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VC

VC

An American History

Tom Nicholas

ISBN 9780674988002

Publication date: 07/09/2019

A major exploration of venture financing, from its origins in the whaling industry to Silicon Valley, that shows how venture capital created an epicenter for the development of high-tech innovation.

VC tells the riveting story of how the industry arose from the United States’ long-running orientation toward entrepreneurship. Venture capital has been driven from the start by the pull of outsized returns through a skewed distribution of payoffs—a faith in low-probability but substantial financial rewards that rarely materialize. Whether the gamble is a whaling voyage setting sail from New Bedford or the newest startup in Silicon Valley, VC is not just a model of finance that has proven difficult to replicate in other countries. It is a state of mind exemplified by an appetite for risk-taking, a bold spirit of adventure, and an unbridled quest for improbable wealth through investment in innovation.

Tom Nicholas’s history of the venture capital industry offers readers a ride on the roller coaster of setbacks and success in America’s pursuit of financial gain.

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
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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