxford University. Prior to joining HBS, he taught at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the London School of Economics. At HBS he teaches a second-year elective course on American business and economic history, which examines entrepreneurship, innovation, and business development in the United States over the past 240 years. He has received the Faculty Teaching Award multiple times and the Charles M. Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Book Details

  • 400 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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